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In Conversation with Johnny Biner

In the symphony of his artistic journey, Johnny Biner channels his emotions through the vessel of his beloved guitar, crafting abstract yet uplifting melodies with a spiritual mission. His music is a fusion, blending elements of Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk, old-school blues guitar solos reminiscent of B.B. King, Tribe Called Quest-inspired beats, and Brazilian harmonies echoing Toninho Horta and Ivan Lins. Just before his live performance at Hidden Gem, we had a brief conversation about where he's coming from, where he's at & what's next. Scroll down to catch a glimpse of the performance.

My name is Johnny Biner, I'm a guitar player, and songwriter. Tonight, we are playing my compositions only with my band, which doesn't happen every day, but it's always a pleasure. I'm excited.

How would you describe the sound of Johnny Biner?

I would describe my music as neo soul jazz, because there's strong influences from, neo soul, jazz, and also soul music, soulful jazz, which I'm all really into. And yeah, we're trying to have a jazzy approach, I would say, on more modern music. Groove-based music. It's also based on Afro American culture, mainly. That's what we love to do, and it's fun to play.

How do you feel in this current chapter of your life, in your music?

Basically, I've been here in Amsterdam for four years now. I just finished my bachelor at the conservatory, so I had a lot of time to explore music. Now I'm kind of stepping into the world on my own, and I'm working on my first album at the moment. I'm gonna release it after the summer. This is my first project where I've put all of my influences, all of my experiences, and everything. For me it feels like starting out as an artist myself, and to not just play guitar and also have an album, a concept, and a story, so to say.

Tijmen de Nooy Photography

Aside from the album, do you have anything else pinned down to 2024 that we can look forward to?

There's actually a lot of stuff coming this year, which I'm really excited about. This winter, we've been working really hard. There's gonna be a RADIOHOP album, which is gonna be crazy as well. Then there's an EP in the making, and a lot of releases coming from different artists I'm working with. Some I cannot tell so much about yet. I'm gonna be playing with my favorite producer Soul Supreme on his first live shows, so there's definitely interesting stuff on the way.

What message would you like to convey in your music?

My album is called A Way Out, and it's something I really thought of a lot, because I feel our societies can be quite illusionary sometimes, based on a conclusion I've come to. It's kind of rooted down in capitalism, I guess. This whole idea of how our society works is that you should work, work, work, and then you can have a week off to enjoy. But there's this kind of pressure within the air, which I think is illusionary. It's very unfortunate in my opinion. Of course, I'm saying this now, being part of it myself. Music for me is a way to find A Way Out to, find escapes, find freedom and happiness and luck. This is something I hope I can encourage people as well. To find freedom in art.

Keep up with Johnny:


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