With his solo project, singer/songwriter GJOVA mixes elements from modern indie pop with alternative rock. The melancholic orchestral vibe stands out in GJOVA’s own and unique sound, which is carried by the collaboration with string ensembles. Influences from pop giants like Coldplay, One Republic, or Imagine Dragons can be heard, as well as an emotional note à la Dashboard Confessional. GJOVA also skillfully dares with more progressive tones inspired by bands like Dead Letter Circus or Thirty Seconds To Mars, which is cemented by the big and warm sound.
Music has been the greatest joy in life for me from a very young age. Inspired by our dad's time as a musician in the 60s and 70s, when my parents lived in West Berlin, my brother and I collaborated on our first music project when I was 10. That was when we wrote our first songs. Due to previous music projects (Destiny / The Destiny Program) over the years, I had the great pleasure to travel the globe to play music. Years later and I am still holding onto this joy.
Coming from a small town called Husum in the far North of Germany all the way to Los Angeles in California, I was given the amazing opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned musicians, producers, and record in iconic studios, being in one room with Grammy nominees to make music together...musicians and studios who left their marks in history and are part of platinum, gold, and Grammy-winning records and we were making music together: the songs that I have written on my dad's old guitar. I was stoked out of my mind and truly felt like a kid again. The world of recording studios was my playground.
Beyond that, throughout this incredible journey, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to collaborate with people who made the music I listened to while I was growing up — the creative minds who inspired me to make music with my family and friends when I was young. Their music was the soundtrack to my youth. Having this opportunity is the story I fell in love with. It just blew my mind. I am deeply grateful for this experience and the moments we shared.
Due to the successes and releases around the globe of previous music projects, GJOVA toured throughout Europe, the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Japan. With his new project, he now counts Los Angeles as a base from which to continue his musical path.
Music to me is the greatest joy I can have. It's love, and I took high risks just for the pure sake of making music. We all have something to give and share, and it's nothing less than the best of us. Now let's go out there and create some greatness and beauty to inspire more of us...
One Lost Moment is GJOVA’s introduction to kickoff his debut album Northern Son. The uptempo song is an interplay between melancholic alternative rock and indie pop tunes. Driven by an expansive sound, the song breaks out in a big mid-tempo finale. One Lost Moment dives into the journey of discovering oneself and dying to the old ways of experiencing life. It’s about the moments of facing adversity, breaking free from it, and leaving it all behind. American producer and mixing engineer Steve Evetts (Poison The Well, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Cure) was responsible for the mixing and gave the song a big, deep, and warm sound that suits the song incredibly well. Collaborating with Steve Evetts is a teenage love story for GJOVA as Evetts produced records of bands that were the soundtrack to GJOVA’s youth. In order to give his songs a unique and refreshing sound, GJOVA collaborated with a host of talented musicians, producers, and artists.
RELEASE DATE: October 8, 2021
AUDIO: One Lost Moment
Plan for tomorrow cause I’m a lie. Truth breaks within me cause I’m a lie. Honest words with a hollow smile. So cold, so predictable. These hearts so empty, so breakable. There is a story hidden. Right behind all dried wounds. Scars once reminiscent of a heart. So scrap your thoughts and take this world apart. These feelings won’t go away as you won’t stay. You will find your freedom so you won’t stay. Your lie is the truth of what is killing me. So cold, so predictable. These hearts so empty, so breakable. And I’m drowning in your cold dying soul, in your dark bleeding heart. Truth lies in black hearts. And now I know we all are replaceable.
VIDEO: Closing Shades
VIDEO: Hurricane - (The Final Beat)
ALBUM: Northern Son
RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2022
For over ten years, GJOVA has successfully pursued a career in the international music industry as a professional musician and songwriter. Due to the successes and releases around the globe of various music projects, GJOVA toured throughout Europe, the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Japan. With his new project, he now counts Los Angeles as a base from which to continue his musical path.
All songs were written and produced exclusively by GJOVA. The songs feature heavyweights such as legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff as well as Christopher Hornbrook, Blas Perez, and Josh Giroux who are all part of Dhani Harrison’s band, son of George Harrison from the Beatles, just to name a few.
The songs Pure Oxygen and Hurricane were recorded at none other than the iconic Sound City Studios (Neil Young, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Nirvana, Kyuss, Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, A Perfect Circle, Queens Of The Stone Age, Slipknot, Poison The Well, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica) in Los Angeles.
In order to give his songs a unique and refreshing sound, GJOVA collaborated with a host of talented musicians, producers, and artists:
- Music & Lyrics: Johannes Formella
- Produced: Johannes Formella
- Vocals & Acoustic Guitars: Johannes Formella
- Acoustic & Electric Guitars: Sebastian Formella
- Electric Guitars: Theodor Formella
- Synthesizers: Michael Formella
- Background Vocals: Brigitta Formella, Jana Formella, Mike Kobarg, Nicole Formella, Hauke Klenz, Justin Fluck, Elias Mehri, Sofia Henricsson, Fanny Henricsson
- Gjova - Logo: Don Naylor
- The Window Music - Logo: Renate Schwarz & Peter Faßhauer
- Original Paintings: Marianne Harms-Metzger
- Producer Eric Palmquist from Los Angeles (Thrice, The Mars Volta, Bad Suns, Mutemath)
- Australian producer Forrester Savell (Dead Letter Circus)
- Producer Steve Evetts (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Poison The Well, Snapcase, Turmoil, Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Saves The Day, Glassjaw, Sick Of It All, Sepultura, The Cure, The Used, Every Time I Die)
- Swedish producer duo Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lövström (Refused, Poison The Well, In Flames)
- Danish producer Tue Madsen (Heaven Shall Burn, Meshuggah)
- The legend himself drummer Kenny Aronoff (Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones, Santana, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, B.B. King, Alice Cooper, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, The Smashing Pumpkins)
- Drummer Christopher Hornbrook (Poison The Well, Dhani Harrison, Big Black Delta, Senses Fail)
- Drummer Chris Hesse from Grammy nominees Hoobastank
- Los Angeles based engineer David Andersen (Fall Out Boy, Nate Fox, Avi Buffalo, Henry Hirsch, Nico Segal, Earl Slick, Esperanza Spalding)
- The Section Quartet: Eric Gorfain [Violin 1], Daphne Chen [Violin 2], Leah Katz [Viola], Richard Dodd [Cello] – (Foo Fighters, Aerosmith, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, James Blunt, Dr. Dre, Sean Lennon, A Perfect Circle, Iggy Pop)
- Bass player Blas Perez (Dhani Harrison, Big Black Delta)
- Piano player Josh Giroux (Dhani Harrison, Big Black Delta)
- Viola player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Jay Z, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Pink, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, will.i.am, Dr. Dre, Joss Stone, Ray Charles)
- Violin player Paul Cartwright (Black Eyed Peas, Dr. Dre, Macy Gray, Los Lobos, Rissi Palmer, Everlast, Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men)
- Cello player Peter Jacobson (Dr. Dre, San Diego Symphony, The Walking Dead, Grammy winner with Quetzal in 2013)
- Violin player Chris Woods (Dr. Dre)
- The West Los Angeles Children’s Choir: Shayanne Burnette-Mas, Gemma Ginsburg, Danny Goldenberg, Osric Holt, Theodore King, Alison Kokorowski, Scarlett Royal, Adella Travers, Jolie Tsai, Raeva Vasisht, Michael Yang, Josephine Yario – [Conductor: Barbara Klaskin Silberg]– (P!nk, Black Eyed Peas, Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, Fun, Panic! At The Disco,Thirty Seconds to Mars, Cher)
- Trumpet player Hagai Izraeli (James Gadson, Jackson Browne, Roger Waters [Pink Floyd], Susanna Hoff [Bangles])
- Saxophone player Daniel Hofmann
- French Horn player Mary McGowan
- Trombone player Ann McClanahan
- Drummer Jim Landzenski
- Drummer René Pablotzki
- Piano player Roman Goly
- Bass player Daniel Fischer
- Bass player Mats Johansson
- Composer Hal Stephens from Los Angeles
- Composer Dylan Agajanian (Blizzard Entertainment)
- Engineer Hauke Albrecht (Turbostaat)
- Engineer Dave Jenkins (Metallica, Tool, Tori Amos)
- Engineer Siegmar Pohl
- Engineer Be Hussey
- Engineer Kyle Bailey
- Assisting Engineer Andrew Machum
- Assisting Engineer Mark Antaky
The play with words has always fascinated me as a creative part of my musical journey. Reading and writing lyrics is something I truly enjoy and explored from a young age. I find deep fulfillment in diving into an ocean of letters; I get inspired, challenged, and moved by the touch of words. Sometimes I'm a different person when I pop back up, excited, confused, and ready to live a new life. Besides the sound of music, I also fell in love with the word, and I feel deep gratitude in sharing the dance of my stories with every single one of you. Creative thought is part of critical thinking. Be ready to question and challenge yourself and the ones around you with an open heart and an open mind.
Be creative. Think critically – THRIVE ON CREATIVITY
STORY: An Orchestra of Stars
STORY: Finding Home
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