Musical perfectionism. An innate ability to mix the unexpected together into a seamless flow. These are the qualities that mark Johnny M.
Drilled from an early age in classical piano, Johnny M’s musical acumen in writing, arranging, and music theory is staggering. He wrote his first song, ‘Mystery’, at the age of 16. Although he now admits the song was “simplistic and rough”, ‘Mystery’ showed right away what this innovative artist was up to. Injecting his love of films into music, ‘Mystery” used samples from the film Young Frankenstein to good effect.
In 1995, Johnny M formed ASAGIRI with Hyperkitty, DJ Sakura, and Rory Urban. ASAGIRI (which is Japanese for ‘morning mist’) spent their time collaborating in the studio, with Johnny M responsible for primary keys and additional drums. It was during this time that Johnny M first worked with Dark World and captured a rare five song demo release on CD, including a special version of his song ‘Fear’ sung by Kylyra.
Johnny M’s inability to follow Dark World to Europe in 2001, although sad for all the artists involved, made no difference for this tenacious artist. As the catalogue of his solo work began to mount up, it became apparent that Johnny M wanted to go in a different direction musically than ASAGIRI. The group split amicably, and Johnny M continues to collaborate on occasional mixes with DJ Sakura.
Bereft of Dark World’s recording studio, Johnny M turned to his computer to bring his music to life. Johnny M began working with loop-based programs, but unlike other digital DJs he had the solid experience of working with Dark World in their recording studios. Using his computer and sound production skills, Johnny M developed his signature club/ambient sound combined with samples from films on the MTV Music Generator. These songs, recorded as ASAGIRI, were released on www.darkworld.com as free MP3’s.
The ensuing years for Johnny M were difficult. He worked to balance a full time job while simultaneously managing, DJing, and performing with Dr. Farrago’s Burlesque Theatre (www.drfarrago.com) and continuing to create new music, but his health was beginning to fail. With time constraints and growing physical constraints, Johnny M’s work on his debut release, Riddle, was slowed.
In 2008 Riddle burst on the music scene with its release on iTunes. Desirous of a more sophisticated program, Johnny M turned to Acid Pro to create the tracks for Riddle. With his live work and growing internet fan base, Johnny M’s Riddle pushed its way to number one in sales on Dark World International. Johnny’s continuing work with film samples interlaced with both club and ambient songs packed the tracks on Riddle, and ‘With Joanna Lumley as Jessica’ proved to one of Johnny M’s best sellers.
Johnny M is currently working on new songs for an upcoming release. Demo samples of his music can be found on soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/johnnymsugar. His smash debut release, Riddle, is now available on Wa3 (wawawa.cn) in China.