Talks with Joanna
This Crazy Life
CEV: When was it that you realized that
singing/music was something that was
going to be very important in your life and was it your idea to sing in your
father’s barbershop for tips?
Joanna: I think I was singing from the time I was walking
and talking. As a baby my lungs weren’t fully developed. So, the Dr told my
parents to have me sing… it would make
them stronger. My Dads barbershop is below my house… so as a proud parent
always does he would call me downstairs to give the customers a laugh. I was
always over the top with my performances. But after a while... I really started
to take it serious.
CEV: Tell me about
the one role that got away, how disappointed were you that you did not get to
follow the touring company of Annie back to Broadway and how did this change
your attitude towards music and your future in it?
Joanna: Well, at the
time – playing Annie was a dream come true. So, when it was taken away I was
devastated. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It gave me a
taste of the life I would be determined to have forever. And also made me
realize what I DIDN’T want to do. I wanted to write my own music and tell my
CEV: Had you always
been writing poems and was it a big leap for you to start taking your poems and
turning them into what would become the lyrics of your songs? Are you trained
on a particular instrument and was this what you wrote your music on?
Joanna: I have always written poems. I won a contest
when I was in 1st grade… and the poem I wrote was published. It was called “I
Wish”. I play a little piano and guitar but not the best. It’s enough to write
but not enough to feel comfortable on stage with it.
CEV: Was your family
supportive of your efforts to succeed in music and how did this translate into
actions towards helping you achieve your goals? And while we are on the subject
at this point what goals had you set out for yourself in regards to getting
your music out there and making a career in the industry?
Joanna: My family has always been supportive of
whatever is it that I wanted to pursue. They were skeptical in the beginning
about the industry… it can be a nasty business. My Mom ran all over the country
with me as a kid for auditions and shows. Poor thing. Haha I was always setting
goals for myself and once I reached it… there would always be another. I looked at it like I was planting my seeds…
and eventually the baby steps would lead me to where I am today. And I still
Joanna: After the demo
was finished we sent my package off to every record label at the time. Then I
was lucky enough to have my demo reviewed in Billboard Magazine. After that we
got a ton of calls. But my mind was set on meeting Ron Fair first.
CEV: Your bio says
that you were fielding offers from some labels but you were holding out for a
meeting with Ron Fair. What did Ron represent to you at this time and why did
you want so much to have his input before talking to anyone else?
Joanna: Ron Fair is a musical genius. I did my
homework and learned that he is very hands on with developing his artist. In
other words… he eat, sleeps, and breathes them. You don’t find that often.
CEV: Were you
surprised at all when you were signed to Geffen records?
Joanna: Well, it was a goal that I set for myself… so
I wasn’t SURPRISED but I was beyond excited! It was a huge achievement.
CEV: How did MTV’s
True Life documentary series become involved with you during your efforts to
record and deliver your CD This Crazy Life?
Joanna: They came to the record label and said they
wanted to include an artist in one of their upcoming documentaries. I went to
NY to meet with MTV and agreed to be a part of the project. They started
filming right away.
CEV: Were you aware
always aware of the cameras or did you settle down into working on your music
and push them to the edge of your consciousness? Did their presence make the
process harder than it was already?
Joanna: The cameras weren’t there in the morning to
catch me brushing my teeth and were never invasive. The only time it got a
little strange is when I was writing… it’s such a private thing.
CEV: Why choose the title “This Crazy Life” for your CD? What does this signify to you personally and did it influence the songs you chose to include on this project?
Joanna: “This Crazy
Life” represents my journey so far in life. The title of the album didn’t come
until the end… the songs were already chosen. The song T.C.L just fell right
CEV: A lot of this
work was going on when you were still quite young. How did this change things
like school, friends and just being a normal teen?
Joanna: Well, I went to high school for the first 2
years and got to be a normal teen. I
just felt like I was on a different maturity level and had plans for
myself. I had already been on tour and
making my own money for the past 5 years. But it never changed who I was.
CEV: Once the CD was
finished and ready for release (August 2006) were you happy with how it all
turned out? How has it been received by your fans and the critics since it was
Joanna: I was and am
extremely happy with the way things have been going. As always I am taking baby
steps towards building a career of longevity. The more I am out there… the more
fans recognize my raw talent and want to be a part of my journey. I feel like a
lot of people relate to me and my music.
CEV: From your bio it sounds like you pretty much had control to present yourself or create your image along any lines you chose. What did this freedom mean to you in terms of who we see on stage when you are singing live while you are on tour or doing videos?
Joanna: I have been lucky enough to be given the freedom to just be myself. My image and my style change constantly depending on my mood. I am able to start out simple and relatable… and have somewhere to grow with it. I love fashion! I’m a girl. haha
CEV: Do you enjoy the
interaction you have with your fans while you are singing live? How much
touring are you doing in support of this new CD?
Joanna: Touring and performing is my favorite part of
what I do. It’s why I am who I am. I have been on the road since July of “06”.
I love it!
CEV: Any plans for
your next CD at this point or is it too early to think about the next one?
Joanna: I am always writing and I keep a second record
in mind of course. But this album “T.C.L” will be around for a while.
CEV: Any final
thoughts you’d like to share with your fans about the whole process of taking
your music from something in your head to a finished CD and how a dream can be