Teagan Johnston

teagan

Check out Teagan’s website here!

How long have you been playing music?

I have been playing piano since I was five years old. I started writing my own music at age 9. It was a love affair from the start.
What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently following up the release of my first EP “Winter’s Child”. I’ve been playing lots of shows, rehearsing with some new people, and writing a lot. I am really excited for when I am in place to record next; I have a lot of ideas and new music for my next album.

List the top three priorities you have in life right now?

Be Happy, make lots of music, stay happy.

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Musically, who inspires you?

Emily Haines, when she had her solo career is someone who musically inspires me a lot. She is one of the few musicians I’ve ever really felt I could entirely relate to. While she had her solo career, most of her music was entirely piano and lyrically driven. She really had the guts to keep her music raw and vulnerable, and just let it be what it is. It’s so simplistically beautiful.

Do you find you are more inspired while dealing with difficult emotions?
Absolutely. I’ve always said it’s quite hard for me to write a happy song. Song writing has always been like a sort of therapy for me. My piano is like my best friend. When something is going wrong I just want to grab a cup of coffee, sit down with it for a few hours, and tell it everything that’s going wrong.

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What are some fears that have come up while pursing music?

For a while I really struggled with the fear of loneliness when pursuing a career in the music industry. The thought of maintaining a healthy long-term relationship with someone as well as my music, used to seem all too much for me. I see a lot of musicians I look up to going through really lonely lives, and felt really afraid that every dedicated musician had to live that way. The image of the starving or tortured artist is a very real one in our society.

How do you deal with those fears and keep going?

I remind myself that I am fortunate enough that my life can be exactly what I want it to be. I am in control of my own happiness in every aspect of my life, including my career.

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What sacrifices have you had to make for your music?

I am proud to say, I don’t think I have really made any “sacrifices” per say. I definitely think I got to enjoy a little less of the “high school experience” because of how serious I was about music from a young age, but at the end of the day I think I’d still call that more of a blessing than a sacrifice.

If you weren’t pursing music, what would you like to be doing?

Hmm that’s a tough one. Probably still something still in the arts, when I was younger I was quite serious about a career in fashion design. However I have also always really enjoyed studying, and might enjoy practicing something in politics or law.

In the end, what do you feel would be most important to you (If you could only have one)… a) that you lived with passion or b) that you had stability?

The most important thing to me will always be happiness. It’s a bit hard to pick between an A or B of passion or stability because for me I don’t think one survives without the other. My stability comes from my passion. When I am not working on something, or excited about a project, everything in my life can feel upside down.

3 year old Teagan at her first piano

3 year old Teagan at her first piano

Like most anything people pursue, there can be a lot of competition and sometimes feelings of jealousy, insecurity, cynicism etc. How do you stay focused and deal with these feelings, whether coming from others or yourself?

I always just try to remind myself that we are all here for different reasons doing different things. No two artists can be exactly alike, so although it’s natural and tempting, there is no point in jealousy. I find it always proves more helpful to my career in the end when I am open to sharing with other artists. Every man for them selves is just never the winning strategy.

Top three songs on your summer playlist?
My current obsessions would be:
1. Hot dreams – Timber Timbre
2. With the new crowd – Freedom Fry
3. 1957 – Milo Greene

Words to live by?

“ I think, there for I am” has always been one of my favorite quotes. It has always helped me maintain a strong sense of self. To realize you are really the only thing that will always be real and constant in your life is kind of wonderful. For me it makes it easier to always realize my self worth, and to always make decisions for my own happiness.

 

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