Jann Klose is an award-winning pop singer-songwriter, who has released six albums and two EPs. His new album IN TANDEM (2018) is now available via Gallo Record Company and features several guest artists including RJ BENJAMIN, KAREN ZOID, TAMARA DEY and ANNIE HASLAM. We got to ask him a few questions for you as he embarks on his SA tour.
First off a huge big welcome back to SA Jann, and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions before you set out to woo your fans.
Q . What was your inspiration in the writing of “In Tandem”?
Thank you! It’s great being back in SA J I wanted to create a collaborative record rather than another ‘solo’ album… I had met and co-written with so many great musicians on my travels in the last few years that I felt there was enough material and friendships to create something like “In Tandem.” I also wanted very much to show audiences and artists that beautiful things can happen when you work together with others.
Q. Your second single, “Love High” has a very specific message that you try to convey in the lyrics and when you describe it, is there a little more of a personal background to it that you don’t mind sharing with us?
Well, it’s really about a highly charged relationship that just can’t seem to cross over into a deeper state. It remains on the surface against the odds and stays stuck in moments of a ‘high’ of sorts, almost like an addiction… So it’s very difficult to let go.
Q. You have done quite a few collaborations with local SA artists on the album (most notably Karen Zoid and Tamara Dey) how did that come about?
I met both of them at a BMI writers camp and Music Exchange events in Cape Town and when I approached them about being on the album, they agreed. Both songs ‘YOU AND I’ and ‘POUR THE CHAMPAGNE’ were written in Cape Town.
Q. In essence does this make it feel like a more South African album for you? Was that the intention?
It wasn’t the intention at all… It just sort of happened! I had a producer and a studio lined up in New York to make an album and then was invited to make what became “In Tandem” at the Academy of Sound Engineering Johannesburg. On top of this, all the artists I asked to be a part of it said yes, so I felt like it was only right to make the album in South Africa!
Q. What is your personal favourite on the album and why?
‘NEVER FALL’ is my favourite. It’s just a very personal song about overcoming and getting out of your own way which is something I tend to struggle with.
Q. Touring SA must feel like coming home for you, as you are familiar with the scene here. What separates our local crowd from the overseas crowds?
It does feel like coming home… It’s also always quite surreal being in South Africa as it takes me back to boyhood in a really magical way. I get asked the “are audiences different” a lot as I’ve performed in North America, Europe and Asia and honestly, I think if people like you or even love you or your music, it doesn’t matter where you are… Only I thing I will say is that bigger cities are usually a bit tougher to play as the audience will take a little more time to get settled in to the show but that’s also not always the case.
Q. The song “Hochzeitslied” is a beautiful Deutsche ballad clearly stemming from your roots, was there a reason you included that song on a predominantly English album (given the fact that the English version is the final track on “In Tandem”)?
I wrote it for my Mom’s wedding and after playing it on the road I felt like it should be included. It’s just a little diddy with a big heart inside. And again, I wanted to tell a story and that involves my heritage and upbringing. I’ve been asked a lot to sing in German so I hope this one will be enjoyed.
Q. The album title “In Tandem”, would you say this reflects the current stage of your life and where you are at with your music?
It does. Also because working with others and letting go of one’s ego has become an important life lesson for me. I tend to have trouble relinquishing control so it seemed like a good exercise to collaborate more and create an album around that philosophy.
Q. The album cover is a simple, symbolic touch on Love and Peace would you say that’s the perfect picturesque metaphor for what the album is all about?
I do. In fact, the album title and the image of the peace-love heart was my vision for the record from the get go.
Q. What separates this album from your previous work and how has your audiences received the new album thus far?
So far, so great! I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. It feels the most natural.
Q. On your SA tour will you be taking some time out to catch some rays and take in the beautiful sites?
Absolutely! A motor cycle ride to the Cape of Good Hope and maybe a paraglide off Lion’s Head!
SAMN: Thanks so much
Jann: A pleasure. Thank you!
Source: Kieron Reeves – SA music News Magazine Correspondant