RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST IAN JANKO
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a soloist?
I used to play in a lot of bands, but the number of tunes I was writing made me realize I needed my own outlet. I still love to collaborate and write for others. but my solo project has been the constant over the last few years.
Introduce us all to you and your musical history?
I grew up on an isolated ranch in rural America. I started learning to play music and write songs when I was about 5. I moved with my family to California when I was 13, and started out as a drummer in local bands. I then started writing my own songs and playing solo gigs. After high school, I went on a busking trip around Europe and ended up in Liverpool, where I studied at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. London was calling so I moved down after graduating. I now work full time as a music and songwriter in the city, having opened for a lot of great artists, sold out my own shows and written for acts like JP Cooper. That was about as short and sweet as I could make it!
What’s the best piece of advice you have received in music or life?
Trust the process
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
Didn’t we all? I bought a plastic saxophone called Novasax thinking I’d learn to play but alas, no.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Can’t say I did. I always keep an open mind but never believe anything 100%. Especially these days.
What brought you over from America?
A girl… and music.
We started RGM sharing uk artists with America and American artists in the UK recently and it went wild, why do you think that is?
Not sure really, maybe because Americans tend to be severely talented, devilishly handsome, and extremely humble?
What makes you stand out as an Artist?
I think my music has been affected a lot by place… it’s got the rustic country elements of Idaho where I grew up, some beachy vibes from being a teenager on the west coast, some more deep and urban sounds from Liverpool and London, and some world music flavors from my travels around India and Europe. A lot of these influences are unmanifested but they all shape the current sound and who I am as a person as well.
Right now, what’s annoying you the most?
Being too busy. I have a lot of other music projects going on and I feel a bit like an octopus. I think I need a long holiday or a Buddhist monastery or… dare I say it… a life coach.
I hear you have a new EP brewing, what can you tell us about it?
I do indeed. It’s called the Reverie EP. Rapture was more about loss and love whereas Reverie will be more introspective, focusing on themes of the mind, adventure, and self-discovery.
Talk me through the thought process of the EP?
I went through a breakup during the lockdown, and my parents split up at exactly the same time. My whole world fell apart and music was the only thing keeping me afloat for a while. About 50 songs poured out in these couple of months. I went to Brighton to stay at a friend’s place by the sea and recorded a bunch of the demos, which really started the process of thinking about the themes of the EP.
What was the recording process like?
Quite a few of the guitar and vocal tracks were from those original Brighton demos. I wanted to keep the raw authenticity and vulnerability intact. I then worked on the layers of production over the course of 2021, amidst working a temp job with the Department of Health and Social Care and various other music bits.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the EP?
Mixing. I mixed it all myself and oh my goodness I wish I paid more attention in my production class in uni. It’s far from perfect, but I learned a lot and appreciate mixing as an art form so much more now. It’s something I hope to get better at but also something I’d be very happy to never do again!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Probably the mixing. But, at a certain point, you just gotta lean back and say “it’s done”.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Finish the production for the next EP, play more live shows with the new band, and tons more writing!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just positivity and love. We’ve all been through a pretty heavy couple of years and a lot of us are probably struggling with various things. So for whatever it’s worth, I’d just like to offer a bit of compassion and encouragement that you’re doing just fine and that you’re right where you need to be.
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.