Jun 30 2010 Harrow Observer
Classical composer and pianist Jonathan FeBland is taking a foray into pop music which he hopes will catapult him into the limelight. DAVID BAKER spoke to the Edgware musician to ask about the transition
AFTER four decades of penning and performing classical music, Jonathan FeBland is anticipating how his first pop album will be received.
The 50-year-old piano teacher has collaborated with a former friend from the Royal Academy of Music, pop producer Mike Turtle, to put together an album called Where Does She Go? for release next month.
Jonathan, who also co-wrote the lyrics for the album, added: "I worked incredibly hard to get those songs done and I'm really proud of the album, which has been whittled down to 14 tracks.
"Mike is an incredible producer and Jessica Knoll, who is the vocalist on most of the songs, is fantastic.
"I am really excited and confident." The former Haberdashers' Aske's pupil stood out as a musician at his Hertfordshire school.
Jonathan was enrolled at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music aged 18.
Despite a succession of classical album releases since then, it is this new direction in writing that he hopes will propel him into the mainstream music world.
"I have always had an eclectic taste in music and I think that what you listen to is dependent on mood and surroundings," he said.
"But because I grew up playing and composing classical, and to some extent jazz music, it was something that I stuck to.
"I have always loved classical music. So much so, in fact, that I changed the name of my home to Mozart House in 2006 to celebrate what would have been the composer's 250th birthday. But having said that, one of my favourite bands is Genesis, so I take inspiration from a variety of genres and artists."
Although he had always contemplated writing pop songs, Jonathan said it was not until Mike Turtle contacted him about a collaboration that he finally took the plunge.
Despite having lost touch with the Switzerland-based producer when the pair left the Academy, they were quick to make up for 25 years of lost time.
Between March and October of last year, Jonathan spent day after day at his piano, before presenting Mike with an astonishing 30 songs in nearly one a week.
He said: "I have a lot of faith in the album and everything is all quite exciting at the moment. But I like to think that even if it does have a lot of success I will continue to do my job as a piano teacher.
"I'm still very passionate about it and have been privileged to work with so many talented musicians - I feel very lucky in that respect."
* Jonathan FeBlands album can be listened to at www.wheredoes shego.com, iTunes, Spotify and YouTube and is available to buy at www.amazon.co.uk.