Ru Az

Love knows no bounds: Jony

How much love can we hold within ourselves, sometimes finding words to express it all seems insufficient... In such moments, artists like JONY come to our rescue, conveying our deepest emotions through their music. Since 2019, JONY has been consistently releasing hits, mostly revolving around the themes of affection and relationships. In an exclusive interview with NARGIS Magazine, JONY shares the behind-the-scenes stories surrounding his songs, desires, and thoughts – all driven by the enchanting journey of falling in love, naturally.

Being a public figure means being the subject of discussion, and everyone holds different opinions

How has your stage persona evolved since your first appearance on stage?
We all change over time – our beliefs, thoughts, and worldviews shift. With experience in some areas and new learning in others, we continuously shape ourselves throughout our lives, with each stage distinct from the previous one. However, there is still something that defines us. In my case, it's my love for music, the stage, experimentation, the desire to create something new, not to sit still. I've always done it from the heart, sincerely, pouring my emotions and feelings into each piece. I think my music has changed a lot compared to the first album, and most likely it will continue to evolve. I'm always curious about unexplored territories and new creative possibilities. As long as I create music that resonates with my inner state, it authentically reflects my identity. Perhaps in the future, I'll compose gentle, childlike songs for my children. These are my dreams, but anything is possible.

When did you start to feel famous?
In 2019, I launched my third single titled "Star," («Звезда») which quickly gained viral status on social media platforms. Curious about the public's reaction, I often found myself strolling through busy streets, bustling youth hangouts, and serene parks. Despite my habit of walking with headphones on, drawing inspiration from nature and people, my focus shifted during these walks. I started noticing the curious glances directed my way, wondering if people would recognise me. Some did, while others seemed to ponder, "Where have I seen this guy before?" Following the success of "Star," I released my fourth single, "Alley," («Аллея») which marked my debut music video. The track was gaining growth quickly then, and with that came recognition.

In the comments section of your videos, people typically leave light and kind remarks. How frequently do you face criticism, and how do you respond to it?
First and foremost, I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who follow my art, support me, leave these kind comments, and show their appreciation. Another nice thing about communicating with my audience is receiving personal messages in networks. I have such a deep love for music and what I do that I believe I'll continue pursuing it for the rest of my life, God willing. I approach criticism with an open mind, particularly if it's constructive feedback. Occasionally, someone may write something negative simply to garner attention, which I find unjustified. I've always been prepared for it. I realised that being a public figure means being the subject of discussion, and everyone holds different opinions. Negativity also carries energy – it can serve as motivation. When I encounter a negative comment filled with insults, which is quite rare, I pause and ask myself, "Does this person's opinion matter to me?" The answer is clear to me.

How does your typical day go outside of touring and concerts?
Outside of touring and concerts, I prepare for touring and concerts – that's the funny thing. I prioritise spending time with my family and friends, those whom I adore deeply. These moments become cherished memories that I can reflect on in my later years. Music is my passion, and I continually strive to improve in this field. I've built a studio for myself, honed my music production and vocal skills, and constantly explored new techniques to enhance my voice. I'm also eager to master a musical instrument. Furthermore, I've enrolled in dance classes, committed to learning English, and maintain a regular gym routine. I believe in holistic personal development, nurturing my mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. This approach stems from my desire to be the best role model for my future children and to feel fulfilled and impactful in this world.

Do you have a place of power?
The source of my strength lies in my family: my parents, brother, grandparents, and all those who care for me and shower me with genuine love and kindness. Being surrounded by their presence fills me with immense joy and strength. When I seek solitude, I often retreat to the mosque to be close to God and find peace in His presence.

How often do you visit Baku and what does this city mean to you?
Born in Baku, I cherished my early years there and spent summers amid its warmth, even after relocating to Russia at the age of four. The city remains a source of strength, with cherished spots that hold deep significance. One tradition close to my heart is visiting the sea with a dear friend. Baku also houses my beloved family. Azerbaijan is a homeland that always welcomes me back, and I strive to return as often as possible, embracing the opportunities it offers.

the source of my strength lies in my family

The big excitement was caused by your victory in the show "The Masked Singer" in 2021. Is it important for you to always come out a winner or is participation a priority? What do you particularly remember about the project?
Winning is undoubtedly important to me. Suddenly, everyone around me was buzzing about the first season of "The Masked Singer," I found it amusing – why all the chatter about mysterious animals? Interestingly, amidst all the talk, there was one name that stood out – Anatoly Tsoi, the season's winner. I realised then that winning would thrust me into the spotlight, sparking curiosity and chatter among viewers. That's when I set my sights on clinching the title. Another motivating factor was the format itself. As a versatile artist capable of traversing various genres with my voice, I saw it as an opportunity to show my range to a wider audience. While my loyal fans are well-aware of my capabilities, often witnessing glimpses of my vocal prowess in covers or intimate performances, it hadn't received global exposure. Moreover, in my original compositions, I deliberately reveal only a fraction of my vocal abilities. I prefer to unveil them gradually, offering surprises along the way. The show offered me a unique opportunity to step onto the stage incognito. Essentially, when you're in costume, like the Crocodile, you shed all your identifiers – nationality, religion, beliefs, appearance – and become a blank canvas. I chose the Crocodile persona precisely because it represented a side of me that hadn't been revealed before – bold, cheeky, and exuding a sexy energy. My aim was to showcase different facets of myself, hoping that viewers would focus solely on talent, vocal prowess, stage presence, and dancing abilities, rather than personal biases. It was an incredible platform to demonstrate my versatility. Winning was an absolute thrill.

Tell us about your magazine "JONY magazine" by Sharden. How did the idea of its creation come about, and is it to be continued?
There will definitely be a sequel – this is my first experience of creating something like this. I'm passionate about reading paper books, holding them in my hands, and feeling the scent through their pages. Thus, I wanted to share my life story in this classic format. Sharden and I have been taking photos since 2019, back when we were both starting out in our creative journeys. We grew and improved our skills together. During one photo shoot, we captured some truly stunning shots that we felt deserved more than just being shared on social media. That's when the idea of creating a magazine emerged. However, we didn't want the magazine to be text-heavy; after all, it's primarily a photography magazine. We aimed for a balanced mix of content to keep the reader engaged without feeling overwhelmed. The journal comprises my stories, thoughts, values, goals, and track creation stories, which will be particularly beneficial for other musicians. We're setting a new trend; no one in Russia has done this before, so it's exciting to be a pioneer in the industry. The entire print run sold out quickly, prompting us to release an additional part. Moving forward, we aim to enhance the magazine, making it more engaging and covering topics that resonate with readers.

How long does it take you to create a song – from writing it to getting it to the listener?
Some songs take a couple or three sessions, while others are completed in just one day. Some songs linger for years, and then I revisit them to finish them off. That was the case with "Emptiness" («Пустота»). For "No way" («Никак»), it took us approximately 3-4 sessions. I often come up with choruses quickly. For instance, "Credits" («Титры») came to me in just a minute and a half. I had the chorus and verse melodies ready, albeit without lyrics. I improvised sounds in a bird-like language, blending English-like syllables to find the right melody. Similarly, "Comet" («Комета») was written swiftly. In the same recording session, I spontaneously composed "Nirvana" («Нирвана»). Additionally, I crafted a few interesting motifs during that session, although they remained unused in subsequent projects. Songs come together quickly because it's all from within. I'm immensely grateful to the professionals I collaborate with: we efficiently bring our ideas to life.

Music is my passion, and I continually strive to improve in this field

Which of your songs are particularly dear to you?
All songs hold significance, each with its own story, evoking the right emotions and memories. The very first song I wrote at 19 remains close to my heart, though it was never released to the public. "Alley" holds another special place, being the first track we created a video for and it soared high in the charts. Even now, "Alley" continues to captivate me with its magic. I've received messages from listeners expressing how my music helped them navigate through tough times, offering solace and pulling them out of depression. When it comes to "Alley"... One girl's mum passed away and she wanted to leave with her, but thanks to this song she found the strength to live on and let out her emotions. Her message deeply moved me, reinforcing my belief that my music serves a purpose beyond mere entertainment – it's a means to uplift and inspire others, a gift I'm grateful to share with the world.

You perform in massive arenas, hosting large-scale concerts. How does it feel to exchange energy with tens of thousands of people simultaneously?
It's an incredible feeling, one that I wish every artist and aspiring musician could experience. At first, stepping onto the stage was both exciting and a bit scary, but I always reminded myself that this is my dream, this is what I want to live. Once again, I want to thank all my listeners who have been attending my concerts since the first tour, singing all the songs with me in unison. During moments like these, I don't feel like I'm on stage singing to people as someone separate; I feel like we are one unit performing the songs I created with my team. Concerts are where we come together. My first road concert was in Saratov. It was a city I had never visited before, and I didn't know anyone there. The venue itself was small, but seeing people waiting for me, eager for my arrival and ready to sing along to my songs, was an incredible feeling. From that moment on, I fell in love with the vibe of live performances.

A word or two for our readers.
Thank you to all the readers! I wish everyone who has spent these moments reading to achieve the heights you dream of and the goals you've set in life. May success accompany you, as we only live once, and it's important to spend our time doing things that bring joy. May all your good intentions come to fruition. I wish my readers good health – remember to take care of yourselves, engage in sports, and nurture your spiritual development for inner harmony. And to everyone, I wish love, as we are created to love and be loved. For those who haven't found it yet, may you discover this happiness, and for those who have, may you cherish these bright feelings.