Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Exclusive Q&A with Janice Robinson Part 1
Prior to our interview, she sent me a link so I could hear her new, inspirational collection of recorded songs. Janis has a magnificent voice and writes such exquisite music and lyrics, it was heaven. But, sorry, I promised not to pass it on.
"You are the only person that is a journalist that I have shared my new music with...," Janice messaged me. I was charmed, therefore, before we even got to speak. Then charmed even further once we did speak! And, to up the ante, I'm a Jersey boy and she's a Jersey girl!
What followed was an amazing, animated and revealing interview I decided is so rich, it is best digested in parts. (Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.)
Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: I've got the recorder on. Are you still there?
Janice Robinson: I'm heeere!
DBB: [laughs] Thanks so much for doing this Q&A with me. This is so exciting! You recently went out to L.A. and recorded an album. Can you give us any information about that?
JR: Well, I went to write songs with a bunch of different people. I wouldn't call it an album. I went to L.A. to have a creative outburst. Most of my my favorite producers are there and I was able to work with a lot of great people. Most of the time, I get tracks sent to me and I write to them and, while I was living in N.J., I was able to record right in the basement of my house.
DBB: You recently moved to south Florida....
DBB: What's that like?
JR: It's... peaceful..., it's really slow and it's really beautiful weather. But I kinda feel like I really needed it. I needed this slow pace... to prepare me for the next phase of my journey as an artist, as a woman and as a mom!
DBB: Since you mentioned being a mom, how do you juggle your career, writing music, recording and touring? Seems like a lot of multi-tasking!
JR: I have no idea. I have no idea! Know how I handle it?
JR: My kids are super-happy at home and, a lot of times, I write when they go to sleep or are in school and, then, when I have to travel, I have the most amazing support system of babysitters, friends, family. I usually have a five-finger rule: Mommie leaves Thumbday but I'm always back by a Pinkyday!
DBB: [Laughs.] That's so cute.
JR: Sometimes I have to leave on a two-hand day, you know? But they always know I'm going to come back by the end of that Pinkyday. Kind of the system I raised them both on so they can count the days. The greatest feeling is when I come home from being away. They're a joy....
DBB: A livin' joy!
JR: Yes, a living joy! They're excitement; they're beyond amazing.
JR: You know what? It was very surreal. And it's a moment that ~ when it was happening ~ everything was like Flashcards! You know, like boom, boom, boom! It was like: Push! But why I'm so glad I left working with the producers of Livin' Joy is I believe in freedom and I felt that situation wasn't enough for all I was aspiring to be. It wasn't satisfying creatively. There's so much more to me; God gave me such a huge gift! When I think about all the music I've written for other artists, sometimes I scratch my head [because] my own career has seemed like a flash. Before you know it, here I am, twenty years later and 34 singles released, not just by me but also by other people, and I'm really amazed by it. I may not have a superwriter name like Diane Warren but I've carved out my own little niche; my own little amazing body of work. And it's something I can be proud of. Something that's a strong representation of me spiritually because it's not just fluff! It's not a bunch of fluff lyrics like "Move your body, shake your body...." Know what I'm saying?
DBB: [Laughs] Oh, yeah, absolutely!
JR: It's substance, it's quality, it's melodic. It's fun because when people say, "You're a legend, I giggle to myself. When I go back and look at my body of work and songs like "Let the Joy Rise"(which was recorded by Abigail)....
DBB: Oh, man, I love that song. It was such a club smash at the time.
JR: That captured a moment in my life! I wrote that song as a cathartic way to deal with my feelings. I was leaving Livin' Joy but going to let my joy rise. At the time [I was with Livin' Joy], I couldn't use my own name because I was under contract with Joe T. Vanelli. I wish they did use my name. But it's ok.
DBB: Which leads me to the next question. You had a very successful revival in 2005, re-recorded by you and with several remixers, that made "Dreamer" a dance floor hit all over again. Why did you feel the need to re-do and release that number? (And I'm happy to say I own a copy of that cd maxi-single.)
JR: Yes. I re-released it and it had some great remixes, then re-released again (I think in 2009). It was an Avicii remix. Before Avicii was Avicii, honey, I had an Avicii remix!
DBB: The song's a classic.
JR: And it feels good to know it's a classic. It's my own little special feeling to have a classic under my belt!