Q&A with lively musician Jon Doe

 Image credit: Mike Musanu

Twenty years of age and bursting with ideas for epic storylines featured in all of his musical offerings, multi-instrumentalist Jon Doe is on a roll with creativity and input. His latest song ‘In My Dreams’ released via Odd Grove Records was written after Jon Doe had a vibrant dream about his ideal partner in crime. Filled with sincerity and a lot of heart, the singer elaborates on the experience after realizing that this dream person does not exist. We can empathize with the singer’s pain, but cannot get enough of the upbeat indie rock groove of this track.

We chatted with this lively Jon Doe below:

Stream/ download ‘In My Dreams’ 

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I’d say around the time I started college at sixteen. It was when I started to learn about production properly and started noticing things within songs that I hadn’t before then just an average consumer of music. Songwriters like Max Martin and producers like Charlie Puth were the main sources for me when it came to music appreciation and production.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I am big on storytelling within my songwriting. I try and maintain a continuity within my songs sort of how a book would be written or a film. You make sure to establish a certain narrative and stick to it and fill in any potential “plot holes”. As for the process itself, I like to maintain a stream of consciousness when possible as I find that if it’s too “mathematical” (in line with the likes of Max Martins songwriting for reference) I find that it loses some honesty to further support a rhyme or structure within a song which can be useful if I am pushed for time. But it’s very rare I resort to such a method, also it depends on the genres I am working with. For pop records the “Max Martin approach” is a go-to for me.

 You wrote your latest song about your dream girl. Could you please describe her?

I feel like this is going to get very sappy very quickly. She’s compassionate, sweet, with a smile that lights up a room. She’s funny and gets my sarcasm and dad jokes! She’s beautiful and shares the same taste in music as me but most importantly. We share the same values in life. Family, Loyalty, Honesty, and Peace. The truth of it is finding someone that has everything is unlikely, but if I can find someone who shares the same values as me which I believe is what’s truly important then I’d be very happy with that person.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s everything in life; a movie, a quote, a conversation I hear while I am out and about, and sometimes just sitting in silence in a sort of meditative state with a guitar/piano in hand. All it takes is perspective because these bits of creative inspiration go over your head if you don’t stop to look for them.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

It’s a question that I am not sure has just one answer, but I’d say support for indie artists. For an indie artist just starting out, it can be quite a challenge. I saw an article that showed a diagram of the growth of indie artists of all genres in 2019 and it came to about a 48% increase which is great to see, but there isn’t a system that supports them much as a pose to a major artist who gets a lot more opportunities. I’m not sure what I’d exactly implement to combat the lack of support for indie artists, but there should be something in place. Hopefully, someone smarter than me on these matters can do something about this. Perhaps a collective that supports them or some sort of funding system for artists whose sole source of income is music or like I’ve mentioned previously, a system to provide indie artists with opportunities that major artists get to level the playing field. Because indie music in terms of quality I can safely say is on par or even sometimes surpasses mainstream musicians in my opinion. So it would only make sense they receive similar opportunities that major artists receive whether that’s festivals, radio, shows, award nominations etc.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I honestly love them both, but if I had to choose just one I’d say performing and interacting with a live audience. Music is all about bringing people together. And while it is possible to do that by creating the music in a studio alone, It is a different experience to hear the same song you’ve heard a hundred times before live for the first time. To see the artist singing the song to you gives the song a new meaning, a new connection and breathes life back into the song so that you will go back and listen to it once more after the show. The whole reason you create music is for the fans to enjoy, for the fans to feel understood and connected to you. And besides the feeling you get performing on stage, it is a high that you can not replicate anywhere else but with a live performance.

Does this lyrically confessional song highlight your personality? Or would you rather consider yourself more reserved when you are not making music?

I’d say both. I would say that I am definitely a little more reserved outside of my music. However, I have always found myself to be a bit of a contradiction. The outgoing, loud, and confident extrovert to the reserved, thoughtful, and methodical stoic introvert. Those two sides of my personality make up the whole of my identity. But I find that when I create music, it allows me to say what I want to say in person but sometimes I find it difficult to. Whether it’s a feeling I’d rather not admit to myself or someone else or a thought/scenario that has been on my mind,  creating music allows for me to be truly honest in an unfiltered way it is what made me fall in love with it.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I was with my best friend listening back to my first few songs and it sort of clicked with him and myself that we had actually written a great song. It was such a slow burn moment that paid off in that moment of realisation. We gave ourselves the credit we deserved. To paraphrase what was said it was something along the lines of “Fuck this actually a really good song!”. And I am sure we’ll have plenty more of these moments. Shout out to Alfie!

What’s on your current playlist?

Its switches by the day. At this moment it has been the new Tyler, The Creator album Call Me If You Get Lost, Dayglow and his album Harmony House, Band of Horses especially Great Salt Lake and The Funeral are personal favourites. And finally, my most recent addition to my playlist is an artist by the name of  Goth Babe, especially his song ‘Canary Islands’ which is definitely a great listen especially now during the summer! A great vibe!

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Definitely more music, and it may be sooner than you think. These next few singles will lead to an album that I think conceptually and stylistically there’s a song in here for everyone of all genres, as I attempt to combine some of my favourite genres in a way that is natural and true to the sound I am creating.

Famous last words?

Go stream my new single ‘In My Dreams’! There’s more to come!

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