“Music, don't get me wrong 'cause I love it, it's something I hope I always do, but surfing is something that kind of what brings my friends and me together.” – Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson- The Beach-bum Rocker
Jack Johnson has created some of the best acoustic pop sounds in the last few years. His albums have achieved platinum status and he has toured all over the world; yet his first love and passion is not music it is surfing. Jack Johnson while growing up in the beaches on the Hawaiian island of Oahu was a champion surfer. His creative expression led him to songwriting and filmmaking.
The Surfer Rocker!
His image of Bermuda shorts and t-shirt wearing beach buddy is also the mood of his music. But it his sense of simple melodies and a day in the life feel of his music which brings out his optimism and his soul. His live performances just like his studio albums always “keep it simple”.
Jack’s inspiration lies in the folk music of Bob Dylan, the simple production of Dave Matthews and soulful renditions of James Taylor. Jack Johnson and his fans share a special bond as they can relate to his easy going music and casual demeanor.
Jack Johnson was born and raised in Hawaii and just like everyone on the island surfing was second nature to him. Jack took up surfing at a very young age and by his late teens he was turning professional like his father. A surfing accident however prevented him to compete professionally and he pursued higher education and completing his degree is Film from California University. While in college he started playing the guitar and his style was reminiscent of an early Bob Dylan.
In 2000 Johnson directed Thicker Than Water a movie about surfing and also composed the accompanying soundtrack. It was his soundtrack which brought him a lot of attention and guitar maestro Ben Harper put him on to French producer J.P. Plunier. In 2001, Johnson released his first album “Brushfire Fairytales” and it was a moderate success. The simple pop arrangement was given positive reviews and the album since then has been certified platinum.
Jack Johnson created his own music label named after his first album Bushfire Fairytales. In 2003 his sophomore effort On and On was released. The album was recorded at Johnson’s own Mango Tree studio. The album with its acoustic pop arrangement was similar to its predecessor.
A Star is Born
This time however there was a social consciousness and a political debate about war on the song “Traffic in the Sky”. Johnson’s carefully crafted album was charming and more mainstream. Universal music also heavily promoted the album which resulted in his first top 5 debut on both sides of the Atlantic. The album has been certified platinum.
The 2005 In Between Dreams was his biggest selling album and his first UK No.1 The album cover had a Mango Tree referring to his studio of the same name. His usual boy next door charm and relaxed voice creates the cozy sound which is familiar territory for Johnson. The album sounds much more positive and up tempo. The album has sold 2 million copies. Like his friend Ben Harper, Jack Johnson is a favorite on the college touring circuit.
In 2006, recording for the animated movie “Curious George” Johnson scores his first big commercially successful album. The kid themed lullabies is a huge a hit backed by the marketing and promoting of Universal it is only second animated soundtrack album to have topped US charts. The album brings world wide fame and a successful tour.
Buoyed by his new success, Johnson now wants to experiment in his recording. He decides to record a new album but away from his Hawaiian studio and home. He enlists his long time producer JP Punier and both start recording in LA.
The album “Sleep Through Static” is released on 2008. It gives him his first US No.1 debut. The record though has received mixed reviews from critics but it is commercial success has cemented his position among his die-hard fans. As a start the recording is more electric then his previous effort. Lyrically the songs are much darker and the title song has a bluesy feel with an instrumental opening. The album is gives him his fourth simultaneous platinum seller. The Static tour takes him all across the world that culminates into the live album and DVD “En Concert”.
Johnson has given 100% of his earnings from the Live album and DVD to charitable foundations in Hawaii. Jack Johnson has confirmed on his website that his fifth album and a European tour in 2010.
Did you know that...
- ...Jack Johnson sang “Imagine” for the Instant Karma album for Darfur.
- ...Jack Johnson married his high-school sweetheart Kim, and they have three children.
- ...Jack Johnson prefers to perform bare feet.