The Year of J.P. Kallio
It’s not that conscious decision but I did notice when I opened up and wrote songs or even blog posts from my heart, people responded and responded in a way I never could have even dreamed of. – J.P. Kallio
By Walter Price
2014 has had many a great discoveries in music. One of my faves is when I got myself introduced to the sounds of singer-songwriter J.P. Kallio. Based in Ireland, Kallio resonates with truth in story telling songs. Mostly his own self experiences, observations or awareness laid out in a year long quest to overcome his phobias, if you will.
The man and his music have hit an extraordinary achievement; the release of his fourth album, The Call, in less than a year’s time and this one, from my perspective, reaches deeper subject matters. Well, let me say it this way, good portions of The Call approaches the writer’s experiences with a depth of heart as true and gut wrenching as you’ll find.
J.P. Kallio has become a friend to me and the pages of The GTC. Not only has he soul searched with his music, he has also tapped into to his some 20 years as a professional music maker to provide an insider’s guidance on navigating the DIY side of music making via his blog and subsequently on these very pages. It’s a nice relationship.
I though it a good idea to catch up with Kallio on a year that was…
Since we first met you this past March you’ve kept your promise to yourself and not only released a track each week…Have you overcome all your trepidation about being a music maker?
Oh hell no! Being a songwriter you always are scared of not being able to write any more (although I don’t believe in writer’s blog), or even more just write crap… But I believe that’s part of what keeps us working harder.
This past year you’ve also become a go-to guy on the DIY side of music making what made decide to start sharing your knowledge?
Thank you, I am a strong believer in change coming within us and I believe helping others is important. I stumbled and fell over and over again over the years and if I can help other not making the same mistakes, why not try? Maybe we could have bit more transparency in the independent music business and maybe we could help each other along the way.
Your music from the start of this project has always been personal but this last album it seems you went full guts and laid it all out. Was this the point from the start, were you building up to get it out?
Well… It’s not that conscious decision but I did notice when I opened up and wrote songs or even blog posts from my heart, people responded and responded in a way I never could have even dreamed of. I started getting emails and messages about how my experiences have resonated with them, given them hope, comforted them and even got them through some tough times in their life. To be able to do that with a song is just incredible! But if you know me at all, you know I’m not good at being something I’m not So just trying to do honestly what I love doing and do it from my heart.
Did you learn anything about yourself in 2014 that you wish you hadn’t/
No. I learned so much! I had to admit many things to myself that I had been ignoring for years, but I believe it has all been for good. I believe I am a better man than I was last year this time.
You’ve mentioned to me recently you have plans to tour in 2015, what is up those sleeves of yours?
It’s all still in the planning stages, but I’d like to do a tour(s) where I would travel mainly on trains, planes and busses. I’d also love to document it in some way, but the logistics of it is complicated, so we will see. But yeah, I’d like to bring a live show, which will be mainly music but also hopefully bit of the same eye opening experience I have been trying to inflict on my blog as well. But I will need a team of people behind me for all this, so let’s hope for the best
Not to be an ass but if I count correctly you still have a few more songs to release before you hit 52 for the year? Do you plan to hit the #52?
Hell yeah! Too late to give up now but not only that, I have been thinking of this for the past month or so and I think I’d like to continue next year
What are the five things people need to know about making DIY music in 2015?
Cool! Let’s get in to business …
- First of all, streaming is here to stay! This is not a case of us musicians liking it or not, or the heads of major labels liking it or not. It is a case that people who listen to music like the convenience of it and they will use it. Also with time the mobile data will drop in price and this will only make the streaming services even more popular. So as a musician you need to figure out an adjust your business model to include streaming services.
- Second and coinciding with the above, CD and download sales will be down. As a result I could see some serious shuffles in major labels. The Independents will get stronger and will still sell CD’s and downloads.
- Unfortunately the drop in CD sales will also make record shops struggle even further. I actually believe that the future of record shops could be joined with book shops and coffee shops.
- And on to the live shows. It is amazing how the food chain is opposite in the business of live shows than other parts of music business. In Record industry the independent artists make more money per album sale than the artists on major labels. Sure the major label artists go t sell a lot more units, but their cut is much smaller. In the live show business, often the musician is the last person to get paid. Most artists starting up do not get paid for playing live shows, in fact often they are the ones to guarantee the sound engineer gets paid. Sure you need to learn your craft somewhere, but there comes a point where everyone else is making money except the artist. So that needs to be looked at. Also I think there will be a demand for a circuit of venues around Europe that is not as alcohol sales oriented as it is now. I would expect the independents to play a role in this again.
- Last but not least I am hoping we will see more transparency in the services for the independent artists. There are too many people making money out of the independent artists without providing value in return. I am hoping to play my small part in this through my blog and through the Global Texan Chronicles. Let’s hope we can keep levelling the playing field.