Jan Johnston (born 21 February 1968, Salford, England) is an English professional singer, best known for collaborating with some of the world's top trance music DJs and producers.[1]

Jan Johnston
Born (1968-02-21) 21 February 1968 (age 52)
OriginSalford, England
GenresTrance, pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
Years active1991–present
LabelsPerfecto
Associated actsPaul Oakenfold, Brian Transeau, Paul van Dyk, DJ Tiesto
WebsiteOfficial website

CareerEdit

In the early 1990s she was signed to Columbia Records as part of the pop duo JJ (with fellow Mancunian Tony Kirkham), which gained some recognition while touring the UK with the #55 minor UK hit "If This Is Love".[2]

However, when the band project failed she continued as a solo artist; turning down the opportunity to sign to Deconstruction Records[3] and instead signing to A&M Records. In the mid 1990s she came to the attention of trance producer, Brian Transeau, when he purchased one of her singles from a bargain bin in Manchester.[4] Impressed by her vocals, he decided to collaborate with her recording the track "Remember."

Following this, Johnston was in demand to vocal for many other trance tracks, notably for Alan Bremmer and Anthony Pappa's "Freefall" project. Upon being given the instrumental, Jan came up with the lyrics resulting in "Skydive (I Feel Wonderful)" which despite being a club anthem, never translated to a commercial hit, finally hitting the top 40 at No. 35 on its third release in 2001.

Perfecto RecordsEdit

Paul Oakenfold signed her to his Perfecto Records label in 1999, with Jan initially recording three dance tracks with Jamie Myerson: "Religion"; "Flesh" - a track Johnston had previously written with BT - that {Perfecto planned to be the first single release by Johnson on Perfecto; and a re-recording of "Time", a demo previously recorded with Rob Davies retitled "Am I On Pause" which Paul Oakenfold played on his 1999 tour.

None of these tracks were released and plans for the release of "Flesh" were shelved in favour of Jan recording "Emerging", an album of acoustic pop (which could then be remixed for the clubs and Perfecto's audience) with Jamie Myerson. A cover of The Carpenters' song, "Superstar", was lined up to be the album's first single in 2000, with remixes produced by Todd Terry, DJ Tiesto and Bill Hammel, and a video filmed but would ultimately go on to be unreleased.

Instead, Perfecto revisited "Flesh", releasing new remixes of this by DJ Tiesto and Tilt rather than a track from the album, which reached No. 36 in the charts in March 2001. The original version of "Flesh", recorded in 1999 was not part of the release package and it was not until 2019 that it saw release.[5]

Following this, Perfecto returned to the "Emerging" album with remixes of one of the album tracks and planned singles, "As The Cracks Appear", emerging on a Perfecto 2001 summer promo release, though these went unreleased. Instead Perfecto released the single Silent Words which reached No. 57 in the UK charts.[6] This would be the only track to be released from the "Emerging" album during this time with the album delayed numerous times due to disagreements with Perfecto's then parent label Mushroom UK due to its lack of dance tracks and then later due to Mushroom's sale by NewsCorp and was ultimately unreleased following Mushroom UK's subsequent acquisition by Warner Music.[7]

Of the "Emerging" recordings and remixes, aside from "Silent Words", only a remix of "Superstar" and a remix of the album track "Unafraid", appearing on the soundtrack to the film, Swordfish were released. In 2002, Perfecto issued promo releases for new remixes of "Am I On Pause" though these also went unreleased.

Post Perfecto RecordsEdit

Following the cancellation of the 'Emerging' project, Johnston continued to write and record with trance producers, contributing five tracks to Paul van Dyk's Grammy Award nominated, Reflections album,[8] amongst other projects though once again the majority of them went unreleased.

In 2008, new solo tracks by Johnston began to emerge, with two of them "Sleeping Satellite" and "Obsession", released digitally in 2009 by Perfecto however there have been no further solo releases since. She continues to provide guest vocals on a number of trance music tracks, most of which have been released. Notable tracks include "As It Should" with Tenishia in 2012 and "Skysearch" with DJ Feel in 2015.

Digital re-issues and release of unreleased materialEdit

In 2016, a previously unreleased album of Jan's entitled "When Everything Was Possible" that was recorded with Jamie Myerson in 1998 ahead of her signing to Perfecto was released on Jan's Bandcamp page[9] and a few months later Johnston's music as part of the duo JJ was digitally re-issued by Sony Music. A digital re-issued of "Naked But For Lilies" followed in April 2017 by Universal music and the "Flesh" and "Silent Words" singles by Warner Music in August 2017.

In June 2017 Johnston released the song "Falling Away", the first song from "The Travelling Vixen", a collection of previously unreleased material written and recorded with DJ Manolo following the "Emerging" project.

In 2018 Johnston signed to Solar Storm records with new remixes of her singles "Calling Your Name" and "Flesh" released.[10] In November 2019, it was announced that Johnston's "Emerging" album would be released by August Day Records, almost 20 years after its initial planned release date. The cancelled 2001 single "As The Cracks Appear" was released on 22 November on Solar Storm along with "Religion", with the "Emerging" album on 29 November with plans for the release of old singles "Superstar" and "Am I On Pause" to follow.

DiscographyEdit

JJEdit

AlbumsEdit

  • 1991 Intro...

SinglesEdit

  • 1988 "If I Never See Sunday"
  • 1990 "Slide Away"
  • 1991 "If This is Love"
  • 1991 "Crying Over You"

Jan JohnstonEdit

AlbumsEdit

  • 1994 Naked But for Lilies (A&M Records)
  • 2000 Emerging (initially unreleased - released in 2019) (Perfecto Records)
  • 2016 When Everything Was Possible (recorded in 1998 - self-released)
  • 2017 The Travelling Vixen (recorded in 2004 - self-released)

SinglesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jan Johnston
  2. ^ "Jan Johnston | Biography & History | AllMusic". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ "INTERVIEW: Jan Johnston ahead of Cream Reunion | Liverpool Live TV". www.liverpool-live.tv. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  4. ^ "[i:Vibes] – your guide to electronic dance music (trance, techno, house, progressive etc.)". Ivibes.nu. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Jan Johnston - Flesh 2019". www.solarstorm.info. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Jan Johnston - full official charts history". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. ^ "INTERVIEW: Jan Johnston ahead of Cream Reunion | Liverpool Live TV". www.liverpool-live.tv. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Paul Van Dyk's Historic Grammy Nomination". Internetdj.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  9. ^ https://janjohnston.bandcamp.com/album/when-everything-was-possible
  10. ^ "Jan Johnston - Calling Your Name". www.solarstorm.info. Retrieved 9 August 2019.

External linksEdit