The last time Jill Johnson released an album with her own material was in 2012 and the years since have probably added up to the most successful and happening period of her career to date! Two seasons of the Swedish National TV series “Jill’s Veranda, Nashville”, three seasons of her own dinner show, a big band album and a duet album with country artist Doug Seegers plus an array of concerts around Sweden and Europe.
After this eventful and successful period in her career Jill decided to take a break, she wanted some breathing space for new song-writing.
“But it wasn’t to be”, explains Jill. “Writing is an extremely soul-baring and finite process. I couldn’t come up with anything at all.”
So the pause became slightly longer than planned, but thanks to the rest came new energy and an inspiration was borne. The songs finally came as a flood and after an April week in Nashville and Austin, Jill came home with enough songs for an album, to be released on the 23 September and titled “For You I’ll Wait”. The album contains 11 tracks – with a delicate sound and intimate lyrics revealing who Jill is today – as a person and a musician.
“It should chafe, there should be brittleness and it should be felt! It is a feeling that became even more apparent after my collaboration with Gabriel Kelley. The meeting with him in ‘Jill’s Veranda’ in Nashville affected me quite profoundly. I felt an immediate contact with Gabriel on a spiritual level. He has that effect on people! I felt at once that I wanted to make music with him and I think that he brought me to a darker, deeper sound with more heart and soul,” explains Jill.
On ”For You I’ll Wait”, Jill worked with some of USA:s most outstanding song-writers and as well as Garbriel Kelley, was of course, Liz Rose, a close friend of Jill who’s a several time Grammy-nominee – and even award winning, Nathan Chapman, Kate York and Lori McKenna. A new acquaintance of Jill’s is the gifted, Emily Shackelton, who worked on the first single,”Gotta Love Me More”.
“It sounds almost silly when you say that you’ve written that much music over just four days, but that’s exactly what happened. I really opened up and we wrote around the clock which produced results. I was completely at a standstill when I got home but simultaneously felt quite elated”, says Jill.
The first single released in August was, “Gotta Love Me More” about which Jill says;
“Gotta Love Me More” is about a kind of survival, a renewal. It’s life not a war, The feeling that you’ve no choice. The pain of leaving someone you love with the impulse that you have to put oneself first and love yourself more.”
This is more or less the theme for the whole album, it’s about life, love and also about that which we all know, that a person should first and foremost love and respect herself – in order to love and respect others.
On the new album, Jill has taken on the role of co-producer and together with her good friend and producer of many years, Amir Aly, they have created an album full of great songs with a strong musicality. The whole album was recorded together with Jill’s musicians whom have played with her for a number of years, contributing to the overall self-assured sound.
“I’ve always known how I want to sound on record, but have never had the patience to produce my music to the full. My writing has developed over the years, lyrics have become more personal and with that the interest has grown to create frameworks. Since I started to play the guitar a few years ago, a new ear for how others play has developed and it’s great to try out new things and dress up the music in different costumes. Amir Aly is the most talented producer I’ve worked with. He’s a fantastic musician, has the technical knowledge and has the patience of an angel in order to immerse me in the process and guide me in my search for the perfect sound. Producing this record with Amir has meant lots of laughter, tears and learning. Music, when it’s most enjoyable”, says Jill.
“For You I’ll Wait” is also the title of Jill’s autumn tour that has its premier the same day as the album release, the 23 September.
“This life is like a drug, music is the air I breathe. Apart from my family, this is all I want to do”, concludes Jill.