Johanna Jones: From American Idol to a new Christmas Album

 

Who is Johanna Jones?

I grew up in Las Vegas, and learned how to work hard from an early age. I got my first job at 16 working at a pet store, cleaning poop, wiping kennels, bathing dogs, you name it. Eventually left Vegas to go to college and study commercial music and production; graduated in 2017. In college, I worked at in n out burger, where I worked for 6 years until I got my break on American Idol in 2019. During that time, my boyfriend Matt proposed to me during Hollywood week, and my life changed! We got married a few months later, moved to California, and both started new jobs. But I never lost my passion for music. When 2020 rolled around, I felt like the world needed new Christmas music. So that’s what I worked on! I poured my heart and soul into these songs and pray those who hear them can feel my love.


I poured my heart and soul into these songs and pray those who hear them can feel my love.

Her Musical Career:

I have been singing as long as I remember. I’ve always lived for performing and music. In middle school I started vocal coaching, which introduced me to the world of musicals, stage performances, etc.... I started auditioning for television shows around age 14. I was a part of many choirs, nonprofit performers, play productions, etc... all growing up. I started writing songs at age 13, and realized I loved writing more than anything. When I got into BYU’s commercial music program, I was enthralled. I studied production, songwriting, studio engineering, and film scoring. I eventually auditioned for American idol again in 2018, and was asked to come on the show! I met Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, and my amazing husband proposed! This launched my music following and career!



What listeners can expect:

Listeners can expect a variety of Christmas songs. I tried to make each song have its own unique sound and feel. I wanted it to range from cozy, to spiritual, to fun and playful! The album only has 5 songs, but 4/5 are originals! And the only cover is an old song from the 60s that is not well known.


What Inspired the album?

A lot of things inspired this album, but the one of the songs was very largely influenced by the statue “la Pieta” by Michelangelo (the statue of Mary holding Christ after he was crucified). I thought about Mary holding her son from the beginning of his life to the “end”, and how her motherly love stood strong. 

The overall Christmas spirit honestly inspired me. And I had a vision somewhat set when I wrote the songs. I knew I wanted a cozy song, a soulful song, and lullaby, and an upbeat pop song.


How has this differed from writing a non-holiday album?

This was honestly SO MUCH more challenging than writing a regular album. When you write regular songs, you can go off of any experience, or any range of emotion. With Christmas, you can still technically do that, but it is much more limited because you have to stay focused around holiday topics. You also don’t want to just repeat what someone else has written as well. It was a difficult experience trying to come up with unique Christmas songs! 


Lastly, share a holiday memory?

Growing up in Las Vegas, we hardly ever saw snow. But one year, when I was 13, it started to snow HARD. I remember coming home from school with my toes frozen, and seeing the street I grew up on covered in white for the first time. The city basically shut down since Vegas doesn’t have snow plows to clear the streets, and school was cancelled the next day. All the neighborhood kids came outside and played in the snow as we blasted Christmas music down the white snowy street and stared at the snowflakes falling in the glow of the streetlights.

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