Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Johanna Glaza find out more about her…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I was born in Lithuania, Vilnius. Singing ever since I remember myself. When I was a child my parents took me to a traditional folk music ensemble and I learnt to play a very peculiar bass instrument. When I moved to London I formed an indie band Joana And The Wolf, and I guess that was my first real experience of writing and performing my own songs.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
When I was 12 or 13 I bought a cassette of Whitney Houston. I played it non-stop and sang along not understanding a word in English. My dad made a microphone out of reversed speakers so I could make my first recordings and listen back to my voice and learn not to hate it. For the last few years I've been listening to 20th century classical music mainly. It's crazy, complex, fascinating, so not boring. Prokofiev, Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki, Ravel, Philip Glass, Simeon ten Holt, Joep Franssens.
How would you describe your sound?
Space folk. When I first stated my solo project 4 years ago or so I self baptized it - baroque folk. At that time Google search gave me zero results for baroque folk. It only recognized baroque pop then. I'm very pleased to see how this term is now being used for other artists too.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Space Mermaid. Musically it's such a mixture of things I've ever heard, I wouldn't be able to trace it. But the story telling was definitely inspired by Joni Mitchell whom I learnt to love only 4 years ago, believe it or not.
What’s your local music scene like?
I'm based in North London, it's pretty quiet here but that's exactly why I love living here. I like going to The Finsbury to discover new artists. Love playing there myself too because it has some real passionate promoters who really give a damn about things.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
September 29 my debut album Wind Sculptures is out and I can't wait to hold the vinyl in my hands.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I was always terribly jealous of artists who were self-contained. For a long time I've been too busy learning to do things all by myself avoiding any collaborations. It felt almost like growing my own planet. Now that you've asked me maybe it is time to go and explore collaborations too. Not sure. It has to come naturally.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I can't remember. But there were so many terribly sweet moments. One time during the festival in Lisbon everyone in the audience screamed the name of the person they missed most of all. We did it all at once and the church roared with hundreds of names.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I'm perfectly human.