Johnny sheds light into his musical roots, a new single “The Darkroom”, and what it’s like producing music in the worlds biggest city

Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Video Director/Ice Cream Enthusiast – it’s quite easy to glance through Johnny‘s (born John Whoriskey Jr) creative portfolio and surmise that he quite frankly does it all. Born in Massachusetts and currently residing in the Big Apple, Johnny has consistently delivered quality film, music and live performances since the early 2010’s.

Johnny first landed on the MusicFest radar with his single “The Rise”, a hit record that launched in 2015 part of solo album, See You Soon, under the guise of his real name, John Whoriskey Jr. After the release of See You Soon, Johnny got back in the studio focusing on producing and rebranding with more of a Pop + Future R&B sound. We only saw new music coming from his camp through a few single releases; most notably “Right Now” and “So Long.” 2018 marked the launch of acclaimed first EP under the rebrand JOHNNY with “Nothing Is Forever.” In the fall Johnny gave us 2 songs to finish up the year with his Summer Break EP. The first track “E.S.T.” is a classic tale of bad timing and heartbreak. The song has amassed over 40k streams on Spotify and was followed with a deep themed Short Film music video (Co-Directed & Edited by Johnny).

Showing no signs of slowing down in 2019, we have already seen the release of single “James Corden” coupled with fan rumors of more new music and a possible 2nd EP coming in the Spring.

From the beginning, Johnny has also had his hand in creatively directing and producing all of his music videos. This eventually lead into the fan favorite ‘Ice Cream Sundays’ shorts, a weekly music/ice cream and culture web series.

As he continues on his wave of musical success this year, we caught up with Johnny to talk his about his musical roots, new tunes on the horizon, and living/working in the big apple.

Stream Johnny’s latest Music here:

Follow him on social Media: IG @listentojohnny // Twitter @listentojohnny_

Q & A

You have been based in NYC for some time now, what’s living in the worlds biggest city like for an artist like yourself? 

Aside from LA I’m not sure I could really have made a legitimate go at trying to do this music thing full time if I was anywhere else in the world. Every days an adventure man. Some days are complete train wrecks but then there’s the days filled with excitement and spontaneity that really helps balance it all out and make it all worth while. 

We know you have starred in a few short films, that pretty cool. What was your favorite to date and do you have any film roles coming up?

Oh man I was in this crazy corn field movie called Always Stop For Rabbits. The film has gone through a ton of rigorous editing and storytelling changes by the Creative Team behind it // my long time friends & collaborators – Don Burton and Tommy Whalen. S/O to them for casting me in the roll. There is a roll out for that coming soon I believe. I’ve got another short film we’re working on getting together to release in a few months as well. But I’ll keep that one mostly under wraps 😉 

If we had to select 1 or 2 musical goals for 2019, what would they be?

Damn, there’s a lot of things I really aspire to do with this man. For this I’d like to really start to get some solid Editorial Playlist & sync placements and continue to try to play bigger shows. 

We gotta ask, theres been a few rumors of new music on the horizon beyond just a single, care to elaborate? (Also we would love to premiere something coming up!)

THE DARKROOM – just dropped April 29th! It’s out on all streaming platforms now!!! Then an EP to follow to lead us into summer. I have a music video in the works as well that I’d love to premier with you guys if you’ll have me! 

We actually just got to listen to THE DARKROOM recently and damn that is a vibey ass track! Great work! We would love to talk more about the video 100% – I guess this kinda parlays into my next question nicely here; When producing a new track, do you have any processes you like to follow that help you get in the right mindset?? Do you ever face writers block?

Thanks dude, I appreciate that. I was happy to get that track out to everyone finally. With writers block…..EVERY. DAMN. DAY. (it feels like lol). Sometimes it just comes easy. Sometimes it takes months to create a song. I’ve written // made over 100 songs at this point. Music is a muscle. If you’re able to sit with it day in and day out you’re REALLY going to work that muscle and usually that muscle continues to work and get stronger. Just like any exercise, sometimes you need to rest your muscles. When I hit that stride tho — I feel like I could write a MILLION songs.

You have a decent amount of collaborations, how do things change once you start working with someone else on a track?

I love collaborating and making music with my friends. When someone comes to me like “HEY I NEED YOU ON THIS HOOK” or “Can you help out with some vocals” it’s just an incredible feeling. I study music and structure and different songwriters a lot so when I see someone else’s project as a third party I feel really comfortable helping out with structure and adding to the songs direction. 

If there was 1 message you try to get across in your music and artwork, what would that be?

I just want to help people and inspire people to live their life and be happy with what they’re doing; to let people know that when we express ourselves in the purest form – YES we are leaving ourselves vulnerable but we’re also opening ourselves up and allowing people to be honest and open with the world too. 

Sorry I know that was kind of 2 messages but I used that semi colon to make it seem like 1 idea so that little trick has to count for something!!!

You have shown some pretty different and unique styles over the years, what are some of the musical influences that might have helped shape some of the Johnny songs we’ve known to grow and love? 

I’ve been playing music since I was 5 years old when my Auntie Chow sat me down at the piano and I instantly fell in love. I love so many different genres of music. There’s countless artists who have blown my mind and changed my world in every which way. I just think there’s too many to name. 

Alright, alright, I hate asking it but secretly love asking itOne Drink, one food, one desert item for the rest of your life, what is it?

Ice Cream!!! I’d love to have you guys for an episode of Ice Cream Sundays down the road! 

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Drink: I would drink Selzter until the end of time idk man it’s just too good

Food: Buff Chix ANYTHING – 3 square meals

So thats that, thanks for coming through my dude we really appreciate the time.

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