A rose that grew from concrete: Singer/Songwriter-Jarell Johnson
Written by: k-la
Baltimore, Maryland is where I resided for three years of my life. My apartment was in the middle of two different worlds. Two blocks north of my apartment you would see beautiful brownstones and freshly cut lawn. Michael Phelps grew up not too far from here. Two blocks south of my apartment the people who could have inspired HBO’S “The Wire” resided in row homes that once were big and beautiful. The one thing I found evident on both sides was that there was so much talent among the people. Some people I will never forget, because of their story alone or just because their voice told a story on its own.
While living in Baltimore looking for talent I came upon Jarell Johnson, who is a singer/songwriter, I thought about Tupac’s poem ‘’A rose that grew from concrete”. Sometimes you find beautiful things in unexpected places. It’s only right that I give you some insight on this talented singer/songwriter, so you can get a chance to see who he is and to hear what the world of music is missing.
The Legaci: Are you originally from Baltimore?
Jarell: Yes I am, I did grow up in North Carolina but I came back, and this is where most of my musical experience comes from.
The Legaci: When did you know that singing and writing is what you wanted to do?
Jarell: Around 10 or 11 I started to find my voice and I started writing poems it was between law and singing (laugh)
The Legaci: Do you think it’s important for singers to be songwriters?
Jarell: Well for me I think it adds a texture and honesty to your work I think if you can apply things that happened in your life to your writing it becomes more personable.
The Legaci: I have talked to people that say some people from Baltimore have a defeated attitude and they don’t think they can achieve more… but I don’t see this with you. What or who inspires you to keep going?
Jarell: I think it’s my passion and attitude… If it’s something you want to do you have to blaze the trail.
The Legaci: I believe what you put out in the universe comes back to you, with that being said if you had your choice of record labels to be signed to what label would that be? If you could collaborate musically with anyone in the industry presently who would it be?
Jarell: oh man! That’s hard, you know. I don’t have a specific label but any label that will allow me to do what I want and be myself would be the right choice for me. You know, I want to be successful. I don’t want to be necessarily a superpower. I just want my work to have meaning. Ok so, wow, who would I collaborate musically with? (laughs )There is list I have (ok then give me a few ) …writing wise, Teedra Moses, Tank … Artist with sick harmonies that I would love to work with Brandy , Tweet, Bilal these are just a few.
The Legaci: Name one song that you could listen to everyday until the day you died?
Jarell: OK! OK! Let me see… Maybe” Ready for love” by India Arie or “You love me” by Jill Scott. These songs are beautifully written and honest, very honest. They have an amazing mood and ambiance. Admitting that you are ready to love is honest, but saying I need you AND I’m ready to love is something so pure about that. (I totally agree, Ready for love is one of my favorite songs the lyrics are so deep and honest!)
The Legaci: I took a listen to your song “Not interested” and I felt every word tell me a little about it?
Jarell: Thank you. I wrote that song about an older relationship and its basically straightforward. Sometimes you leave a relationship and you realize you’re not interested anymore and it’s ok. (AMEN! It’s a great thing to realize)
The Legaci : Last but not least what do you want people to know about you as an artist?
Jarell: Just that I am an artist. I try to make music that I’ll be proud of. I want to make lasting music. What’s hot for the moment might not be hot forever, so lasting music that people can feel.
Jarell’s truly a talent. I have seen him create from scratch while he worked with Kalada productions, a talented producer out of Baltimore. Currently he is working with another set of talented people, Firestarter Productions. He is also working on his album which is almost complete and working on a soundtrack with Derrick L. Gray. It is always refreshing to speak to an artist who has so much passion.
Contact Jarell at : Facebook.com/Jarell.johnson