Vann Johnson Biography
The universal themes in Messages are ones that not only resonate for Vann, but will for the listener, too. The songs -- many of which Vann wrote herself -- take a melodic, insightful approach to the themes of love and loss, hope and passion, and even simpler things like someone's need for a little more attention.
"I think that I'm supposed to write about these things," says Vann. "Some of the songs have to do with my own personal challenges, but when I write a song, I look at the theme of what I'm saying purely from the standpoint of what someone may need. Life can be really simple, but sometimes we forget and make life more complicated than it needs to be."
One of the songs on Messages, entitled "Some Rules Were Made To Be Broken," is an anthem to pursuing your dreams in spite of doubts from within...and without. As Vann sings in "Rules:" You'll face tough decisions, choices and opinions. Be strong, so strong. Never loose your focus, though the road seems hopeless, when you're facing the unknown. There's a reason for your being. You were chosen from the start, as you stand and make a difference, you'll inspire hearts...
Vann has been inspiring hearts ever since her voice met a microphone. As Vann's fans well know, the Detroit native headed for Los Angeles in 1991 to pursue her life's ambition, only to have that dream briefly deferred when the gig she was counting on fell through. With just $75 to her name, Vann spent her days cleaning houses and her nights concentrating on her singing career until a lucky break arrived in the form of Michael Bolton. The r&b balladeer just happened to catch the end of Vann's set at the Universal Hilton, where she sang one night each week in the hotel's nightclub. That chance meeting led to a successful audition and a gig touring with Bolton for the next five years.
Vann next began touring with Yanni as a featured soloist -- performing with the renowned musician at the Forbidden City in China, India's Taj Mahal, in Europe and across the U.S. In addition to taking part in the Yanni tour, Vann had the honor of performing the hit ballad "Love Is All," the musician's first-ever song with lyrics, which was featured on Yanni's million-selling "Tribute" CD.
Vann credits both Bolton and Yanni for providing the influences that form her unique approach to music. With Messages, Vann combines orchestral music and international percussions into a style that Upscale Magazine recently described as "New Age Soul."
"I don't like labeling music," says Vann, "but that is a reality of this business. What I do, what I sing, is my own. It's music based on life's experiences. I leave it up to the listener to fill in the blanks from their own perspective. Where my music takes them and what it means to them is up to each individual."
Listeners will soon be able to find their own meaning in the messages with the Fall release of the Messages CD. The Messages CD will include "Rules" and several other Vann Johnson originals.
Vann has spent the past four months in the recording studio working on Messages with the knowledge that her fans are anxiously awaiting her solo debut. Fans became familiar with the artist through her performances with Bolton and Yanni and through her popular website - www.vannjohnson.com - where Vann provides updates on her activities on the road and off and where she responds to emails and notes of encouragement.
"When I've had difficult times, I've drawn on the strength of the thoughts and prayers that Vann fans have shared," she says. "I am blessed to have such wonderful fans and I have missed them. And I'd like for my fans to know that they, too, are a source of inspiration for me and my music."