Joni Ljungqvist [jpl]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
Electronic music, mostly experienced with different forms of modern electronic dancemusic. Original production, mixing, sound engineering and remixing, as well as composing and writing. I have a special weak spot for "airy" and "atmospheric" compositions.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I mostly work on my own, realizing my own thoughts into musical pieces. Sometimes I collaborate with various other musicians such as Terje Bakke, Maarten Hercules, Danjo and Carl B. I've also done over 25 official remixes ranging from indiepop to dance records.
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
The following links are available if you want to hear some of my work:
Official website/blog: www.jpl-music.com
Please list discography in which you have participated.
The official discography is available here (though it's not entirely complete):
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
As I've always been interested in the creative and productive output within the field of art, I started competing in drawing as a youngster and by the age of 12 I had turned my focus to playing keyboards and creating music instead. With the development of computer software I was able to start networking into the business as well as develop my own skills as a musician and producer.
What was your musical education?
I am almost entirely self-taught, with the exception of a few classes in sound engineering and music. These were however only high school classes. I learned (and sadly forgot) how to read music there.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
For me, art (and culture) in particular have always been one of the corner stones for (the modern) society. When I discovered that music was the one "sane thing" I could find in the world, I realized this was what I loved to do the most. It kept me happy through bad times, and it continues to be a driving force in my life. It's the centerpoint, so to speak.
What is your creative process?
I'm mainly influenced by my own thoughts, perceptions and "out of the blue"-ideas that come to me. From there I start working up music that I think will embrace this thought and capture and translate this emotion to others.
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
I don't think a song is ever finished, when you give your piece some time to evolve with the changes, you'll find yourself asking why you didn't do this and that when you could. You just have to set down your foot when you're satisfied and content that this is the best you can do.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
I would say this was answered before. But it's self-theraphy, and hopefully it can help other people too, to affect their emotions or just bring comfort.
What part of your job is your least favourite?
The constant influence of commercialism. It is a less fun, but obviously a necessery part. What I mean is to keep the administrational and business-minded ventures up to par while working with music. Thankfully the internet has provided some ease with this.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
Mixed emotions of nervousness and excitment. Usually, the excitment and the adrenaline rush is all that's left in the end.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
There are tons of them. I like to listen to a lot of different kinds of music, and obviously people who work within the same area as myself are daily influences. I do however respect artists that have kept their idea and artistic values of music ahead of the thought of "selling records". They are the ones who become the major influences for music in the future.
List three songs that are key to your life.
Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Albinon - Adagio in G Minor
I have to squeeze this in too: Solarstone - Solarcoaster
What should be done to stop piracy?
Nothing, other than to embrace it and start trying to work with it instead of against it. In my opinion piracy is something that has come as a natural development of society, technology and the music business. What should be done though is stop the controlling of the market from a few dominating actors, educating artists in getting more control themselves and find/develop new businessmodels to work with the new ways of the music business. Piracy will never disappear in a democratized society, and it's a wonderful tool, or atleast an opportunity for smaller artists who can't afford to buy themselves into the public eye. Thankfully with the development of the internet, music is becoming more artistic again, instead of being a vehicle for return of investment for big corporations.
At the same time I realize piracy can be hurtful to semi-succesful artists who are just setting up their career. However, I believe that if word-of-mouth and spreading of the music internationally by potential fans become reality, it can be a very powerful tool. There are still ways of sustaining a career within the music without selling a ton of records.
Meanwhile there has to be a transitional period, and I think this has started now, with a lot of artists setting up their own labels instead.
What type of music do you detest?
Although there are genres, songs and artists I don't like, I can't say I detest them. Everyone has the freedom to do what they want with music, and I wouldn't want to stop them and their influence over the lives of those who are affected by it.
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
To make a long, boring story short: I let the music sell itself. The music is, and should be bigger than the artist (even though it might seem cynical in the world of branding).
What other things have you done to make a living?
I've written smaller articles for local newspapers, worked with a website I co-developed with friends and studied at the university.
Who would you play with, without a doubt?
Too many to mention, there are many legends I'd like to jam with. I'd love to discuss music and jam with Brian Eno, or perhaps learn from the dead legends, Chopin or Mozart, for example. And of course a lot of people who are legends in both electronic dance music and other genres, who are still alive. Here's to hoping and dreaming!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Stay true to yourself, be patient and don't forget to have fun.