"Great Player... really great!"
- Gerry Leonard, guitarist/writer David Bowie Suzanne Vega
“..a fantastic writer and one hell of a musician”
- R.C Bannon, Chart topping songwriter and recording artist
“A master of his craft”
- Ralph Murphy, songwriter/producer and Country music hall of fame inductee
"That Crazy bastard.. he's not coming to my house again."
- Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones
Johnson Jay is an Australian guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter currently based in London, UK. He has worked with Grammy, Ivor Novello and Aria award winning producers and musicians, including Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Trex, U2), Craig Porteils (Guns N Roses, Fleetwood Mac), Kenney Jones (Small Faces, Faces, The Who), Steve Ferrone (Eric Clapton, Tom Petty), Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike and the Mechanics), and Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz). He continues to lend his talents both in the studio and on stage to various high profile acts.
In between touring and studio time, Johnson Jay is currently writing and composing his own music and collaborating with other artists. With a distinctive Americana sound, somewhere between Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Lyle Lovett, he crosses traditional country music and southern rock with romantic and humorous narratives.
Johnson Jay grew up in NSW Australia in the seaside town of Manly. From an early age he was involved in acting and singing. He took up guitar at the age of 9 and would busk regularly on the Manly Corso with his two sisters covering songs by Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Queen and The Beatles.
He started playing in various jazz and rock’n’roll bands in high school and would play professionally by age 14 at festivals and school dances.
He studied classical guitar and took to finger style with great enthusiasm, exploring the styles of Chet Atkins and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
He starred in 3 episodes of the popular Australian soap ‘Home & Away’ in 1998 as the nerdy character Rupert. On the show he performed the song ‘I’ve Got a Plan’ by the group ‘My Friend the Chocolate Cake.’
Upon finishing school in 2000 Johnson Jay performed regularly in pubs, clubs, and cafes, honing his craft as a performer. In 2004 he was offered a contract as a guest entertainer and social host on the Orion expedition cruise ship and played jazz standards/rock’n’roll/and classical pieces every night for 9 months, exploring some exotic and seldom traveled destinations around Australia’s coast.
In 2006 Johnson Jay auditioned for the TV series ‘Australian Idol.’ He went on to place in the final 25 males of the competition out of some 20000 auditionees and was heavily featured due to his stirring folk/rock renditions, and legendary on air arguments with controversial judge Kyle Sandilands.
From this he went on to work with some of the most established producers and musicians in the country including Craig Portiels and Ash Maklad getting his first taste of professional studio work.
He began studying the craft of songwriting and in 2007 made the move to London where he currently resides.
His influences include John Fogerty, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Tom Waits, Robben Ford, Bon Jovi, John Mayer, Lyle Lovett, Queen, The Beatles, U2, Sting, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Albert Lee and many more.
Author: Johnson's mum