Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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INTERVIEW: JOHN KORBEL

John Korbel is a US jazz pop musician and singer songwriter who simply makes beautiful music. After successes delving into holiday music and the likes, he embarks on his debut album ‘Falling Feels Like Flying’, with ‘New York All To Ourselves’ being the first insight into Korbel’s unique musical world.

With masterful songwriting and musicianship throughout, this really is a pure example of perfect jazz pop romance. John wanted to encapsulate the romance of a weekend getaway to New York, crafting a classic-sounding offering reminiscent of Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett, and he’s done it in with such guile and finesse. We sat down with John to learn more about the song, the album and what makes him tick, here at TAGG Magazine.

‘New York All To Ourselves’ is described as an enchanting jazz composition inspired by your own experiences. Can you take us behind the scenes of the song’s creation and the emotions you aimed to evoke?

The song contains anecdotes of things that I’ve really experienced on visits to NYC. It’s really about being a visitor to New York and the feeling of romance that it can give you. I am sure people that live there don’t always feel that way about it. The song is a tourist fantasy, about things that really happened.

 

What does the song mean to you?

I went to New York with someone I loved. It’s a sweet memory.

 

As you’re about to unveil your much-anticipated debut album, ‘Falling Feels Like Flying,’ what can listeners expect in terms of themes and musical exploration?

Like the title suggests, flying is a big part of the imagery. There are uplifting songs like Wheels Up and Falling Feels Like Flying. There are also songs about what it’s like on the way down from the highs of love like The One Without Wings. There is even a song about an imaginary Australian lounge singer called Lizard Of Oz. Musically, the tracks are something that I am very proud of. I owe a great debt for that to my producer, Mark Falchook. Mark is responsible for some of the best arrangements and instrumentation you will ever hear. 

 

Your work is compared to artists like Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett. How have these iconic figures influenced your musical style, and are there other artists who have played a significant role in shaping your sound? 

I have focused some of my songwriting on capturing the elegance of the style of songs often referred to as The American Songbook, songs from the Jazz era of the 1930’s to the early 1960’s. Michael Buble and Tony Bennett have made wonderful careers mining that wealth of material. I thought if I could write some songs that capture some of that magic it would be an accomplishment. By the same token, I also have written things that are more up to date. I admire Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, and of course Sting is also someone that I idolise.

 

Are there specific musical or non-musical influences that have inspired you while working on your debut album? 

I can’t say enough about working with my producer, Mark Falchook. The thrill for me as a songwriter is to come up with an original idea that acts as a framework, and then hand it off to people like Mark and the amazing Jazz musicians that we had on the sessions. They are often able to take the song places that I never imagined. It’s an exciting process!

 

Can you walk us through your creative process when it comes to songwriting and composing? Do you have any rituals or routines that help you tap into your creative flow? 

I have had some great mentors in songwriting. One was Eddie Snyder who co-wrote Strangers In The Night for Frank Sinatra as well as a huge string of other hits. He taught me to keep a notebook and just write down things that I think would make great song titles, or great phases. I still do that to this day. Writing the music for me comes from finding the rhythm and melody within the lyrics themselves. I have read that Elton John approaches things in somewhat the same way with Bernie Taupin and his other lyricists.

 

And finally, are there any dream collaborations or specific milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years? 

I am simply hoping that the album attracts enough attention that I can get to perform at some major festivals and do a tour.

 

Listen to ‘New York All To Ourselves’:

Tom L.

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