Backup singer for Josh Groban, Melissa Manchester, Sarah Brightman, Sarah Vaughan, Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Diahann Carroll, and others.
Johnny Schaefer is a Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter of eclectic music. He has a BA in Music (Composition and Voice) from California State University, Fullerton. He has sung backup for Josh Groban, Melissa Manchester, Sarah Brightman, Sarah Vaughan, Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, Diahann Carroll, and others. He is a winner in Melissa Manchester’s “Fanchester Video Cover Contest” for his mashup of Melissa’s “Midnight Blue and Lights of Dawn.” He has collaborated with Producer Stephan Oberhoff (Heartbeat Brazil), Bram Stoker Award-winning author and lyricist Elizabeth Massie, best-selling author Marianne Williamson, Carol Robbins-jazz harpist, Christoph Bull, Paul the Trombonist, Chad Ellis, and composer Lynn Kowal. He has been a cantor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, CA since 1981.
Johnny’s new single “Unflown” is an uplifting, inspiring, emotionally-charged pop ballad with a timeless message about finding our own inner strength to rise above our circumstances using the analogy of someone discovering they have wings and being afraid to use them.
Says Johnny, “‘Unflown’ is a musical pep-talk I wrote to myself and those around me as we all grapple with the new paradigm brought on by COVID-19. None of us is the same as we were before the pandemic, but many around me are finding new ways to soar.”
Don’t let fears mean flights Unflown
Have you forgotten that you’re free
Quincy Jones affiliate Stephan Oberhoff produced the sumptuous track in his Pasadena, CA Creation Station. Oberhoff has worked extensively with artists such as Brenda Russel, Melissa Manchester, Jason Gould, Roslyn Kind, and many others. He also has his own band, Heartbeat Brazil.
“Unflown” begins intimately in the first-person, then opens up musically and narratively as the narrator shares what he is learning for himself. The beautifully crafted video utilizes double exposure imagery to depict what’s going on inside Johnny as he muses about having wings and what that would mean for him, and ponders what happens when we let our metaphorical wings “fold and waste away.” A man’s regret-filled tear becomes a detached feather hitting the water. In other sequences, two babies are depicted. The first looks over his shoulder at the sun and we flash to an image of him walking into that same sun years later as a graduate, “navigating his pathway,” The second lifts her arms an infant playing with a hat, then it’s seen lifting her arms in joy as her new husband and their happy guests raise theirs.
The video is created by Schaefer’s husband Paco Silva along with his business partner Daniel Henri-Smith. Together they form Siren Arts Productions.
Says Johnny, “Every step of the process was from writing the song, to recording it, to creating the video was a passionate endeavor to communicate as clearly as possible what I was thinking and feeling. We all took our time with it and I think it comes through.”
Watch the video:https://youtu.be/CiIGtJvaKsU
“Unflown” is available on most download and streaming platforms beginning August 27, 2020, which is also the official video release date on YouTube.
Along with promoting his new single, Johnny has been creating new music. “I’ve been writing a lot of music and have several tracks in various stages of production. I plan to release a series of singles with accompanying videos. I am very eclectic. I let each song tell me what world it wants to live in. If I have a box of crayons, I like to use a LOT of the colors. Music is the same for me. I have been honing my craft, so this is my first release in a while. But there will be more. I hope to build an audience and begin touring when that’s a thing again and it’s safe. My husband and I are also producing and filming a documentary film involving a well-known individual, but that’s all I want to say about it right now. It’s very cool, though.”
For more information:
iTunes Apple Music
MixCloud (Put it Together podcast interview)