Tracey: Whose song writing have you admired, to give you the enthusiasm to write yourself?
Yolanda Johnson: Definitely Stevie Wonder. I would also have to say my Mother and Father who are both musicians/singers and awesome writers.
Tracey: Your self-titled eight-track CD is ‘Violet Flower’, which is derived from the Greek word Yolanda. Yolanda also has another Germanic meaning of ‘Lind-Snake’ (knower of secrets). Are you a person who likes meaning?
Yolanda Johnson: Whoa didn’t know about the knower of secrets meaning…. wow that’s deep. This is a good question. I am a person who often thinks about the meaning of things. Everything I do has to have meaning. I hope that my music and what I do in life will mean something to someone. It is very insightful of you to ask that.
Tracey: Was it fun making the CD and are you happy with the final recording?
Yolanda Johnson: Absolutely - on both questions. I had a ball recording this CD. It’s been four years since my last project. In between that time I was writing for other artists and performing. To concentrate on my project after such a long time was beautiful. I had so many songs running through my head it was difficult to sleep. A song would wake me up in the middle of the night. Or a melody would come to me in a dream and I’d try so hard to remember it the next day LOL. For the final recording, I was like a child on Christmas Day.
Tracey: Can you share a bit of your childhood with us? Did you have a happy childhood?
Yolanda Johnson: My childhood was comical. My family is bananas so we had a lot of fun. My home was filled with music and laughter. It wasn’t peaches and cream everyday…. no one’s life is like that. The beauty of the days when it wasn’t peaches and cream was a song would come out of it. The song would make us forget the negative. Then we could laugh again. Anything that my brother and I needed to remember as toddlers my parents would make a song out of it. Our address, phone number, birthdays all had a song. I do that to this day with my children.
Tracey: Does your family have any relationship with music and your career?
Yolanda Johnson: Absolutely. My family influences my music, my desire to do it, and my thirst to grow in it. They are all musicians, singers, and writers - from my father Samuel Jonathan Johnson, to my cousins The Gap Band, and gospel great Darryl Coley. As far as my career, I’ve always been a very determined independent person. Always wanting to stand up on my own two feet. My parents say I came out of the womb like that LOL. So no help from the fam on this one. My cousin Martin did help me with “Get 2 Know U” on the CD. I do look forward to working with them in the near future.
Tracey: What has been the happiest memory of your life so far?
Yolanda Johnson: That would be the birth of my beautiful babies. Tatiana, Givanni and Cheyenne.
Tracey: Have you been fortunate to travel to any other country and if so, which has been the most memorable for you and why?
Yolanda Johnson: No, not yet. I’m really hoping to do so soon. I want to go all around the world and meet people from all walks of life. Languages fascinate me. I want to learn every language I can. It’s not cool just to know pig Latin. There is no country of Oink so it’s really pointless. LOL. I’m learning French now.
Tracey: If you had a choice of taking one person with you to your favourite place, who would that person be and where would you go?
Yolanda Johnson: That’s no fair …just one person LOL…I would definitely take my husband. My favourite place hmm…. I have so many. Right now what comes to mind is Catalina Island here in California. It gives you the sense of being on some far away beautiful distant Island. It’s very peaceful there and the shops are to live for!!
Tracey: Do you have any ‘comfort’ music i.e. music you keep going back to if you are having a bad day/week and if so what is it?
Yolanda Johnson: My ‘comfort’ music would be Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” or anything by Earth, Wind and Fire. There’s no way that you can continue to have a bad day when you’re listening to them.
Tracey: Do you remember the first CD you ever bought?
Yolanda Johnson: Aw man…it was the most beautiful day ever and…. err um no LOL… I really don’t remember. That’s so bad!
Tracey: What sorts of things in life touch you the most?
Yolanda Johnson: You have enough room for this? I’m such an emotional person. The act of kindness to complete and total strangers, forgiveness, reconciliation, miracles, the underdog overcoming, the impossible being made possible, …okay at this point the credits should be rolling and I’ll still be going on and on.
Tracey: If you could change one thing in your life right now, what would that be?
Yolanda Johnson: I wouldn’t change a thing in my life…good or bad. Everything happens for a reason, and helps you get towards your purpose in life. You learn from it and you grow from it. I do wish that there were more hours in a day.
Tracey: Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
Yolanda Johnson: Ten years from now. I would love for my record company MetaMusic to be blossoming with artists that share my vision of promoting and putting out positive music. I’d like to write some books as well as movies. I’m a clotheshorse so a clothing line would be in order. I have so many business ideas in my mind its ridiculous. It stems from me creating something for my pleasure and then there’s a domino effect. People start placing orders. It’s crazy. I made some gourmet popcorn for a listening party. Next thing you know I’m getting mad orders for this popcorn. When decorating my home a lot of times I can’t find what I want, so I’ll make it. Then orders come flying in when people find out I did it myself. So I’d love to see where those ventures would take me. But music is my priority. On a personal note I see myself being the best Wife and Mother I can possibly be.
Tracey: What else can we expect from Yolanda Johnson?
Yolanda Johnson: I’m so inspired by the feedback that I’ve been receiving from “Violet Flower” that I’m already working on my full-length project. I also have two other artists on my label that I’m working on right now. They are amazing! Of course I’ll be doing some performances to promote “Violet Flower”. I absolutely love the whole live experience. I also act so I’m looking at opportunities to do more of that.
Tracey: Anything you would like to say to us here at Just Soul?
Yolanda Johnson: Thank you for the interview. I had a blast doing it. Tracey you had some amazing questions. I appreciate your interest in what I’m doing and me. Please check out my website @ www.yolandadiary.com where you’ll find news, ring tones, my CD’s and more. I’m also on myspace.com www.myspace.com/yolandajohnson. Let your speakers bloom baby!
Tracey: On behalf of Just Soul, thank you for completing this interview and I wish you every success on your musical journey.
Yolanda’s Management have informed us her music can be purchased from Soul Brothers Records from early August 2006.