Garth Johnson, otherwise known as gARTh is ART, is a bedroom pop artist, singer, dancer and badass SoulCycle instructor. Garth hosts weekly virtual dance parties on Twitch and recently released a single called “Meet Me Online”. Check out our interview with him below!
MM: Tell me a little about your background. What was it like for you growing up, and what made you want to become a musician?
G: I grew up in a really small town of 1,200 people. I was always dancing, singing, and putting on shows for my family and stuff, like most kids! As I grew older, I kept dancing and that really became my main focus. I attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts and progressed on to New York’s The Juilliard School and graduated in 2013. I’ve always had a strong relationship to music and dance, so I guess it just feels like a natural way to express myself.
MM: So I really want to get an idea of your creative process. You write, sing, dance, and teach at SoulCycle. How do you tie all these pieces together (and manage them all, really)?
G: Wow… yeah when you write it out like this it seems like a lot, but honestly I think they all support each other really well, and sort of embed themselves into one another! As far as music making, I write, sing, record, and produce all of my own work, from the beats and music to vocals and production. I love being able to get into a room and do that completely on my own, because to me it’s like a therapy.
MM: Your stage name, gARTh is ART, has some awesome word play. What made you land on this name, and what were some of your other contenders?
G: Thank you! Well, from a visual sense the word ART is in my name, and I like to think of myself as a multi-faceted artist, seeing as how I don’t just do one thing. Also, in 2013 when I was thinking of “stage/artist names”, I really loved how if you said gARTh is ART really fast it sounded like a dinosaur.
MM: You have such a positive energy in all the mediums you create in, especially SoulCycle. How do you maintain that attitude in the face of negativity or rejection?
G: Gosh! I love that I seem so positive and it’s not always easy to see the good in things, however, I’m a glass half full kind of guy, and I like to keep things simple, so to remain positive in my life I just keep doing things that make me feel good, honest, and inspired.
MM: What else inspires/has inspired you?
G: Hmmm, so much! But I would have to say, currently I am inspired by film, and the accessibility to create content no matter who you are. Basically the idea of turning your own life into works of art. Essentially that’s what I am always practicing. How do I take things from my own life and represent them in an artistic sense. Or how do I digest the world and life and then give back something that will make me feel good about walking on this earth.
MM: If you could be featured in any artist’s song, who would it be and why?
G: Wow. I have so many people I would absolutely love to collaborate with, and I have to name them all because they’re all so unique and different. Firstly, Chelsea Cutler would be a dream, and she is my favorite artist, because I love everything she’s put out. Billie Eilish and FINEAS, because I really like the way in which they create their music. Their process seems similar to mine, from the clips I’ve seen on YouTube, so I think that would be really organic and cool to be in the room with them. Charli XCX because I’ve always admired her hustling multi talented entrepreneurial sense, and I really think she has pushed POP music into a new direction. I would love to also work with Jack Antonoff as a producer, because I think he is really good at truly collaborating with the artist, and not just throwing his sound on top of an artists. And lastly, I would love to work with this artist from LA named Dijon. His sound is unlike anything I’ve heard, and I love his genre-blending and artistic take on meaningful lyricism.
MM: What can we expect in the future from gARTh is ART?
G: MUSIC. MORE. MUSIC. MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. 2020 is about production / creation. Although I have no timeline for when things will be released and when…. I can assure you they’re being made, and good things take time!
MM: Where can we find your music?
G: On most streaming platforms! Just search for gARTh is ART!