"I am completely obsessed with making music, and this train ain’t stopping any time soon" My 2020 by Jillette Johnson
With a slew of new songs released in 2020 ahead of her terrific new album, February's It's A Beautiful Day And I Love You, we thought the time was ripe to find out all about Jillette Johnson's 2020. It's included some genius timing, and some time spent finding out about gardening.
Hey Jillette, so, what’s been the most exciting thing you’ve done in 2020?
I got married! Hard to beat that. We had our wedding in Mexico at the end of February, RIGHT, before Covid changed everything. Very lucky and very grateful.
Great timing! What’s been your biggest challenge of 2020?
I’ve spent a lot of this year in a state of fear, and sitting with that feeling has been really hard. I’ve been really scared for us as a country, and as a collective humanity, and I think the level of existential threat has felt a lot higher than I’ve ever been aware of. I continue to be reminded of how little I know, and how little I can control.
In the year of COVID, what’s the thing you’ve done more of, or done for the first time due to the pandemic?
I’ve done more gardening, and more business-ing! I guess people call that adulting? It’s helped both my yard, and my career blossom, and I’m grateful for the time spent in one place because it has afforded me those luxuries.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve played music in 2020? (Or, what’s been your experience of playing live streams?)
I haven’t done a tone of live streaming, but I will say that what I have done has felt equal parts totally weird, super nerve-racking, and also kind of exhilarating. The fact that there’s really no energy exchange in real life makes it hard to genuinely be in the moment. Like I'll try to make a joke, but no one is there to audibly laugh, so I just awkwardly laugh at my own joke, and then stew in the silence for a few seconds. Same thing when I’m done with a song. There’s no applause, so I just kind of stare at my feet when I’m done playing it and try to figure out how to segue into the next thing. But eventually, there’s a third wall that breaks down, and the songs start falling out more easily, and towards the end, it feels almost like the high of a normal show. But then of course when the show is over, I go eat dinner with my husband and my cat and I’m in bed by 8:30.
What’s the one album you’ve loved most in 2020?
I weirdly haven’t been listening to much music this year. I think it’s because I’m never in my car, or on a plane, thanks to being home for 8 months straight. Joni Mitchell’s Court And Spark has always been and will always be one of my most played albums though. Same with Heart Like A Wheel by Linda Ronstadt. There’s a lot of great new music coming out this year too, and I’ve been excited about it, but I sadly haven’t been diving in to full records the way I did when I was stuck in a seat for hours on end, staring out a window.
What’s been the song that’s most soundtracked your 2020?
I got turned on to Sammy Kershaw this year, and that song 'Queen of My Double Wide Trailer' kills me. I pick that one.
What have you hated about 2020?
Watching the world in so much pain. Also, I miss playing shows. And I miss my family, and I miss hugging people.
What are you most excited about for in 2021?
I can’t wait for my album to come out. I worked so hard on it, and it’s time to let it fly free. Also, I’m excited for a damn vaccine!
Finally, what’s the one thing about your 2020 that you’d like to share?
I’ve learned a lot of things about myself this year, but there is one truth that I’ve known for a long time, and this year has even further illuminated it. I am completely obsessed with making music, and this train ain’t stopping any time soon. You can be sure to hear a lot more from me with this new album, and beyond.
To find out more about Jillette you can check out her official website, or go see what she's up to go follow her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Her new record, It's A Beautiful Day And I Love You, is out 12th February.