Unmixed Q&A with Yoko Ono
by Kaitlyn Kerhart, ClubDistrict.com
CD: Congratulations on your 4th consecutive #1 Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart-topper “GIVE ME SOMETHING” (The Remixes). What is it about electronic dance music that inspired you to release this track in that genre?
YOKO ONO: Dance Music is a very important genre in music. Kids love to dance. I love to dance. We all love to dance. Because dance is the way to go through life by expressing immense joy.
CD: “Give Me Something” is one of your original works from your & John’s 1980 album release “Double Fantasy”, how excited were you to hear the new versions then see it climb to number 1?
YOKO ONO: I knew this new version will be the one that will go up high. It makes our body move with it.
CD: You teamed up with MySpace Music and RCRD LBL to premier the Junior Boys remix of Give Me Something as an exclusive free download, do you embrace the Internet in today’s music age?
YOKO ONO: I embrace any media which embraces my songs.
CD: Your currently collaborating with electronic music producers like Morel, Dave Aude, and Stonebridge, it’s great to see you supporting dance music, but are all your remixes headed to the dance floor or are any becoming rock songs?
YOKO ONO: There are songs in my new Rock CD, which can become dance tracks. I’ll think about it.
CD: Coming from a background of avant-garde, rock and folk music, what sparked your change in music direction?
YOKO ONO: I have not changed my direction at all. I am always interested in many forms of music. I’d like to keep making music in many different forms. It’s so challenging and exciting to do that.
CD: Are you still writing music and releasing tracks outside of your remix campaign?
YOKO ONO: Listen to my newest CD, BETWEEN MY HEAD AND THE SKY, and you will know. Challenges, challenges. I am an artist/musician who believes in creative challenge.
CD: In your ongoing remix campaign you’ve had six #1 dance singles to date including “GIVE ME SOMETHING”, “I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH”, “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”, “NO NO NO”, “EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN” and your seminal “WALKING ON THIN ICE”; what’s next?
YOKO ONO: I was very, very lucky to have had incredibly creative electronic music producers to take on my songs. It’s all them. I’m learning from them a lot! Thank you, thank you, thank you, guys.
CD: Are you planning any upcoming LIVE performances or special appearances around any of your new music?
YOKO ONO: That’s one thing I should consider doing, right? I don’t think I can manage this year. This year is John’s 70th Birthday year. And I have many good plans for that. Wait and see!
CD: You keep up with your Twitter pretty regularly and with nearly 1 million followers, it is clear that there are many people who look to you for advice or for inspiration; is that what drives you to post ideas and try to inspire others almost daily? Do you write your own quotes?
YOKO ONO: Of course, I write my own quotes! I don’t even believe in having someone sign autographs for me when the request comes to me through the mail; I do my best. Which means most people don’t get my reply. I just send my replies to about 20 to 40 people a week. I know that’s like winning the lottery, if you ever get a reply. But it’s better than nobody getting a reply, I think.
CD: Can you leave us with one of your best quotes or words of wisdom?
YOKO ONO: I don’t know what is my best. You should just read some of my quotes and judge for yourself
Download & Share ONO “Give Me Something” (Junior Boys Remix) for free here.
Yoko Ono’s Dance Chart Success Brings About ‘New Era’
by Nancy Dunham, Spinner
Yoko Ono has had four consecutive No. 1 hits on the Dance/Club song charts, heralding what she calls the “new era of Yoko Ono.” Surprisingly, she says this success originated from something akin to rebellion against her father.
Ono was only about four years old when her father, a brilliant pianist, decided she should have formal musical schooling in her home country of Japan. From there, she learned pitch, chords, harmony, melodies both in class and through frequent concerts given before parent-filled audiences.
“I was so frightened I was throwing up afterward,” Ono tells Spinner. “My father was so strict and just so difficult. It was very intimidating. I think he wanted me to be knowledgeable about music but I don’t think he wanted me to be that brilliant.”
When Ono’s father gave up on her excelling at music is when she began to create work that set the foundation for her later output.
“He originally wanted me to be a pianist and gave up on me and said ‘She’s never going to be one,'” says Ono, who then turned her creativity toward songwriting. “All these songs I was writing already when I was very young. Writing songs came easier to me than when I performed the piano. He held a gun to my head to play piano, so I turned to writing instead.”
As an adult, Ono has faced ridicule ever since she first came into the public consciousness as the pivotal force in John Lennon’s life. But once the public lost interest in closely following her work — mirroring her father’s intense interest and then disenchantment with her creativity — it began to blossom.
The latest example, of course, is her current No. 1 hit: the Junior Boys’ remix of her song ‘Give Me Something,’ which was originally on the 1980 Grammy-winning album ‘Double Fantasy’ that she recorded with her late husband.
“They opened a new era for me,” Ono says. “Up to now, I think, ‘OK, I got used to [remixes of my work].’ I was excited, of course, and very thankful. But this one, ‘Give Me Something,’ just blew my mind. It really blew my mind. This is beautiful.”
Clubplanet Interviews Yoko Ono
by Marcos Colón, Club Planet
Other than being known as an artist, author, peace activist and wife to John Lennon, Yoko Ono also makes great music. Her life and career have seen many ups and downs, but right now it seems like all things are in an upswing for her as she’s dominating the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts with the latest track off of her latest remix series, “The Remixes.” While many so-called artists today tend to walk a safe path when it comes to art and the perceptions others have towards it, Yoko Ono never felt the need to follow a particular path, but controversially created her own and welcomed everyone else to do the same.
Clubplanet recently caught up with Yoko Ono and chatted about the recent success of her remix series, the underlying theme behind her latest single, and what she thinks of music today in relation to art.
Clubplanet: You’ve had many great accomplishments throughout your life, and now you’re topping Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. How does it feel to do this four consecutive times in a genre that’s extremely stacked with talent from all areas of the globe?
Yoko Ono: Well I’m totally surprised. ‘Shocked’ is really the word. I never expected that. I really think that I’m very lucky. I’m lucky to be here and lucky to experience this. All my life there was talk that people really didn’t like my songs or that my songs were just swept under the rug. But now, suddenly, there are people that love my music. It’s a very nice feeling.
CP: What’s the underlying theme behind the track, “Give Me Something”?
Yoko Ono: It really says it all in the song. It’s just a feeling that I had about society. We live in a kind of society where we all scream, “Give me something.” At the time I thought that this is what society was feeling. It’s interesting because “Death of Samantha” was another song I wrote a long time before John passed away, but it was about John passing away… about the day of the vigil. The words were coming through me, and they were definitely about the vigil. And it was the same for this song too, it says it in the song, “Give me something that’s not cold.” We’re all getting very cold now as a society. That’s what I was feeling.
CP: When you write these songs, do your influences come from the state of the world today?
Yoko Ono: I usually feel that they come from somewhere, like outer space, and I’m just passing it along to you guys and sharing the experience.
CP: What’s your process for determining what remixes will make the cut for your series?
Yoko Ono: Well I don’t like to play the bad mommy role, telling these guys that they have to make their mixes a certain way or it won’t work out. I like to see what happens with their creativity. I like to give them their space to work. My whole attitude for this comes from a “everything is beautiful, all styles are beautiful” way of thinking. I love them all [the remixes] and I also appreciate working with them. I feel very lucky.
CP: How do you feel about the role of the “producer” today?
Yoko Ono: I think that the producer’s job today is very exciting. It’s very creative and exciting work. It’s also a joint effort with the artist and sometimes they may feel like they’re not appreciated as much, but I’d really like to say that I really appreciate each one of them.
CP: In relation to art, what are your thoughts on dance music today?
Yoko Ono: We should all keep dancing. I really think that dance is a very, very important part of our lives. I always say, “Don’t march through life, dance through life.” Marching is one way of going through life, but dancing is a much more joyful way of going through life and we need joy.
CP: What do you have planned for the remainder of the year?
Yoko Ono: Many things. (laughs) But you’ll find out when the time is right. I don’t believe in saying things before the soup is made, so to speak. (laughs)
17 April 2010 –
ONO: Give Me Something (2010 Remix)
is #1 on Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart
To celebrate being #1, here’s a
♬ FREE Download of
ONO Give Me Something (Junior Boys Remix)
Enjoy! love, yoko
YOKO ONO ascends to the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts yet again with her 4th consecutive #1 club chart-topper, “GIVE ME SOMETHING” (Issue Date: 17 April 2010). Taken from the landmark, Grammy Award winning 1980 DOUBLE FANTASY album, the contagious reworking features mixes by MOREL, DAVE AUDE, STONEBRIDGE, TWISTED SOUND+VISION, JUNIOR BOYS, RALPHI ROSARIO, ALEX TRAX and alt-rock icons SPARKS.
The fiery reinvention is the latest offering from ONO’s acclaimed remix series, which has paired the avant-garde icon with an array of cutting edge producers and collaborators (FLAMING LIPS, PET SHOP BOYS, BASEMENT JAXX, THE POLYPHONIC SPREE, ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS and SPIRITUALIZED) and spawned 6 #1 dancesingles to date including “GIVE ME SOMETHING”, “I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH”, “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”, “NO NO NO”, “EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN” and her seminal “WALKING ON THIN ICE”.
“GIVE ME SOMETHING” (THE REMIXES) is available now as a digital green release (no materials used or abused) on MIND TRAIN / TWISTED Records.