Who is John K & Who's To Say?
Drawing on influences from many iconic artists and producers—including Prince, David Bowie, Quincy Jones, Max Martin, Beck, Queen, Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Billie Joe Armstrong, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Tom Petty, and even Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven—John Kay & Who's To Say use their skills to manifest genre-defying alternative pop songs that are fun to sing out loud, easy to remember, and super-relatable. Blessed with musical inclinations and talents at a young age—along with the gift of crafting catchy, heartfelt and memorable songs—American musician, songwriter and producer John Kay has been creating, producing and performing original music spanning several styles for over two decades.
In 2018, he debuted his most ambitious effort yet: John Kay & Who’s To Say.
With a long-term vision at the heart of the group’s core focus, JK&WTS positively impacts and unites people by delivering undeniable sensory experiences.
Kay (vocals, guitars, drums, keys) has partnered with Steve Lupinski (bass, keys, vocals), and both individuals live out the same core values: sacrifice, measurable growth, accountability, a reputation for excellence, time, energy, and respect.
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*What made you decide to write Christmas songs? Does ‘Santa’s Workshop’ have a story behind the song?
The simple story of how “Santa’s Workshop” came to be starts with John and his family…
John had it in his mind for some time to write his own Christmas song. Many people complain about Christmas music, but to John, Christmas music has always reminded him of going to his Grandma’s house and eating great food and being with family, and some holiday songs are really well written and stand the test of time.
John’s family takes an annual October trip to Tombstone, Arizona, which always ends the same: dinner in Tucson at El Charro Café. John’s parents found the restaurant by chance a decade ago, and because of how amazing the food is—El Charro happens to be the oldest Mexican restaurant in the country continually operated by the same family—it has since become a yearly tradition.
During dinner this year, John asked a question of everyone at the table.
“Hey, I’m wondering if you guys can maybe help me. I’ve been wanting to write and produce a proper Christmas song for a while, but I don’t want to base it on a subject that’s been written about before. What hasn’t been done?”
Within a few seconds, his brother said,
“You could write a song about the elves who make the toys, I don’t think that’s been done.”
The only elf-related song John could recall was from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer CBS special, but other than that, he couldn’t think of a popular Christmas song that featured the elves at Santa’s workshop. With that, the theme was decided, and the song was soon composed, keeping kids in mind.
In 2018, he debuted his most ambitious effort yet: John Kay & Who’s To Say. mastered by John’s friend, renowned engineer Mass Giorgini, who said, “This may be influenced by being a dad, but it’s already among my favorites you’ve done.”
Did you find that the writing process was different from a non holiday themed song?
Not really. Once John decides the central theme of a song, the writing process usually flows the same as it does for each song he writes.
How did you get into music?
John’s dad worked in radio since before John was born, so John grew up attending shows with his dad and meeting the artists backstage. Needless to say, John fell in love with music at quite early, and began playing drums at the age of two.
Your have several songs up for streaming, do you have a favorite, or one that really means a lot to you?
When JK&WTS writes and produces songs, they are doing so to tell their authentic stories. After working on their music in the studio, creating and refining for a certain amount of time, once the music is released it doesn’t belong to them anymore; it belongs to the audience, to the world. This is all to say that, after the baby birds have been pushed out of their nest, so to speak, John and Steve don’t have any particular attachment to them, and therefore their favorite material is the new material they are producing.
Are you currently working on any new music?
Absolutely—JK&WTS will be releasing a single with a B-side on Friday, February 21 across all major streaming platforms, and they are generally working in John’s studio if they aren’t rehearsing or performing.
Where can people find your work
Where can fans connect with you on social media?
JK&WTS is most active on Facebook and Instagram…