1: Who am I?
Jillette Johnson, J-squared, Jilly J, J to the izzo.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I’m a singer and songwriter signed to Wind-up Records. I just released my EP, Whiskey and Frosting, and I am finishing up my debut album to be released in the spring of 2013. It’s all just so wonderfully exciting.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
Born in Cali, raised a New Yorker, and going to the moon.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
It is a four way tie between my dad, my mom, my brother, and Billie Holiday.
5: What book is your bible?
Honestly, it is Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. It opened my mind in ways that no other book has been able to.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love fall in NYC, Motown in the morning, the smell of cloves stuck into oranges, and running alone in the woods. I hate people who walk slowly, beets, UGGs, staying inside on a beautiful day, and disappointing anyone in my life.
7: What is your raison d’être?
8: What is your favorite color?
I don’t have one. Never have. When I was a little girl sometimes I used to lie and make up a favorite color because I thought I was supposed to have one. But truth is: I love them all.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
Batman’s pretty hot.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
Tom and Jerry’s. It’s my local hang.
11: What turns you on?
Quiet confidence and strength of character.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
How do you eat your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? From the outside in- same way I eat everything else.
Jillette Johnson got signed to Wind-up on the strength of “Cameron.” “That song was a turning point. Talent makes people notice you, but songs bring people to action,” she says. Inking a deal was the culmination of many years of the steadfast pursuit of her ideals and her dream to be a professional musician. At six Johnson began taking piano lessons, and by eight she was writing her own songs. Her formative influences were the Les Misérables soundtrack and artists such as Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Carole King, and Sarah McLachlan. She learned song structure from these beautifully articulate songwriters. Johnson’s EP and upcoming album were produced by Peter Zizzo, who is widely respected for developing Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne, and Michael Mangini, who is esteemed for his work with Joss Stone, Bruce Hornsby, and David Byrne. The producing duo’s innate understanding of Johnson’s singular vision and respect for her fully-formed compositions helped them enhance the power and dynamic of her music. “They maintained the spirit of the songs—they still are a 100% my songs—they’re just turned way up on the amp,” she says. Reflectively, Jillette Johnson adds: “I have a specific point of view and I follow my instincts. My sensibility has been in tune with my emotions. I’m always honest with what I feel. I’m passionate with my songs to a fault.”
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Ceara Maria Burns
Photography Courtesy by The Press House
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
Jillette Johnson, 2012,“Getting ready for my show at Webster Hall. To turban or not to turban, that is the question…”, Photography Courtesy by The Press House