Interviewing Christine Joan Johnson, Artist and Artist Producer from New York, leader of the Company J.M.P. Jamit Music Production, Rimini.
Since I was a child, I’ve always dreamt to be an artist, a singer, to work in the music business with an American production. Then, one day, my dream came suddenly true: today I’m one of the artist of J.M.P. I’ve been in the music business for about seven years, working with Christine Joan.
The reason why I decided to introduce her in this job, is because she showed me a different way to face the music business: through these years, I’ve learned that everything you do it starts just from yourself, from your soul. You have to work a lot analysing your strength and weakness, your wishes, your fears, so that you can get to know you and stay always humble along that hard but amazing journey that’s life: this is the only way for you to say something to someone and help him/her to go deeper inside of him/herself. This is the power of music.
Q: Who is Christine Joan? Tell me about you and about what is music for you.
A: Well, I was born in Jamaica and grew up in New York. I studied at F.I.T. Fashion Industry. I started working in the music business when I moved in Italy. What I do with my life and my music, it’s the same thing, because I believe in what I define “visual speaking”, that means that you have to see and touch what you speak about. Everything that I do inside of the music and with the people who I work with, is to bring them to see that music is nothing but pictures of life stories. I try to help them to understand more about the sentence “music is life, life is music”: it’s about showing others that life keeps turning around inside of an harmony, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be just music, because you can also use it to cure yourself, to cure your problems with feelings and most of all, with energy.
Q: So, your mission seems to have an educational aim.
A: Music is education. It’s something that I personally feel. It’s really an energy and I try to help everyone to feel it inside of themselves: when they can feel it, then they can say it, they can sing it, they can give it away, because everything that I do has to come out and go away, it cannot stay.
Q: What is J.M.P.? Why has it been created?
A: It was born exactly after I.C.T. Inspiration Colours Trash, an old group of mine. Spirituallywise speaking it means “In Christ Totally”, while J.M.P Jamit Music Production means “Jesus Means People” (and as I always add “People Means Jesus”): it’s all about the love of God.
J.M.P. was created to help a young girl that grew up. It was basically to teach her that whatever your goals are, whatever you want to bring out from life, you have to feel better with yourself at first. Otherwise I don’t think that we should sing, because there are already lots of people doing that, so the competition becomes outrageous. It has to be something authentic, original, something that you personally want to give it away from yourself in order to help someone else. Music is really not about you, it’s about someone else, it’s about helping others to understand the love of God, so that you can automatically love a friend, a boyfriend, a child, your home, your loneliness also. J.M.P. music speaks about self-esteem.
Q: Which kind of teaching does J.M.P. apply?
A: This production is a formula created to help people to go back into the “old school”, to sit down and analyze themselves in writing stories, songs with their own hands. What I try to teach is a “home-training” formula, the same that I’ve learned. In fact, it all started in a home and stayed in a home for a long time, because I guess God wanted us to be like a family, something “home-made” and low profile.
J.M.P. is a “personal production”, because we work personally on every individual that comes to us, we work on the single person, trying to bring out what their character is about, what their life story is about and where we can bring them to. It’s like being a designer: at first you design the dress, then you go the find the fabric that’s the best qualified for that design, then you sew it: that dress has been made directly on that person and it cannot be worn by another one.
Q: J.M.P. doesn’t deal only with music. You writes your own music, but also books, theatre shows, inedited musicals.
A: Yes, the first book I came out was “The Game of Life”. It speaks about personal problems, about been raped, about been abused and been left along as a child. It touches all these types of topics, because I wanted to give away what was painful for me and not anymore painful. It’s a book that tells you to let go.
Theatre is very important to me: doing musical was the only way to teach to the J.M.P. artists that if we don’t get jobs and opportunities right away, it doesn’t mean that we are at the end of our production, or that we are less fortunate or less good, but it just means that there’s always something more that we can learn. Our way to do theatre is a “home-made theatre”, because this is the way to learn something else: if you sing you also have to act. If you don’t know how to act, you also don’t know how to sing your songs: it’s the picture of singing. So, when you work in a theatre you learn how to interpret different roles and characters, and all these characters as to do with your growth.
Q: Which aims do you try to achieve planning a show? What do you want the audience to receive from your shows?
A: They have to feel the hard work that we’ re doing, our ability to see way beyond the material things, way beyond the money. We have to be able to let them feel the energy that we put inside of what we’re doing. I want the people to see is that we’ re always trying to learn more and we’ re always given what we got.
Q: How do you produce artists? What do you do when you get someone that comes to you and you feel “Ok, I can take this on”?
A: Well, first of all I have to feel, by looking them in their eyes, if there’s something way beyond what you see right now. You have to go inside of them, with the awareness that maybe you should change everything about the person. It’s about understanding the person that he/she is and the person that he/she can become through faith and through this personal relationship. In my case, I’ve learned that the quality in producing is treating the next person almost better then yourself, because you work for that person, you breath for that person, you try to understand deeper down what’s going to make that person happy, what’s going to be the right song for his/her voice,
what’s going to be the right contact or the right publicity, but it’s not only about writing songs and teaching to sing, it’s not only about singing on stages. It’s about teaching that person to fly and teaching that if we don’t continue to cultivate and to nourish the treatment that’s going on, then it breaks off. Ok, you become a career woman, but if you don’t have yourself with you all the time, then sooner or later, you going to fall down. I want to teach my artists to stand on their own feet, believing in themselves.
Q: How much is hard to work in the music business as artist and as artist producer?
A: Music production is one of the hardest work around, because you cannot touch it, you have no security: it’s just a faith, just a belief. You always have to believe in difficulties, which is the only way to grow.
We don’t promise you success: we promise you an adventure that helps you to grow.
Interview realized by Ylenia Mulazzani for her thesis degree.