For John D. Green, music is first and foremost about emotions and heart. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, United States, this independent artist plays the piano and writes pieces for every instrument. Sit back and relax. You are in for a treat!
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello John, it is great to have you. As a starter, tell us a little more about you.
John D. Green: I am the second youngest of ten children. My mother was a strict disciplinarian, but a very strong, independent, single mother. She was there every step of the way and did her best, to raise me the best she knew how. We didn’t have much growing up, but the house was always filled with family, friends, love and music! I spent many hours watching her and her sister playing the piano and I always enjoyed it so much. I think those younger years really had a profound influence on me musically and would help shape my identity in the music world.
I met and fell in love with my wife Donna 18 years ago. She is my left hand (Yes, I am a lefty) on this business venture and has spent many hours as my manager, my secretary and my cheerleader. Her assistance has been invaluable. I have a daughter, Jessica, age 21 and a son, John Jr. age 8. My children have also been instrumental in shaping me. I feel the best person to teach you how to be a good parent is your children. They are so full of wisdom if you just listen to them. I credit them for helping me become who I am today.
I used to be a Plater working on parts that are used in military installations but recently became a “full-time” musician. I have decided that it is time to spread my wings and fly toward my dreams. It has been scary yet fulfilling and I am enjoying the flight!
CM: In 2009, you released your first album, titled “Perceptions.” Why choose such a title?
JG: People usually have an opinion of me at first sight, based on the fact that I am 6’4” over 200 pounds of muscle, covered in tattoos, and black. I am always in deep thought, which gives the impression that I am a stern person. When people hear me talk or listen to my music, they have very vocal opinions of how I do not sound like I look like I would sound, which inspired PERCEPTIONS. Many people have had many perceptions of me in my life. Most have been changed after meeting me.
CM: How has the album been received so far in the United States and Canada? Have you noticed differences between the two countries?
JG: I feel that music fans from around the world have something in common and that is their dedication and devotion to the music they enjoy. On www.jango.com, I have gotten love from places as far as Australia and as remote as Burkina Faso [a country in West Africa]. I also have a large following from Canada on Jango. I must say though that Canada was where I got my first airplay, on www.bananapeelradio.com so Canadians will always have a special place in my heart.
CM: Where can people find more information about and purchase the CD?
CM: You are multitalented. Not only do you write and compose your songs, but you also sing. Does it make the creative process easier?
JG: It depends on what comes first, the lyrics or the music. For example, when I wrote “Lost in Darkness,” the musical composition had been in the works for over 2 years but the lyrics for “Lost in Darkness” came from a conversation I was having with myself, in my bathroom, at one of the darkest points in my life. The music started as the words were going through my head, and the song was born. It does help for me to be able to sing when I compose music because then I know what key to play in that best enhances my vocal style.
CM: I have been a fan of Yes for many years. Some of your songs remind me of the band’s music. However, there are also other influences. Would you tell us more about them?
JG: Where do I start? Ray Charles, Scott Joplin, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Elton John, Thelonious Monk (the futuristic sound for his time), Miles Davis, Yanni, Kiss, Aerosmith, Brian McKnight, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Lady Smith Black Mombazo, Take 6, Brian O’Neal, Paul Simon, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Billy Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. I like so many types of music and I feel that they all have shaped me into the musician that I am today.
CM: What do you want to achieve through your music?
JG: I want to hear Sir Elton John sing one of my songs, as I am playing piano alongside him. I want to see Ellen DeGeneres dance to one of my songs on her show. Ultimately though, I want to know that my music has healed or touched someone or helped them through something as music has helped me through so many dark and trying times. I hope to be instrumental in shaping someone’s life in ways that my influencers have shaped mine.
CM: With the Internet, it is now very easy for artists to promote and market their creations to global audiences. However, as a result, it creates more competition. As an independent artist, what are the main challenges that you encounter?
JG: There are so many talented artists and it seems that I meet more each and every day. I feel that because of the influx of new music and sources to find this new music, people can become overwhelmed, which leaves many indie artists unheard. Also because people are so busy nowadays, working and raising families, etc. it just becomes habit to do what you have always done, which is flip on the radio instead of taking the time to research new music.
CM: According to you, what role do independent artists play in society?
JG: Well, I feel that all of us, independent artists and people alike have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters. I believe that we should all take care of each other. Brian O’Neal, my good friend and mentor works diligently to raise awareness about a very serious issue facing many Americans today, homelessness. He founded the Do Foundation to help eradicate homelessness and to provide people with the tools to better their situation. My Sensei, Kevin (Big K) Taylor, a World Guinness Record Holder, and the founder ofW.S.B.B.A. promotes his martial arts shows to eradicate Domestic Violence which is another cause that I support. Matt Sikorski, a team member and extraordinary guitarist, co-wrote a song with me called “Breaking the Silence” which also promotes the anti-domestic violence message. I am a proud to be a part of both of these teams and to work toward ending these two serious problems that are facing our society.
CM: What is next for you?
JG: There are many things on my horizons! Two of my songs are going to be featured on the “Hottest New Artist” compilation CD (a collection of songs by the finalists of the Hottest New Artist National competition). I am working on an extreme sports cable show soundtrack and a television and movie soundtrack. I would like to try my hand at acting in movies. I am also gearing up for a big tour with my martial arts team, the W.S.B.B.A. (World Speed Brick Breaking Association) Stay tuned, there is so much more to come!
CM: How can people find more about you?
JG: www.Johndgreensr.com is my Website address. That is probably the most comprehensive site that I can direct people to. It is updated often and will provide all of the information on what is going on in my career. You can e-mail me at Johnsbox71@yahoo.com. I answer all of my own mail and e-mail. I can also be found onReverbnation, Facebook and Jango.
CM: Any last words?
JG: I feel that as a person and as an artist, I am constantly growing and changing, and I feel that my best music and best years are yet to come. I love feedback from my fans; even the less than positive feedback, I love it all. I am looking forward to the ride and I hope that many of you will come along this journey with me. I think you will be surprised of all the twists and turns.