Like many musicians before him, 21-year-old Jakob Johnson’s, The Record Life, debut album, Into the Sea of Something Big, was inspired by the a romantic relationship – the only difference is, in his case, it was with a woman who never existed!
The album is a tribute to all of his favorite artists, genres and songs. “I wanted to capture that cumulative feeling I’ve always had from listening to my favorite music,” Jake says.
Jake was introduced to music early on by his father, who he would go on road trips with. “I really grew to love the melodies within the music,” he says. By the time Jake was 7, he was a member of the Central Phoenix based choir, touring here in the states and internationally.
“We sang a huge variety of stuff from early American soul songs to classical songs that were hundreds of years old and entirely in Latin, but they were always a cappella, and they always had six-part harmonies,” he says.
Within Into the Sea of Something Big follows Jake from his first, fateful trip to L.A. (“Step on Your Own”) and learning his craft (“Alone in the Atmosphere”) and then journeys through the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction, Cruel Intentions-meets-Vertigo long-distance online affair he carried on with a woman who deceived him for close to a year. During the time he worked on the album, Jake went from sleeping on the dining room floor of a house in Hollywood with eight other people to living in the back seat of his car, but he never gave up.
At about this time, Jake met a woman on MySpace who claimed she was a professional snowboarder and a fan of his music, offering him a place to stay in L.A., then supposedly suffering a series of mishaps, including losing both her parents, getting into a near-fatal car accident, claiming she was r*ped and losing her house. Despite his own friends’ skepticism, Jake found himself falling in love with the voice on the other end of the telephone, until he discovered, quite by coincidence, that the pictures she had been sending him were of a college student at New York City’s Loyola Marymount. And for the girl he had fallen in love with, she actually lived in North Carolina and wasn’t a snowboarder at all.
“She did a number on me,” laughs Jake. “At least 11 of them. And there just so happens to be 11 songs on the record. Go figure.”
“I want to let everyone know, as dark as it gets, it’s gonna get light again one day,” Jake says of the experiences that led to the recording. “Everything’s gonna be alright. I’ve been through some serious emotional turmoil. I thought nothing could ever get worse, but it did...over and over and over and over again. It can get bad, but I promise it will get better. Just keep your head up. It will turn out OK.”