an interview with Jon Lucien
(via e-mail / June 2004)
jnj: Please tell me what has made you launch your own record label Sugar Apple in 2001. And why did you call it Sugar Apple?
Jon Lucien: To establish my independence. My company is called Sugar Apple, #1 because it represents my Caribbean heritage and #2 It's quite an exotic local fruit.
jnj: How satisfied are you as an artist to have your own label and how was the reaction of your fans so far?
Jon Lucien: I am very satisfied having my own label and there have been no complaints from my fans.
jnj: Your recent album A Time For Love contains mostly cover versions. Please tell me why you've chosen these particular songs and especially why have you recorded Memory and People?
Jon Lucien: I don't know about other artists, but I began my musical career singing and playing standards and as an artist who has always taken a song and put my own personality into it, I wanted to share this with my audience. I've played all types of music for many years. I see no reason to limit myself. I used to sing the song "People" many years ago with fantastic response. So here we are almost 30 or more years later I thought it needed a face lift and I was the one to do it with the help of my pianist Bill O'Connell. About Memory, I think it's a beautiful piece of music but I heard it differently.
jnj: You are a musicians since the 70s and have seen a lot of other musicians come and go. What period of time was the most rewarding and satisfying for you as an artist?
Jon Lucien: I am a recording musician since the 70's but I've been making a living
with music from age 17. I am now 62, every day is rewarding for me, I create I don't imitate.
jnj: What do you think of today's music industry? Do you think it's the right way to criminalize your customers like the music industries tends to do it these days with putting all the blame for losses in sale on peer to peer networks and even telling them where or how to use the music by using copy protection which might prevent you from listening to a CD in your car or even at home on your stereo? People has always recorded their favourite music to share it with their friends...the only difference may be in my opinion that people don't use music cassettes anymore and that technology has made things easier.
Jon Lucien: That's a sticky subject. I am for the artist always, the criminalizing takes place with the record companies robbing the artist blind. I would love to see people buy my CD's yes, but there is no way I can stop anyone from making a copy, besides burning a CD is nothing these days, who needs cassettes? I also think that the reason the music industries are losing money is they are at a loss for good music and not presenting quality music to the buyer, everything is almost prefabricated. Music is the most powerful creation in the world and it's treated with unimportance. It's a communicator, it's healing, it's soothing, it's like a painting but lately it's treated like an attack weapon of violence.
jnj: Do you plan to promote your new album outside the USA?
Jon Lucien: I would love to promote my CD outside the U.S. But I need good distribution.
jnj: You have also sung on songs by Mucho Macho (Easy Living) or Block 16 (Morning Sun). Are there any other projects coming up on which we can enjoy you in a different musical setting?
Jon Lucien: There's no other projects being offered right now, however, I can do anything if its music.
jnj: What do you think of the cover version of Listen Love United Future Organization has recorded some time ago? There was also a remix of Osunlade of this tune. Would it be an option for you to have a song of A Time For Love remixed to attract a new audience?
Jon Lucien: I'm flattered every time someone covers one of my songs. Any body can remix till the cows come home. Is that the level of creating these days? I find new audiences every time I perform I can't spend the time looking for new I'm too busy working new ideas to create and recreate. Everything old become new again, and visa-versa. The new audiences will find me even it its after I'm gone.
(For more information visit jonlucien.com and sugarapplemusic.com. You can find the review for Jon Lucien's album A Time For Love here.)