Interview: Secondhand Serenade

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"The best thing 'bout tonight's that we're not fighting..."

Everybody knows this song. I was twelve when this song was released and nobody I knew didn't know this song. It was playing on the radio 24/7, playing at every store in every mall, playing in cafés... The song was literally everywhere you went and that's pretty much still the case now.

Just in case I lost you at the first line, the song I'm talking about is "Fall For You" by Secondhand Serenade. Released in early 2008, the multi-platinum song has become a love anthem worldwide, tugging on the heartstrings of millions of music lovers and romantics all over the world.

Five years later, John Vesely, the musical genius behind Secondhand Serenade, is working on his fourth studio album. After releasing his latest single "Shake It Off", much to the delight of his fans, he is ready to make a comeback and he is ready to show the world that he is no one-hit wonder.

In 2012, John announced that he had officially parted ways with his record label, Glassnote Records. Instead, he decided to turn to a more effective platform which would help fund his album and also allow him to express his full creativity without any restrictions and limitations --- Pledgemusic.

Pledgemusic is a kick-starter programme where indie musicians can work together with their fans to fund their work through campaigns. Notable users of this innovative platform include former Click Five frontman Kyle Patrick, Joe Brooks and The Lumineers. After a very successful campaign on Pledgemusic, John has begun work on his new studio album which he promises will include more upbeat dance tunes like "Shake It Off".

Musichel had the opportunity to talk to John/Secondhand Serenade about the success of "Fall For You", working with Juliet Simms and what's next for him!

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Secondhand Serenade has released three studio albums so far. How has your music changed since the first album?
I've definitely evolved as an artist, as a writer and as a producer. I have learned so much over the years and it is very natural for your musical taste to change over time. I know that every step of the way, I've been making the music that I want to make and I'm very proud to say that.

You have toured with YouTube sensations like Boyce Avenue and Alex Goot. How would you describe that experience?
It was a great experience. They are both extremely talented and I made some great friends along the way. I look forward to future tours with them.

What is your favourite song to perform live?
I still really like "Fall for You". Just the feeling when the whole crowd fills the room singing along is something that I can't describe. We all share a connection and it never ever gets old for me.

Your latest single "Shake It Off" is pretty different from your usual music. What is the story behind the song and can fans expect to hear more dancey tunes in your upcoming album?
"Shake It Off" is a song about putting everyday problems behind you and staying positive. I really thought it was time for me to write a feel good song and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. There are definitely more songs on the album like this one.

What usually inspires you when you're writing a song?
Honestly... I like to write about what's going on in my life. I'm in a very positive place in my life right now so this album is full of positive, inspiring songs.

It has been 5 years since its release but "Fall For You" is still very popular among music listeners worldwide. When you wrote & recorded the song, did you imagine it to be that big of a success?
I had no idea it would be nearly as successful as it was. To tell you the truth, it wasn't even my choice for the single. Sometimes a song just clicks and I'm so fortunate to have one of my songs make such an impact.

You launched your Pledgemusic project early last year with your fans to help to fund your upcoming album. How was the Pledgemusic process like for you and how different was it from recording an album with a label besides funding?
The Pledgemusic campaign was great because I got the chance to record the album on my terms with my own timetable. I needed to take a little time to get back to where I needed to be as a songwriter. There was less stress involved and it allowed me to get so much closer to my fans. I would definitely recommend it to others trying to fund an independent album.

You have collaborated with Juliet Simms quite a number of times. How is it like working with her? Are there any other artists you'd like to collaborate with in the future?
Working with Juliet is always great. She's a good friend and is extremely talented and I'm so glad the world has recognised that. I see amazing things for her in the future and I hope we can get together again and make some music.
I'm always open for collaborations. I would love to work with someone that would bring something new out of me. I would want the collaboration to be challenging --- or else, what's the point?

If you could only choose one instrument to play for the rest of your life, which instrument would it be?
I would definitely choose the guitar. It's what I started on and there isn't a song I can't write on guitar.

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Stay tuned to Secondhand Serenade on:

Facebook: Secondhand Serenade

Twitter: @secondhandjohn

Official website: secondhandserenade.com

Myspace: Secondhand Serenade

Photo credits: Secondhand Serenade / Facebook

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