The fall Concert in the Park continues with 16-year-old Joy Johnson of Tifton, who will be taking the stage for the first time in the series at noon Friday at Veterans Memorial Park.
Johnson, a homeschooled student, says she used to suffer a lot from anxiety and panic attacks when attending public school. She said the attacks are not as bad as they once were.
Her love for singing began at age four. During an interview at The Gazette office Tuesday morning, Johnson recalled when her older brothers, Jay and Chris, formed a band called “Radar Jones.” They played a lot of classical rock, and she would watch them play every day. Smiling, she said one of her favorite memories is when her brothers took the table out of their dining room and turned it into a music room.
“Basically, I wanted to do what they were doing,” she said. Seeing her brothers play the guitar and their friends playing the drums and keyboard interested her. Therefore, at age four, she started playing the piano. Johnson noted she’s the youngest in her family. She also has an older sister, Carley.
Besides piano, she also plays the guitar. She’s been playing the guitar since she was 12 years old, but her main focus is playing the piano. She said she’s self-taught on everything.
“If there’s an instrument that I like, usually I just look up YouTube tutorials, but I learn most of my stuff by ear,” she said.
Johnson said she will be starting drum lessons soon. She really wants to master the guitar, piano and drums, and eventually the violin. However, her favorite instrument is still the piano.
“I love the piano,” she said, noting she grew up listening to pianist George Winston with her father.
The type of music that Johnson likes performing is edgy rock and pop punk. She said she likes bands such as New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy, Blink-182 and All Time Low. She explained the reason that she’s into edgy music is because she has a soft spot for classical rock and 1990s rock. When her sister was 16 years old and she was only eight, she would listen to whatever her sister was listening to through her bedroom door.
“I listen to everything, and I’ll play anything,” she added.
When asked to choose her favorite band, she admits to many favorites, but her top two would be All Time Low and Set It Off. She said she’s always loved singing. Her brothers’ band had a huge impact on her. She recalled when she was about six years old, she asked one of her brothers if could she sing with them. They performed a rock version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Johnson said she wore a feathered boa and star glasses and “jammed out” to the song.
She noted she plans on putting out an album later this winter or by early spring. Her goal after finishing school is to attend Full Sail University in Florida and major in music production.
“I want to be a musician and producer. I want to have my own studio and hopefully, my own record label,” Johnson said. “I want to do everything.” She said she wants to continue to sing as well. She hopes to follow in her brothers’ footsteps by forming a band. She’s looking for a drummer, bass player and lead and rhythm guitarist who are into edgy rock. Those interested can call 392-4811.
Johnson has performed at the Downtown Farmer’s Market and Georgia National Fair in Perry. She will be performing at Daniel Shippey Photography’s acoustic show, which will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at his studio on East Second Street. She will also be performing at the All That Glitters Fall Affair Nov. 9.
Johnson said she likes acting as well.
“I’m really into entertainment, because I want to make people smile and happy. Entertainment is a good way to do that,” she said. “I really want to be something to people and help them if they’re going through a hard time. That’s always been a huge thing to me.”
She said acting is more of a hobby, but music is her main focus as a career. She said she writes a lot of her songs and her stage name is “Aimless.” She said she loves to move around on stage and “rock out.”
“That is my heart,” she said, smiling.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.