Vashon Johnson Interview

Artist Spotlight

For those of us not hip to the Vashon Johnson Experience please give us a brief overview of your musical history?
I am a multi-faceted musician and bass player. I have had the fortune of having a wide variety of musical experiences, from Black American Music Legends, to Broadway, to Pop and R&B, to Big Stage Artists such as Miley Cyrus. I’m Happy to say that I have a very “versatile” resume and have had a very broad musical career.

What projects are coming up for you in the future?
I am currently writing and working on a solo/collaborative effort with Lenny White and others.

What do you think of the of state of the music industry?
Speaking predominantly a sideman, I can say that there is not as much work as there used to be. There are also a lot more really good players out there now. I’ve had the fortune of developing good relationships with some of my predecessors and mentors and we have these conversations from time to time. They share the same sentiment. I think technology is also a factor – a lot of “todays” music doesn’t even require musicians and it seems that a lot of times we as musicians are dealing with people who are not musicians and are therefore less inclined to think musically when it comes to live music and the well being and prosperity of musicians.

How important is music education?
Music education is very important. I think it’s important to continue to educate and inspire generations to learn how to play instruments and be musicians. As I said earlier, technology has had a dramatic impact on the music industry, all the way down to sidemen who are no longer needed for session work. I think education is a good way to keep music alive so that musicians can continue to be inspired and not only create music, but also be able to play music.

Why do use R. Cocco strings?
R. Cocco strings let my Bass be itself and me be me. They feel like a natural extension of my bass. With so many factors involved in achieving my sound (amps, speakers, etc.), I’ve found R. Cocco Strings to be “honest” and make for one less obstacle when striving to create music with my bass.


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