Jillette Johnson released her gorgeous Wind-up Records debut album, Water in a Whale, on June 25, 2013. It debuted on several charts including: #12 on the iTunes Pop Chart, #13 on both the Billboard Heatseekers and New Artist Charts and #28 on the Pop Chart. Written by Jillette Johnson and produced by Peter Zizzo (Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton) and Michael Mangini (David Byrne, Joss Stone), Water in a Whale is the follow up to her 2012 critically acclaimed EP, Whiskey & Frosting.
VEVO premiered the video for single “Cameron” on their homepage carousel on July 1st. The bravely vulnerable “Cameron” explores the struggle of a young transgender boy and gives an inspirational voice about staying true to your authentic self.
Johnson’s lyrics tell a compelling story that draws the listener in. Her songwriting shows a depth and maturity, and her soaring vocals and lyrics prove to be everything from controversial to comforting to spiritually arousing.
We sat down with the young songstress for a chat before the show on Fountain Square this Friday.
Who is Jillette Johnson? Give us some backstory…
Born in Northern California, but raised mostly in a small town outside of NYC. From the time I was a tiny human, I only wanted to create and perform music, and so I did. I lugged my keyboard into clubs in Manhattan to play shows starting when I was 12. At 18 I moved to the city and eventually got signed to Wind-up Records. I just put out my debut album, Water in a Whale and I'm touring the country to bring it further to life.
What inspired the song “Cameron”, it brought me to tears…
Cameron is based on the journey of a trans friend of mine. But Cameron is also about me, in a way. I've certainly felt alien in my own skin, as I think a lot of us do. The long road to self acceptance takes a lot of courage, and Cameron represents that to me.
What is a day in the life on the road like?
-Wake up at like 7am
-Go for a jog in the hotel gym
-Drive to a radio station where I'll play a couple of songs and do an interview on air.
-Find some delicious nutritious brunch
-Maybe have to drive a bunch of hours while I do some phone interviews, answer emails, check in with my socials.
-Load into the venue at around 4pm
-Do my hair/makeup and warm up my voice
-Play my show
-Meet and greet fans after the show (take pictures/ sign things/ sell things)
-Load out the gear, drive to the hotel, fall asleep hopefully around 1am and do it all again the next day!
Plans after tour? Sleep for a week, more tour dates, etc…
I'm gonna stay on the road as much as possible. Sleep is great but right now is not the time!