Johnny was born in Greta a migrant camp in Maitland NSW Australia to his German mother and Polish father. He contracted polio at the age of thirteen months old attacking his muscles and as a result his right leg is wasted away so he walks on crutches permanently. That has never dampened his spirits or has never stopped him from performing to a very professional standard.
The memories Johnny has from a small child to present reflects on his passion for always knowing that music chose him. With sheer determination and dedication Johnny prides himself in being a self taught singer/guitarist. He says it has been tough but a rewarding road, he did not have the privilege of structure, guidance or funds to attend a disciplined music school as he spent most of his childhood away from his family in a children’s home for special treatment. Still Johnny is proud of achieving to the best of his ability, a high standard of entertaining. Johnny puts his all into every performance and it shows by the great responses he receives. Johnny’s Bass Baritone voice expresses his strength and versatility showing his sentimental and compassionate side which reflects back from the crowd as he thrives on the interaction with his audiences.
Since Johnny has joined his music experience collaborating with Marion Shilo writing lyrics and him composing and singing the tracks, his career has gone in a different direction with releasing his first all original album *ALL THINGS NEW* Marion penning four tracks INCLUDING * ROCK N ROLL COWGIRL*and Johnny penning one track and composing the music for five, the other five pitched. Marion inspires Johnny immensely with all she does and achieves especially her song writing as she is legally blind. Together they make for a great team and has moved Johnny’s career to the next level. To both their delights this Album is having great success being well received by Country Music Followers around the world. This Album is on all major PLATFORMS- Apple Music/Spotify/Amazon/Google/De
Lisa: Hello Johnny! Can you recall the moment when you decided that you
wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Johnny: My Mother said before I could talk I used to make la la la sounds to music while listening to the radio with my family. Then as soon as I learned to talk I started to sing and air play guitar. So from a very small child I would say ” Im going to be an entertainer when I grow up”. I can’t ever remember changing my mind. That is why I say music chose me, so I would say it was a very easy choice.
Lisa: Can you share your experience meeting Joanne Cash, Johnny Cash’s sister? What did you talk about, and did she had to share something about Johnny that is less known fact?
Johnny: Meeting Joanne was such a pleasure and a great thrill as she was a very lovely lady, so warm and friendly. As I recall Joanne spoke about her brother Johnny Cash lovingly referring to him as (JR). She spoke about when they were children living and working on the cotton farm, with their dad working very hard. Times were tough with 8 children in the family, each child had their jobs to do and at night after dinner they would sit around the piano singing while their mother would play. Joanne said Johnny (JR) said to her… he would be a singer one day… and she though to herself * I’m not sure if that will happen.* How funny. Little did she know then that he would become a super star legend of Country Music (and for me one of my biggest inspirational artists.)To Joanne , Johnny (JR) was just her loving older brother equal to her other six siblings.
Lisa: What types of change do you feel your music can initiate?
Johnny: Music speaks all languages and represents emotions of different feelings and has no boundaries or limitations. People are always challenged mentally feeling that “no one understands them” or “know how they really feel”. Usually people choice is turn to music and I feel my music has the right elements to dig deep into the soul and imitate emotions happy, sad or what ever that may be.
Lisa: What does your curiosity look like? How do you explore things?
Johnny: I am curious about how people come up with ideas of their lyrics and music. I explore by listening to all facets and outlets of music of Rock n Roll and Country mostly from the 50’s-80’s which is my passion. It is a feel good experience giving me high levels of learning rewards.
Lisa: I loved your single “Rock N’ Roll Cowgirl”. Can you tell me where did you get inspiration to write it?
Johnny: This song *Rock n roll Cowgirl* came about when Marion and I were out at a rock n roll venue and a girl walked in dressed in a cowgirl outfit. A guy dressed as a rock n roller asked her to dance. They appeared to be having a great time dancing the night away to the Rock n Roll Band. Marion turned to me and said “I can a see song developing right in front of us.” Marion and I collaborated, with her penning the lyrics and me composing the music and singing the song.
Lisa: It reached No. 1 FOR Country Rock on the 1000 chart in the USA. That is quite an accomplishment, congratulations. How do you feel about that?
Johnny: Reaching No.1 on the 1000 chart in the USA and Globably for all Countries in Country Rock. Also being played on Indie Radio Network all around the world. Who would have thought it would take me in such a different direction in my career collaborating and releasing original material. After being such a tough road not been recognised in the past but now I can say proudly I am and it’s very rewarding.
Lisa: Since, as you say “it has been tough but a rewarding road”. And what
advice would you give to upcoming musicians?
Johnny: The advice I would give to upcoming musician/artists is first of all seek out a favourite that genre , be willing to look, listen and learn by networking, find your uniqueness then follow your heart. If you have chosen correctly it will come to you easily, rehearse every day, be subject to change and NEVER GIVE UP
Lisa: Tell us a bit more about your new album “All things new”. Is there a main
theme that connects the songs, or is it something else?
Johnny: he title ALL THINGS NEW was decided as it was my first all original Album, first time working and collaborating with Marion and her first time having her songs recorded, the first time with the photographer taking the album photos. My first time composing music, working with the backing musicians and recording at the chosen recording studio. So hence the name * ALL THINGS NEW* The tracks are all individual in their own right but have everyday life themes in common such as love, broken hearts, work, health and perseverance.
Lisa: It seems everything is working even better since you’ve joined forces with
Marion Shilo. Can you tell me more about that collaboration?
Johnny: Collaborating with Marion is like going on a vacation, the journey is fun and one of the most enjoyable tasks in my life. I feel so privileged to be able to share with my best friend, the absolute joy and recognition that we have had and are still receiving from *Rock n Roll Cowgirl*. We are so extremely ecstatic and grateful for everyone supporting our music.
Lisa: What are some newer projects that you are currently working on?
Johnny: It has been planned with the members already chosen before corona virus intruded into our lives. We are all missing playing live gigs and all are so ready to commence performing again as soon as we get the go ahead from the government. Also Marion and I are booked into a songwriters retreat in mid November, collaborating new tracks with some of the top “Golden Guitar” award winners in Country Music in Australia. The project to come from it is to release a new album sometime in 2021.
Lisa: Do you miss performing, because of Covid 19 situation? And do you have
plans to perform in the future, when it’s safe?
Johnny: Coronia virus has been very trying physically especially not being able to perform and interact to a live audience. Mentally its been very hard to stay motivated and positive and not being able to catch up with music/artist friends. When the Coronia virus pandemic has become under control I will be kicking of with a new backing band, JOHNNY SHILO & SPINIFEX.
Lisa: At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Johnny: .I believe I have a gift to share with my singing voice. It’s not mine to keep and I love performing as that’s what I believe is my calling and what I do best. So at the end of the day I would love people to be feeling happy and elated with my performance taking away the same great feeling on a joyful high that I feel when I entertain them.
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