John Flanagan is an artist on the rise. In February 2011, he released his debut album "Pretty Lies," a dance rock infused album with catchy beats and thoughtful/provocative lyrics. He has performed across the country from New York to Nashville, Texas to Indiana, and Georgia to Oregon.
Born in Boston, John moved to Nashville at age 17 to pursue his dream of becoming a performer. While in Nashville, John honed his songwriting voice through various bands and side projects including The Gilly, Emily Kent, Jared Mitchell, and Jeffrey James.
In 2010, John was named “the new voice of MGM/Foxwoods casinos.” Now his jingles play in the arenas at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden, over New England televison, and across the airwaves of the Northeast. With the release of "Pretty Lies," John's career continues to explode. He has left Nashville for now for the bright lights of New York City!
Most recently, John performed at the Miss Oklahoma 2011 pageant and on Sunday, June 19 at 2:30pm, John will be performing at the Miss New York 2011 pageant! Come see for yourself just how amazing this rising artist is, while enjoying the Miss New York 2011 Grand Finale! For tickets, click here!
For much more on John, his album "Pretty Lies," and his new summer single "Elektrik," to be released on iTunes July 12, be sure to visit http://www.johnflanagan.com!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I've always wanted to be a performer...the music inspired it - all of the sounds coming into my ears from the time I was born. It's truly difficult to describe what motivates me to continue in this crazy world of broken promises and closed doors other than to point to a feeling. When I'm on stage and I connect with the audience, it's as though my heart ceases to beat and I'm just suspended in a moment. Before I know it, the show is over, and I'm left with a craving that passion all over again.
2. If you could perform alongside anyone, who would it be? I've been very fortunate to perform with some really talented performers in my life already...Nashville indie greats like Holley Maher, Jeffrey James, Annalise Emerick, and Brett McLaughlin, so I can't complain. If I had to choose a contemporary - someone on the charts - I'd probably choose Brandi Carlile or MIKA. And if you're asking which legend I'd choose, I guess Freddie Mercury would be it. He loved to duet - with Bowie, Maserati Caballe - he cowrote with Brian May, Michael Jackson - and his ear for harmonies is unparalleled.
3. How did you come up with the title and concept for "Pretty Lies?" Pretty Lies took shape over the course of nearly 5 months in Nashville, TN, and I toiled over the title for the entire length of the recording process. My list of title possibilities was 50 long, but as crunch time approached, I began combing my songs for things that stuck out. My track "Disappear" has a Joni Mitchell inspired line: "you had me falling for your pretty lies," and it just spoke to me. Additionally, there is a fair deal of storytelling throughout the album which is somewhat less than autobiographical, so I use the idea of "pretty lies" as an umbrella for my critics who ask "why did you say this, why did you say that?" My answer can be, "I was only telling a story."
4. What's the best advice you've ever received? You know, I can't really answer this. I've gotten my fair share of advice from people in the industry and throughout my travels; however, the best guide to my life and my career is instinct. Every time I try to do it the "proven way" or follow someone else's formula, I find that my singing and my writing translates disingenuously to my audience. What's more, I frustrate myself by comparison to other artists. Everyone achieved success differently. The thing that makes someone an artist is their unique an personal take on the world, so I don't apologize for doing things my own way.
5. What is your favorite part about the creative process in making an album? The songwriting is by far the most fulfilling part of the album writing process. When it comes to production, my mind is a cacophony of ideas that I have difficulty articulating to musicians without the filter of a really good producer. When it comes to recording vocals...I'm very self critical, so it's usually pretty exhausting for everyone involved. But the songwriting gives me an uplifting sense of creation. Out of nothing, I create something...piecing together meaningless words to create something of significance. It fulfills me.
6. Favorite place to write and rehearse/practice on your own? I love writing in Nashville. Moving to New York has proven this to me...I really miss going over to someone's house and writing without fear of disturbing neighbors.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I'm not in shape. I believe that plastic surgery was invented for a reason, and I can't wait for the liposuction.
8. Boxers or Briefs? Before New York - boxer/briefs. Now that I live here without a washer/dryer, I find myself going commando more and more often.
9. Favorite website? adaumbellesquest.com
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Are you kidding?
11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I'm an open book. There is nothing I do that is a secret.