With a musical foundation is in Gospel and Jazz, Winnipeg-chanteuse Jaylene Johnson had planned on a debut CD of Jazz and Gospel standards. As she would soon find out, however, the path she planned would take her for some unexpected turns.
Winnipeg producer Lloyd Peterson fortuitously encouraged Johnson to write her own music. Johnson took on this challenge releasing “Not Forgotten” in 2000. Her song “Daughter” from that disc was awarded a Song of the Year award from the US Gospel Music Association in 2002. Johnson has had many supporters, but credits Peterson as the catalyst that set her on her path as a writer. Her sophomore album, “Finding Beautiful” went on to receive a Western Canadian Music Award nomination in 2004.
A near-fatal car collision while on tour veered Jaylene off her musical course for 2005. Thankfully the release she was touring had legs of its own. Critics weren’t the only ones taking notice of “Finding Beautiful”. Six songs from the record also received placements for television and DVD releases through Sony Music Television and NBC Universal. Johnson’s song “Butterfly Girl” was also acquired by the Canadian trio, Braided-formed by recent Canadian Idol finalists-for their debut CD.
In 2006, Johnson resurfaced with an even greater resolve and a conviction that continues to inform her music. This resolve took her to Canadian Music Week, where she met Ed Glinert of Casablanca Media Publishing. This chance encounter eventually led to a co-publishing deal as Casablanca’s first signed writer. Since then, Johnson has had the privilege of traveling to Toronto and Nashville to write with pros like Eddie Schwartz, Gerald O’Brien (Ole Publishing), Amy Sky, Simon Wilcox (EMI Publishing), Robbie Patterson (Peer Music Publishing) and Justin Gray (Joss Stone, Jacksoul and many more).
In addition to writing for others, Johnson has been pursuing her own artistry, touring with Cat Jahnke in fall of 2006, and touring solo in 2007, showcasing new material. She continues to create songs for a full-length release, and will be traveling to Vancouver, Los Angeles and Nashville in the next few months to co-write. New recordings will help her to further showcase her songs to Canada and beyond.