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Movers and Shakers Interview with Gareth Johnson

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Gareth Johnson

Tell us your name and a little about yourself.

My name is Gareth Johnson. I started playing at age 10. “When I was a young boy, I heard someone playing the violin, and I felt that I could play it too. The frequency of each note reverberated within me, down to my core. I knew at that moment that I could never experience true harmony without absolute dedication to the violin- so I practiced until I began to improve and feel comfortable with it in my hands. Soon my violin became like an extension of me, like an actual physical part of my body!“

I am a Virtuoso Classical Violinist, Electric Violinist, Master Instructor, Arranger, Composer, and Producer.

I am a Son, a Brother and most importantly a Father.

 

What exactly does your company do?

Our Company is about exposing the world to the diverse beauty of the violin. With the creativity of Juan Blair and myself, together with Dwayne Taylor, we have produced a unique sound unlike anything in the industry at the moment. We are constantly experimenting with the techniques of violin masters and merging those with whichever genre of music is in our souls at that moment…..sometimes into the early hours of the morning.

We also search and listen for other artists who have acquired the technical acumen of their instrument and allowed their spirit to become part of that sound. When we find that combination, we reach out to them and hope they see our journey and would like to join this adventure. An adventure that stretches the sound and control of our instruments, our physical bodies, and our creativity beyond what has been imagined so far.

 

What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge (after learning to play with technical precision in so many styles of classical music, of course) is pulling people out of their own comfort zone of thinking the violin is just a classical instrument that must be accompanied by an orchestra. The violin can and is the lead in my music. The projects that I have worked on prove that the violin can and does cross those boundaries.

 

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

One word….

BELIEVE!!!

People will doubt you and make you doubt yourself when you try to do something outside the norm….something unique….something only you can hear in your head, in your heart.

BELIEVE!!!

Eventually, you will run into a group of people who hear what you hear and can help you create what you hear.

BELIEVE!!!

One day, the whole world will hear what you hear!!!

BELIEVE!!!

 

Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?

At 10 years old, had I not seen the man playing the violin (Itzhak Perlman by the way), I may have never known my true calling. Later on, after many, many years of practice, I had the opportunity to study with and play in concert with Itzhak Perlman. It was amazing.

Nicolo Paganini is one of my favorite violinists. No one in the world plays as he did. So, due to his highly complex and passionate violin technique, Paganini was a master that I tried to emulate and was/is a huge influence for me.

I began studying so many artists outside of the classical genre. Watching and listening to how they pulled sounds together and instruments together to create. I admire Michael Jackson due to his song writing skills, and emotional delivery during performances. His stage presence even in silence was awe-inspiring.

Prince’s ability is so profound on so many instruments. His grasp of the complexity of those joined instruments and their ability to move sound through the body and soul is unmatched. His unique creativity and rhythm will always resonate in me.

I have to give an artist like Tupac and Outkast their due also. The originality in their style of hip hop music created a whole new genre within that segment.

There are so many from ages ago to today. It’s hard to list them all.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I will always be grateful for my Mom and Dad. I wouldn’t have gotten any type of education without them. Learning to play the violin is expensive. They backed my passion and have stood with me during this transition, this journey.

Dwayne Taylor and Juan Blair are a couple of fellas who understand the industry and what it takes to produce the music we are creating. They are going all out for me producing, directing, promoting, and whatever else needs to be done. I am only one part of a fantastic team.

 

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

Next to my daughters, my first non classical Album “Evolution”

 

How can people follow your journey? Please list your social media URLs

Facebook: Gareth Johnson
Instagram: Gareth_Live
webpage: garethlive.com

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Kivo Daily Magazine

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