John Aram

1. How did you get your initial start in music?

I began playing music at school and then went to the Royal Academy of Music in London.

2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I love working on other peoples projects or writing music for artists. It gives me a real kick to get the best out of musicians and artists. I think this is something that I do well. I’m less at ease in the spotlight myself.

3. How long have you been writing your own music?

I started seriously writing my own music in 1996 after moving to Switzerland. People seemed to quite like the music I wrote and so that encouraged me. Just recently there have been a few commissions and large scale projects that have demanded a lot of time and investment but I really enjoy writing for pop soul music. I think I’m getting a little bit better at it each time. Who knows, one day it might be really good!

4. Who are your top three influences and why?

This is a really difficult question as I have so many influences. I guess Michael Jackson and all the Motown guys are a huge influence. I loved and still do love Sting and the fact that he is not afraid to try new things, he also surrounds himself by fantastic musicians. Thirdly I would say Miles Davis, again because he was always changing and surrounded himself again by young musicians who pushed him in new and often difficult directions.

5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

This new release uses a lot of very good friends. Jason Rebello from Sting’s band does such a fantastic job on all the keyboards. We had guest appearances from Daryl Stuermer from Genesis and from the wonderful Gregoire Maret. The singers were also fantastic with Sumudu from London and Amy Keys from LA. The whole disc is a concept album heavily influenced and in many ways a tribute to the great Stevie Wonder although most of the songs are original. If you want to hear some jazz covers of Stevie’s songs you will need to buy our album on one of the download sites where you can get some great bonus tracks.

6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’ve been based in Switzerland now for many years although I work a great deal in London or many other places. One thing about being in Geneva is that we are very central and it is quite easy to get to many places from here. Geneva has a small but very enthusiastic jazz community with a fantastic club called the AMR. There are also some fantastic musicians based here, Erik Truffaz, Léo Tardin or Arthur Hnatek. Send me a message if you’re coming through and I’ll point you in the right direction.

7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

The people mentioned above are great musicians. There is a great American Rap artist who is also based here and appears on our album, Rootwords. Greg Maret, the now legendary harmonica player comes from Geneva although he is now based in New York.

8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

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