Jaylene Johnson
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Jaylene Johnson

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of Happiness"

Singer-songwriter Johnson seems to have plenty to be happy about these days. The former flight attendant's latest CD is easily her poppiest and most upbeat outing, with 10 tracks (and a trio of bonus MP3s on the enhanced portion of the disc) that showcase both her girlishly sunny voice and rapidly evolving compositional skill set, which now includes everything from upbeat radio-ready fare, bouncy folk-pop and heartfelt ballads. And if all that isn't good enough, David Foster just recorded one of her songs. Like we said, no wonder she's happy.

Darryl Sterdan - Winnipeg Sun

"a personalized musical journal of freshly worded perspectives"

This singer/songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada left her job as a flight attendant in 2000 to pursue a lifelong dream as a full-time musician. I'm glad she did! Jaylene Johnson could well be Canada's answer to the smart AC pop of Nichole Nordeman and Cindy Morgan. She's gradually developed her craft these last four years, sharing the stage with fellow Canadian artists Steve Bell, Carolyn Arends, and Jill Paquette. Her sophomore effort features the work of producers Eldon Winter and Stephen J. Rendall, the team responsible for albums by Paquette, Matt Brouwer, Jake, and Starfield. Like the music of Vanessa Carlton, Jewel, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Sarah Masen, this features progressive pop sprinkled with folk, jazz, and ethereal ambience. But it's Johnson's songwriting that deserves special attention. Too many songwriters today rely on rehashed Scripture and ideas in their songwriting. Johnson instead offers a personalized musical journal of freshly worded perspectives that are more devotional than introspective, with thoughtful takes on contentment ("Here and Now"), creation ("Wonder"), and an amazingly insightful and indicting response to worship music ("Only Have My Love"). Don't just hear these songs; listen to the words and music for a rewarding experience.
- Russ Breimeier

"songs as mini-narratives, using metaphor, allegory and straightforward prose"

On this, her second full-length CD, Christian singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson has really hit her stride ? delivering 10 pop/rock songs of delicate beauty and immaculate faith. Rather than sing scripture or set psalms to music, Johnson prefers to write songs as mini-narratives, using metaphor, allegory and straightforward prose to give her thanks and sing of her devotion. In producers Eldon Winter and Stephen J. Rendall, she has also found a pair of musicians perfectly capable of setting and arranging her songs just so ? nothing feels out of place here. Jaylene?s whispery alto is front and centre at all times, while each tune is rooted in either piano or acoustic guitar but bathed in the sort of soft, atmospheric sounds which only augment the simple beauty of her message.

- Uptown Magazine

"undeniably angelic pipes"

Jaylene Johnson's messages and melodies are accessible enough to make Finding Beautiful enjoyable whatever your beliefs. The fact that her undeniably angelic pipes seem equally influenced by goddesses like Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan is no sin either.
- The Winnipeg Sun

"unclassifiable record ...substance-filled pop with a slightly different slant"

Jaylene Johnson, a young artist from Manitoba, just released her second full-length project, Finding Beautiful, a fine and virtually unclassifiable record that delights and surprises at every turn. Alternating between arty, piano-based tunes and songs driven by gently strummed acoustic guitar, Johnson displays a wonderfully literate lyrical style that replaces direct statement with allegory and metaphorical prose. "Butterfly Girl" is a beautifully relaized tale of the joy and discovery of new life, given extra heft by a typically understated vocal by Johnson; her sweet delivery belies the well of emotion just beneath the surface. Along with subtle echoes of Sarah McLachlan, Johnson's music recalls some lesser known Canadian artists (like Nelly Furtado and Jane Siberry) who may have inspired her atmospheric brand of artistic pop. The sound is perfectly complimented by the production of Eldon Winter and Stephen Rendall, a duo who rarely fail to find the perfect setting for a song. A truly nice surprise coming from the independent world, Jaylene Johnson will appeal to those who are looking for substance-filled pop, but with a slightly different slant.
- Shawn McLaughlin-CM Magazine

"like a field of wildflowers on a warm summer day"

A breathtakingly beautiful album! it will fill your senses like a field of wildflowers on a warm summer day. Jaylene has a way of seeing hope, promise and beauty in the world without the aid of rose-coloured glasses or shackles of naivete. Finding Beautiful, is an appropriate title, and is a spiritually uplifting experience.

- Stylus Magazine

"With a Little Help from her Friends"

With a little help from her friends...
Happiness, local songstress Jaylene Johnson's new album, is the fruit of collaboration
Jared Story

With a little help from her friends...Happiness, Jaylene Johnson's third and latest full-length album, may sport the local singer/songwriter's name on its cover, but to simply call it a solo affair would most definitely be unfair.

"This one is a pop-oriented record, a lot of collaboration on this record, many of the songs are co-written which was a goal of mine," Johnson says. "I wanted to embrace collaborating in a way I hadn't done in the past."

On the new disc, Johnson works with many writers, including Nashville-based musicians JJ and David Heller, and Toronto songwriter Simon Wilcox, who, along with her own material, has penned tunes for the likes of Three Days Grace, The Kooks, BEAST and even Paris Hilton.

In addition to those collaborators, Happiness was produced by two well-known 'Peg producers: Brandon Friesen and Phil Deschambault.

"Both have a very different approach and I love both approaches very much for different reasons," Johnson says. "Brandon is like a mad professor in the studio and he comes up with a very lush sound. He thinks big epic orchestration. He definitely got that out of my songs and I'm thrilled with that.

"Phil is a really quirky, amazing, energetic guy, who draws a lot of the subtle colour out of my songs. The record is very cohesive but I wonder if people will be able to tell who produced what. It'll be interesting to see.

"I'm really excited about (Happiness) and I think that everybody really brings something great to the record. I'm learning that more and more in life as well as in music. It's a beautiful thing when people can come together and work together on something."

And Johnson works well with others. In 2006, she signed to Casablanca Media Publishing in Toronto, the first writer to do so, and has shared songwriting credits with many musicians throughout North America. Recently, along with Sierra Noble, Chris Burke-Gaffney and Keith MacPherson, Johnson co-wrote I Love You More, which appears on Noble's breakthrough Possibilities album.

"It really broadens the palette," Johnson says of working with other musicians. "As an artist I have the thing that I do and what I like to sing, but when I can write a country song or a folk song or something that's a little out of my own genre, it's very freeing. It's very liberating artistically to not be confined to my own demographic."

Keeping on the theme of partnership, Johnson has licensed many of her songs for television, her tunes appearing on such shows as Dawson's Creek, Joan of Arcadia and Being Erica. She recently contributed her song Just Be to www.more2girls.com, an e-zine that encourages girls to get involved in philanthropy. Speaking of, Johnson is also spokesperson for World Vision and promotes humanitarian organizations Boost Up! and Song For Africa on her website.

"It's important for me to give back when I can," Johnson says. "I feel very blessed and very fortunate. It's easy to forget that. We all have good and bad days, but I do feel I have the opportunity to speak about what I'm passionate about, and if that can help somebody else, that's fantastic." - By Jared Story for Uptown Magazine

"Bringing a Little Happiness Into the World"

Here's the difference between me and Jaylene Johnson: If I made a CD and titled it Happiness, it would be ironic, because I am a bitter, snide cynic (yeah, yeah, I know, stop the presses). But when singer-songwriter Johnson does it, she means it. Because she is a sincere, sweet and optimistic person -- or at least her honest answers to my dumb questions make her sound that way to my miserable jaded ears.

- Who's in the band, how old are they, what do they play, and what do they do for real money?

I'm Jaylene (songwriter/teacher). I'm as young as I feel. I play with Lee Charles Garinger on bass (hairdresser/musician), Mark Sawatzky on the kit (musician/teacher) and have had Joshua Bedry (producer/musician), Arun Chaturvedi (teacher/musician/producer) and Ariel Posen (musician/teacher) on guitar... Not all at the same time.

- Give us the history of the band in 20 words or less.

Played Frere Jacques by ear on a toy piano when I was a toddler. Amazed Mom. There began my musical roller-coaster ride. Fun.

- Describe your music and/or sound in 20 words or less.

Soul-nourishing pop. Often told "Your songs stick in my head." They smile, so I presume that's a good thing ... ear candy.

- Tell us about your latest CD or upcoming gig in 20 words or less.

Happiness is a 10-track enhanced CD which includes bonus tracks, an interview, gorgeous lyrics pages, song synopsis, wallpapers and more. The release party is tonight at Park Theatre.

- Why should we buy your CD or come to your gig?

The music is great. The songs stand out. They're the result of amazing collaborations, and everyone who contributed to the album deserves credit. As far as the show goes, I'm not a shoegazer (no offence if shoegazing is your thing).

- If you're so great, tell us this: How does your music make the world a better place?

I use music as a platform to promote child sponsorship through World Vision. There's a button on my website called Help Kids, which links to World Vision. There are also links to a website called BoostUp, which encourages at-risk youth to stay in school, and Song for Africa, another awesome organization run by a friend.

- What's your most original quality?

I am open to a fault. Not sure that's original.

- What's your best song and what makes it so good?

If I had to choose one for the desert island, it would be Happiness. I wrote it on an out-of-tune piano at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto.

- What's your worst song and what the heck were you thinking when you wrote it?

It's on my first record. Too embarrassed to name it. Obviously, I wasn't thinking!

- Name a song you wish you had written and tell us why:

Stand By Me by Ben E. King. Classic. Also, pretty much any Fleetwood Mac song. And Fix You by Coldplay moves me like songs haven't in some time.

- Name a song you're glad you didn't write and why:

Achy Breaky Heart. This needs no explanation.

- Name your favourite TV shows.

Boston Legal, Battlestar Gallactica, Heroes, Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, Ugly Betty.

- Your favourite books?

A few I've loved are: The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay (I've read it nine times); The Ragamuffin Gospel (Manning); Einstein's Dreams (Lightman); Under the Ribs of Death (Marlyn).

- Finally, how about any other favourite things?

Riley and Georgia (nephew and niece). Travelling. Cashmere sweaters. Hanging out with friends and family. Sunshine. Blank paper. Great lyrics. Playing real pianos. Popcorn.

- What is your most valued possession? And where do you keep it?

My iPhone G3. It's with me everywhere I go.

- Got any guilty pleasures? What are they?

Peanut or Almond M&Ms.

- Name your favourite local musical acts.

Harlots, Twilight Hotel, JP Hoe.

- Now, name your favourite musical acts of all time.

Fleetwood Mac, U2, Coldplay, Patty Griffin, Queen, Annie Lennox, Regina Spektor, The Beatles, Mahalia Jackson, Bjork, Van Morrison, Damien Rice, Sting ...

- Who would you be happy to be compared to?

Carole King, Dolly Parton, Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell.

- What are your pre-show rituals, superstitions and good luck charms?

Pre-show rituals make me anxious. I do a few vocal warmups and think through my jokes! My anxiety is that people won't laugh at my show ... Which is funny because they aren't coming for comedy!

- If you have a backstage rider, what's on it? If you don't, what would you want?

A massage therapist would be nice.

- What piece of merch would you love to sell?

My own book. Poems, ideas, thoughts on creativity, sketches, photos I've taken, quotes I like ... A hodgepodge.

- What is your current mode of transportation?

Trixie, a 2005 Matrix.

- How would you like to travel from gig to gig? Dream big.

Honda Element ... oh, big? Tour bus with the works!

- What are you afraid of?

Being trapped.

- Name one thing you want to do before you die.

Go back to Scotland, my favourite place in the world. Produce my own record. Write songs that will live on and mean something. That's three things.

- Tell us about your best, worst or strangest celebrity encounter.

I met Julie Andrews in New York at a Johnny Mercer Revue. She was as nice as Mary Poppins. Go figure.

- Complete this sentence: I'll know I'm a success when ...

I hear a stranger singing or humming one of my songs.

- What would it take to make you give up music? Not that we're suggesting anything.

I've tried. I couldn't do it. Music is as much a part of me as my eye colour. - Darryl Sterdan for The Winnipeg Sun

"Review of Happiness"

Jaylene Johnson

Happiness (Independent)

Local songstress Jaylene Johnson has moved on from the overt Christian music of her past and fully embraced her pop side. Fans of her spiritual material shouldn't worry though -- they can still find plenty to like in these 10 tracks which are filled with uplifting energy and good vibrations.

Just Be is a positive affirmation of being yourself and not sweating the small stuff. The title track is an inspirational piano ballad. Grow is a bouncy finger-snapping ditty. Superhero ebbs and flows beautifully, building slowly to a giant chorus.

Johnson's voice sounds almost childlike and is an instrument in of itself, adding melodic flavour as it floats above the sharp arrangements.

The album ends with four ballads in a row, which halts the disc's upbeat momentum, but still, there is plenty of happiness to find here. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

-- RW - Winnipeg Free Press


Wish (2011)

8 simple but gorgeous tracks...More like Jaylene's live solo show. Recorded by Arun Chaturvedi and Michael Petkau.

Happiness (May 2009)

10 pop/AC tracks produced by Brandon Friesen and Phil Deschambault, plus an enhanced portion featuring 3 bonus tracks, an interview with CBC producer Deana Sumanac, lyric pages and more.

Finding Beautiful

Produced by Stephen J Rendall and Eldon Winter in Three Hills, AB.
(LP-Singles Wonder, Butterfly Girl and Here and Now are still receiving radio airplay; five songs from this record have been licensed through Sony Pictures Television: Sit Awhile, Wonder and Not Forgotten for Joan of Arcadia; Butterfly Girl for the final season DVD release of Dawson's Creek; Do Anything for an ABC's "Beautiful People")


Produced by Jon Loeppky.
(EP-Won a Larrivee Guitar through a national songwriting contest for song "Prairie Girl")

Not Forgotten

Produced by Lloyd Peterson at Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg, MB
(LP-Debut disc-Song "Daughter" won an international songwriting award through the Gospel Music Association in the US)



Winnipeg singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson is no stranger to the twists and turns in the life of a musician, having experienced her own tilt-a-whirl journey, to say the least. The most dramatic event was a head-on collision with a semi-truck in December of 2004, which capped off an extensive coast-to-coast Canadian tour. What followed was a season where excruciating pain brought life to a halt. But she survived the accident and subsequent injuries, and once again bought tickets for the music industry ride. On her third full-length album, Happiness, you'll be grateful that she did.

Jaylene credits Lloyd Peterson, the producer of her first record, Not Forgotten (2000), with encouraging her to write her own material and songwriting is where she discovered her deepest passion in music. She was awarded Contemporary Pop Song of the Year by the US Gospel Music Association (2002) while her sophomore release, Finding Beautiful (2004), was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and five Covenant Awards in 2004. Songs from both albums received national airplay on CBC and CCM radio, and found numerous placements in television with Sony Pictures Television and NBC Universal.

In 2006, Johnson caught the ear of Casablanca Media Publishing where she became their first signed writer and wrote under contract until recently. She has shared songwriting credits with dozens of musicians across the USA and Canada including Amy Sky (Heart, Olivia Newton John), and Simon Wilcox (Paris Hilton, the Trews, Three Days Grace). Most recently, a song co-written with Justin Gray (Joss Stone, Hannah Montana) found its way to a demo for Leah Danielle, produced by well-known producer David Foster. Songs from Happiness are also finding their way out. The lead single, Just Be, was the theme song for a new ezine, www.more2girls.com, while Grow was highlighted on the CBC hit TV show Being Erica.

A straight up, no apologies pop album, Happiness features 10 tracks of jangle-y rockers and atmospheric ballads along with an enhanced portion featuring bonus tracks and more. Johnson's artistic influences echo throughout album, recalling Joni Mitchell's lyrical soul, Jane Siberry's subtlety and Sarah McLachlan's crossover appeal. The lush sound of the recording is the work of producers Brandon Friesen and Phil Deschambault.

Happiness demonstrates Johnson's ability to find hope in the face of the ups and downs and painful realities of life. This is a hope that she shares with great charisma onstage, through performing and storytelling, and will continue to share as she promotes Happiness at home and beyond.


Awards and Nominations
- Sophomore disc Finding Beautiful nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and five Covenant Awards in 2004
- Song Prairie Girl winner of national songwriting award for Communities in Bloom in 2003
-Song Daughter from debut disc awarded Contemporary Pop Song of the Year by the US Gospel Music Association in 2002


-Song "Winter Wish" selected for Air Canada's InFlight playlist (2009)
-Two songs cleared for "The Cinderella Pact" (MOW, 2009)
-One song cleared for Degrassi:The Next Generation (Series, 2009)
-Placement of Grow (Happiness 2009) on CBC's being Ericka
-Placement of Boomerang on NBC's Lipstick Jungle
-Placement of Only Have my Love (Finding Beautiful 2004) on The Black Donnellys for iTunes through NBC Universal
-Placement of Do Anything on Beautiful People via the ABC Family Network
-Placement of several songs from Finding Beautiful (2004) through Sony Pictures Television, including: Butterfly Girl for Dawson's Creek and Not Forgotten, Sit Awhile and Wonder for Joan of Arcadia
-Use of Butterfly Girl lyrics and song for a book called Celebrate Changes : Girls Voices Matter, released in October, 2007

Cuts by other artists:

-Rescue Me produced by David Foster for pop-opera singer Leah Danielle's demo recording
-I Love You More for Sierra Noble's breakthrough EP Possibilities
-Give Me a Ring for The Keats
-Grow and Keep You Safe for US artist JJ Heller
-Leaving Caliente for US artist Ross Copperman
-I Want You to Go for US singer and actress Amelia Varni
-Was It Worth It and Beautiful Scars for Alberta singer Janelle
-I'm Gone and I've Had Enough for Metis artist, Darrelyne Bickel


-CBC live recording of release concert to air in August or September, 2009 on Canada Live
-Recently featured on Hot 103's local's only with Young Mike, Big Breakfast and the Nighthawk with Geoff Currier
-Showcases for NBC Universal, ABC Disney and the Western Canadian Music Awards
-Touring and performing original material: 2000-present
-Continued national airplay on CCM radio with singles Butterfly Girl, Wonder and Here and Now
-Regular spins on CBC Radio (various programs, local and national)
-print interviews with Uptown Magazine, the Winnipeg Sun, Winnipeg Women, the Uniter and The Manitoban, Encore Magazine, Christian Women Today