John O’Brien is an accomplished Performer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, and Producer who has been actively performing and producing music for more than four decades all over the world while releasing seven previous albums.
His performing skills and original recordings have caught the attention of significant audiences and the music media. He has had extensive airplay on stations including SiriusXM and multiple streaming platforms and received numerous rave reviews in the music media.
His spirited and dynamic live performing act, The John O’Brien Band, has been playing at concerts and festivals performing his original compositions and creative remakes of unforgettable timeless pieces for significant audiences.
He recently released his new album entitled “The Love You Need” comprised entirely of his new original songs about love. Since its release in early May, it has achieved several hundred thousand plays on various platforms and has been enthusiastically reviewed by dozens of e-magazines and music blogs. Many talented musicians graced the album cuts with their considerable artistic brilliance. The album was recorded at Full Sail Studios in Orlando and Eclipse Studio in his hometown St Augustine, Florida and was mastered in the UK. Over the years, John’s previous releases have received hundreds of thousands of streams all over the world. A major international promotion of the album and concert tour is being planned. He and his partners are currently writing new material for his upcoming ninth album due to be released later this year.
Song name: Happy To Love
Music Genre: Pop
Love is such a beautiful thing. It’s always part of us and everything we do. I’ve always been amazed when I see two people that are so in love, that it’s as if nothing else around them is even happening. They are oblivious to everything except each other. I’ve also thought a lot about that moment when you might see somebody for the first time standing somewhere in the place where you are and somehow your mind takes you to a place where you and that person are close and feeling love for each other.
This happens to everybody, even though you may have never seen that person before, never interacted with or spoken with them and remarkably, you don’t know whether you’ll ever see them again as long as you live. I asked myself, what is that all about? I concluded that there is a very strong human emotion in all of us that love is happiness. That many things can make a person happy, but the one thing that trumps any other source of happiness is the feeling of being in love with another person and just being absorbed in the comfort that comes from that love.
I was scheduled to go to a recording session at Full Sail Studios in Orlando, Florida where I was scheduled to record two new songs.
I had written another song that was about the love I felt for my brother after he had passed away from an overdose of opioids and I just had to find that other emotion of love, the love I just wrote about. I thought about my son, who is a rap artist, and his girlfriend and thought about how happy they are together. I ended up dwelling on that and this song just came out of me and I wrote it in two hours. And while it may not be about them, it may not be about anybody, but what it is definitely about is that feeling of love that we all want so badly.
It is a song of love at first sight (“your beauty gripped me right from the start”), the joy of confronting that person in those feelings (“I heard some music and I wanted to dance”), the joy that comes from actually being together and having the love grow to an unmistakable point (“you’ve made my world just so much brighter”), and finally the love of staying together forever (“I never realized I could love you so much”). In its totality what the song says it is we are all really, really “Happy To Love”.
I live on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida. It’s a beautiful place and St. Augustine itself is a music city. When you walk down the street on a Friday or Saturday night you are going to hear live music from many acts in many formats. There’s a strong culture of musicianship here in the city and it is not uncommon for musicians to get together and jam for an audience. On my latest album, many of the great musicians here in St. Augustine graced the tracks with their incredible talent. I walk on the beach every morning with my earbuds in listening to different music every day and my creativity is juiced up every day. The amphitheater here in St. Augustine ranks among the highest ticket sales in the world and we get great acts coming through with three or four great concerts every week.I love living here.
Who have been the most influential in your music and why..
I love listening to some of the older stuff from the era that I guess gave me my start in music. The Beatles, of course, were an influence on everyone, but I grew into loving songs by Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Stephen Bishop and others who were mixing contemporary music with strong jazz influences. However, I always listened to a wide range of music and when I first moved to St. Augustine the first thing I did was form a southern rock band which I fronted for 5 years. After that, I formed a pop act playing all of the great songs that were popular in the world of streaming which I just started hitting its stride. Now I spend time listening to all the new pop hits as well as the hip hop which is becoming very popular. However, when I go back to my roots I’m still looking at rock music with a strong dose of jazz and pop mixed into it.
When did you know that this was the right path for you?
I had asked a number of my friends who have accompanied me through this long trip of being a musician and performing as well as in writing and recording. At one point I thought about changing my approach to more or less copy what was popular at the time I was writing. I found it was a struggle particularly when I was contemplating the album that I just released, and several friends and bandmates counseled me to just follow the music that was coming out of me and not to try to construct something new. That’s when I realize that what I was doing was what I loved and I’m continuing to do it.
What do you like most about what you do?
I enjoy writing music especially when I know that ultimately I’ll be recording a demo, bringing in musicians, and recording the songs. I’ve been doing everything as an independent artist and now I thought seriously about seeking out a deal with a record label which would allow me to expand my purview and my abilities to produce recorded music more in line with what’s going on in the pop music world today. Right now I don’t owe anybody anything so I’m in a good position to negotiate and I’m not really looking for fortune and fame, but rather just the recognition that comes with the lifetime of writing and producing that I’ve been doing.
What do you most hope to accomplish with your influence?
When I write songs I always dig very deeply into the subject areas that I’m writing about. For instance, right now I’m writing a song about a romantic getaway on a Cuban beach called Siboney on the South Shore of Cuba. That beach has a very rich history and culture. In 1939 a Gershwin era composer, Ernesto Lecuona, composed a song and a symphony called Siboney. He missed that beach very much when he left Cuba and his song is a beautiful ode to his beloved beach. That song has been recorded many times by renowned artists over the course of many years. Rather than attempt to revisit that song, I’m writing a song called “Siboney Dances” and I’ve researched that beach and its history. What I want to do is continue writing songs that have meaning, but also carry with it the emotions that I feel when I write the song. The interweaving of a strong original progression with the concept of the lyric that conveys something that is also strong is what I intend to continue doing.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Like many other artists, the big obstacle is resources. You start out wanting an instrument, then you have to buy equipment, then you have to find other musicians to work with, then you hope you can record something, and ultimately if you want to produce something that is mass marketable you have to have either investors or you have to work your butt off to get the money to do it. And along the way, you get plenty of criticism that can hurt. However, I do think that part of what goes on is that that struggle strengthens your resolved because of an awful lot of people who start out playing an instrument, even if they’ve gotten into popular acts, eventually seem to stop trying to perform and even give up their instrument in a lot of cases. I think it’s the drive that comes with your initial entrée into music that keeps you going if it’s strong enough. Mine never even whimpered.
What do you want people to remember most about you and your career?
I hope people remember my songs. It’s kind of funny because when somebody asked me what’s your favorite song I seem to have a different answer every day. I love them all I guess in a way they’re like children and you really can’t pick out which one is the best of the one you love the most, you just love them all. I hope people continue to like them and that they live on and on.
What are you most looking forward to this next month?
I’ve worked with my team to put together music videos of the songs I’ve written and we’re releasing those as we are here and why I am speaking with you today. I’m also planning on a short tour in London at the end of the year and working with a local promoter there and I’m hoping that that works out well. I know my musician friends who are going to be participating in that tour are very excited about it and I really hope that it comes off and that it goes well. I’m also working on several new songs for a new project to create demos so that I can get out and hopefully shop the demos to some record labels.
Website & social media links: : http://johnobriensmusic.com/
Listen to my New Album: : https://johnobrien.hearnow.com