What's new powered by crawl-it



John Stoddart's Interview

Below is the interview I had with the very talented pianist, singer/songwriter/producer John Stoddart. This page is best viewed using IE 5.5 and higher and to listen to the audio sample/s you will need a media player (preferably Windows Media or Real Player)

Click image to get player Click image to get Media Player

Sir TY (US contributing reviewer of M2F mag)

Dated: Apr. 1st 2004

John Stoddart's Interview


John Stoddart has planted a musical seed for himself in the music industry and firmly rooted himself there. Coming from a musical family, his path stood there before him to walk and not only did he walk, he ran with it. As an arranger, songwriter and producer he has worked with some of music's top performers from Diana Ross to Kirk Whalum to Celine Dion. With that said, John has now ventured out and embarked on his debut disc 'Wings To Walk This Road' an album filled with beautiful lyrics and lush melodies. I recently caught up with John and spoke with him about his musical path, his influences and his achievements.

Sir TY: John, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview, I appreciate it as do your fans.
John: It's my pleasure man, no problem

Sir TY: You come from a musical family, grew up singing as well as playing piano in the church from an early age, did you always have aspirations to be a performer even from that age?
Yeah I thought I was going be a piano player, I seem to play a lot on my singer, songwriter piano guise but I thought I was gonna probably, I didn't imagine I would be a singer I imagined I would be a musician. The singing came for me a little later on

Sir TY: You are a singer and songwriter, which do you prefer doing the best?
Um, I like them both equally there's different things about them that are great but I like them both. The one nice thing about being a songwriter is that it gives you the opportunity I think to work with a lot of different artists which is nice in a different way than being a singer does you're able to connect with a lot of different other types of music.

Sir TY: Your journey in the music industry is a traveled one from studying classical piano at age of thirteen at the renowned Settlement School of Music in Philly to attending Columbia Union College to launching your own production company, Urban Junction East Music (or UJEM). In taking that journey, would there be anything you would change or do anything different?
Naw, I wouldn't, you know people ask me all the time, young musicians and people trying to get into the business if they ask for advice as to how to get started and you know what was my masterplan, I have to say you know that looking back a lot of the things I wanted to do I didn't get to do and a lot of the things I didn't plan on doing that I ended up doing and that I really loved and I just realized that at the end of the day that it was really kinda divine providence but I try not to worry too much 'cos it was tough sometimes you know but I try not to worry about those types of things I kinda feel like God has a purpose, a plan for my kind of work so I don't worry too much about it.

Sir TY: Your contribution to the music industry is applied in various genres from gospel to pop to R&B where you have produced, arranged and performed with some of music's elite from Kirk Whalum to Diana Ross. What's your work ethic when working with such talents are you a professional first, fan 2nd or vice versa?
Ah... yes I'm a musician first. I love the music but I would say that I'm a musician first and then a professional second. I guess those two tie in together but I really just love the music and some of my most favourite things to do musically are not high profile things I mean I may never win a grammy doing those things, I may never end up on television but they just are so rewarding musically.

Sir TY: Your debut album 'Wings To Walk This Road', is an interesting title, how did you come up with it?
It's a lyric from one of the songs on the album its a lyric from the song 'Fly Away'

Sir TY: Who did you work with on the album and are there any collaborations.
I wrote probably 80 - 85% of the record and most of the people that contributed, contributed musically. I got to work with some legendary musicians everyone from Tony Maiden and Paul Jackson Jr to Louis Conti. Kirk Whalum played on the record got to work with some great producers James Anthony Carmichael, Lionel Ritchie it was just a really great experience Christian McBride, Billy Kilson, Ricki Peterson awesome musicians I almost shouldn't start naming names

Sir TY: Speaking of collaborations, is there anyone in the industry with whom you'd like to work with
You know I have some amazing friends that maybe the world quote unquote 'hasn't heard of yet', I have actually been thinking about that of late you know when I'm ready to start on my next project I really think I would call on just friends of mine who I feel are like amazing and maybe undiscovered as of yet and just do a record where I get a chance to work with people who I've known and kinda grown up with over the past years who are incredible that maybe people hasn't heard of yet.

Sir TY: God is very evident in your music, is there a conscious message in your songwriting and or songs?
Absolutely you know I'm a Christian and its just a big part of my life so it was inevitable that it would find its way into my art and it's not something that I try to force I hope the music doesn't come across as preachy its just a part of my life and a great part of my life and I want to share that with the people who listen to the music.

Sir TY: You're a father of 2 daughters now, have you written any songs about them or for them on the album?
I have written a song for my first daughter I haven't recorded it yet and I haven't written a song for my second daughter we're working on that one it's like the song 'Angel' which is the first single was a song that I wrote for my wife so I'm working on my way down I start with the wife then I gotta do one for the 1st daughter then the second daughter so it will be on the second record you'll see.

Sir TY: Who do you listen to on your time (who's in your CD changer)?
I have been listening to there is an artist he's actually a songwriter/producer that had a record out a couple of years ago his name is Tommy Sims it's a huge record it's just ai ya yie its unbelievable. What other record do I have in my CD player these days Kirk Franklin - Rebirth I like that record I'm working on a classical record with a singer friend of mine so I've been listening to some Rockmodinoff and eh what else... those are the things that have been kinda at the top of the list.

Sir TY: Do you listen to Rap or hip hop/R&B at all?
A little bit of the radio um I'm a song guy so I really connect with songs more than I connect with anything else and I haven't listened to much hip hop particularly since I became a parent most of the time when I would listen to that kind of stuff I'd be in the car and it's not always kid friendly so I don't get as much hip hop these ways. Some R&B stuff here and there I really enjoy because I'm a lyricist I really enjoy the way some rappers kinda put stuff together so thats intriguing to me on the hip hop side R&B there's a couple of artists Anthony Hamilton, I like Javier there's some stuff recently that he's done that I'm into those are the two that comes to mind off the bat

Sir TY: Are you touring right now and if so where can we expect to see you perform next?
Well I'll want to wait to go visit the website, I've been doing a little bit 2 spot here and there I haven't been out on tour as of yet but I want the people to check the website which is johnstoddart.com. We try to keep it updated with tour dates and there's a lot of cool stuff on there, there's information about the record I talk a little bit about so many inspirations behind some of the songs, pictures and bio and there's a great chat page and email links you know you can drop me an email if you like you can order the CD its got links to some of my projects I've worked on a friend of mine Rev who has links on there as well you know

Sir TY: To date what has been your biggest achievement and why?
Wow (LOL) lets just put it this way what we do as musicians particularly in the music industry it looks really glamorous most times it looks more glamorous than it really is but one of the things that I think has really kinda been the middle of all this going on you know the new record and all the excitement behind that the first single was a song entitled 'Angel' and some of the emails that I got in response to that song was so touching and I think I'm gonna say that the most rewarding thing about doing what I do is that kinda stuff you know somebody who had just been you know more than just say I really like your record. I had one young lady for example sent me an email and she was young I think in her early 20s and she heard the song Angel and it came at a very down time for her in her life she had just lost her younger sister her sister was 18 or 19 killed in a car crash and she was feeling really down and the song came over the cable radio and she looked up to see who it was and took the time to drop me an email and I think those kind of stories you know I get people who that was a sad one but I get people who um one guy was getting married for the first time in his 40s he finally found that person that he wanted to marry and he really wanted Angel to walk down the isle to his bride and those types of things are why we do what we do so those I would say are the greatest achievements.

Sir TY: Do you recall where you were when you first heard 'Angel' on the radio?
I think I was probably driving I think I was probably driving somewhere because the song did particular well here in the this area and one of the stations that we listened to played it often and a friend of mine called me because he heard it they're playing your song on the radio and so we were able to turn it on and caught it.

Sir TY: So what did it feel like to hear your song on the radio for the 1st time?
It feels great you know you spend all this time playing all this music for years and years imagined what it would be like the first time you get to hear something of your on the radio it's pretty cool

Sir TY: What advice can you give to someone aiming to take on the career of a singer/songwriter/producer such as yourself?
I would say that probably the most important thing is to be nice to everyone you meet that would be the advice I would give, I would say that and be as good, work hard at your craft those would be the two things I would say be nice to people and whatever your craft is whether it's playing an instrument if its singing if it's songwriting whatever it is work hard at it and become really good at it

Sir TY: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Thank you it's such a great privilege and honor to be able to given a voice and an audience as it were to share your heart I just really appreciate it particularly people writing and responding, how much they appreciate the music it really does a lot to make it worth while for me in terms of all this work I've put in to try and create what we've created and it means a lot when people appreciate it, when they like it, when it helps them you know when they feel like it inspires them when they connect with it somehow so I just wanna say thank you to all the fans and I'm gonna do my best to keep giving you guys great music.

John my good man it's been a pleasure talking to you I thank you for your time, your fans thank you for your music. Much continued success in your career and let's see your record sell a million - All the best
I appreciate it man, nice meeting you

Listen to John Stoddart's latest hit 'Now you know'

Listen to John Stoddart's 'Fly Away'





Top of Page

 Home   About TYDmusic   TYDmusicshop    My Picks    Reviews     Playlists    Hotlistlist    Link-up   F.A.Q's   Archive   Contact us   My Family     My Mates   My Mates-2   Guestlog   Testimonials    My Gallery    TY-Dforum