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Personality traits that define you. Shaping the view of the world around you.

Posted: April 2, 2023
Temperament refers to personality traits that determine how someone reacts to the world. Are they quiet or rambunctious? Easygoing or apprehensive? The traits of temperament are mostly innate traits that we are born with, although they can be influenced by an individual's family, culture, or their experiences.]

If your work requires you to be professional, courteous, and respectful, your temperament is particularly important. Certain personality traits can define you and can affect how you will respond under stressful situations. The traits we were born with are often not fine-tuned until we get older, and even as we get older, mastering our innate traits are difficult. So many things affect the way we think feel and react. Whether we are easygoing or apprehensive, life can still be difficult. Especially within a professional setting, some do not have the will power to determine how they are going to react. They can be calm one moment, and full of emotion the next.

If you are an artist, having traits that are perceived to be positive could affect your success (or lack thereof) in the music industry. You could long and successful journey, or your career could be short lived. So, does this mean that you have to a “stoic” personality to make it in the business? No, not by any means. However, keeping your temperament in check can be the difference between success and failure, and it’s easier said than done.

Our special guest today is someone who could provide a little insight on the importance of temperament in the music industry. Her name is Janita Maria but you can call her Janita.

 

ABOUT JANITA

Janita’s latest album, Here Be Dragons (ECR Music Group), arrives on the heels of multiple, triumphant single releases. Billboard Magazine writes, “Janita is creating a timeless, sensuous, musical mosaic that deserves to be heard. This woman’s got the goods.”

Following two single premieres on Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlist and racking up over half a million views for her music videos for singles “Digging In The Dirt” and “Not What You’re Used To,” Janita has won a new-found global audience.

Already an iconic music figure in her native Finland, the long-time New York City resident has enjoyed critical acclaim fused with commercial success—an uncommon achievement which propelled her across 60,000 miles of touring for over 100 performances on both sides of the Atlantic in 2018 and 2019.

Recent singles “Bliss I Once Had This,” “I Do,” and “Our Love Is All We Have,” have garnered her national TV, press, and media in the United States and Europe following their releases.

Downtown Magazine declares her work to be “Anthem(s) of clarity and hope . Janita’s striking gender-bending look and mesmerizing ice-blue eyes bring to mind Annie Lennox and Bowie’s Thin White Duke-era guise; her voice is pure lilting compassion.” Paste Magazine writes, “Janita mesmerizes . . . her distinctive vocals are her stand-out asset, ranging between an edgier Feist and a softer Florence Welch.” Baeble Music adds, “Combining the vocal intensity of Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan with the turbulent rock edge of St. Vincent, Janita continues to mark herself as an artist capable of producing music of great beauty and unsettling power.”

Janita’s Here Be Dragons is now available everywhere on ECR Music Group. “Here be dragons” means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea monsters, and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps where potential dangers were thought to exist. The album was produced and recorded by indie-music luminary Blake Morgan in New York City.

 

INTERVIEW WITH JANITA AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Hello Janita. Thank you for joining us today. Our questions are intentionally unique, and centered around figuring out what traits could help or prevent someone from becoming an accomplished professional, specifically within the music industry.

The topic centers around the concept of temperament. It’s something that we are born with, though much of it can also be shaped or determined as we grow older. How important is an individual’s temperament in your line of work?

Janita: I think temperament is enormously important in my line of work. I deal with so many people: bandmates, producers, record labels, booking agents, collaborators of all sorts, and of course fans. Being someone that people enjoy being around, and someone who has vision and is capable of firm leadership––these are essential traits for me as an artist. However, good temperament alone does not guarantee that you have the leadership skills needed to forge ahead and to build the kind of career you want. I’ve learned many of these skills over time, and I’m still learning! But the fact that I’m engaged and curious, and always eager to up my game on every level I can serves me well. I still feel like I’ve only just begun, despite having been in the industry since I was 13 years old.

 

GT: If you have a response that is negative, harsh, and filled with anger will it harm or assist you with your career?

Janita: It depends on the situation, and whether it’s warranted. If I’ve legitimately been wronged in some way, I think it’s natural and even important to defend myself or protect myself––whatever the situation may require. I’m not someone who throws a tantrum though, or leaks bad vibes at others for any small reason. There are some––or even many––in the industry who have been able to get away with it, and have been successful despite habitually treating others disrespectfully, but I find that it always catches up to them at some point. That kind of behavior in my opinion is not sustainable, and in my case, it’s not who I am.

 

GT: Our purpose is not to make people feel bad if they lose control on occasion. Sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. However, a regular cycle of displaying harmful emotions can negatively influence our relationships. If you are in the public eye, your character traits are going to be scrutinized. If you are working on a better temperament, what is your suggestions on how to improve?

Janita: Anton Chekhov said: “ If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” I think that the way you conduct yourself and present yourself to the world outside of your art is also part of your art. It’s a whole package deal. I for one can’t pull the private me apart from the artist me at this point. It’s who I am, all the time. Therefore, working on understanding my life, and the things and events that have made me who I am, have helped me become more authentic as a human being, and also a better artist. I’ve looked at myself and my life fearlessly, and fixed those things that needed to be fixed. And I continue to do that every day. In this process I’ve become someone I like, love, and respect. As a human being and as an artist, I felt like I owed it to myself to understand the world, my life, and reality as clearly as I can. That’s the work I would recommend to anyone looking to improve their temperament. That work changes the way you treat yourself and others, and it transforms your art.

 

GT: Have you ever had a bad experience, where emotions got the best of you?

Janita: Of course! Anxiety is the mind killer, and I’ve certainly behaved thoughtlessly and mindlessly because of anxiety many times in my life and my career. This business, with its performances and high-pressure events, can be very anxiety-provoking at times. Especially early on in my career––being so young when I started out––it was very hard to hold it all together. And even now any time there’s a new level of success or challenge, that anxiety can rear its head up again. But I have more awareness around that now. Whatever’s going on with me, I always want to treat people around me with respect. And I make sure that I do.

 

GT: You have had a successful career. This may not have been possible if you were not able to control certain innate traits you were born with. Is there a specific negative trait that is dominate within your culture?

Janita: I’m originally from Finland, and growing up, the Finnish culture encouraged an introverted, unassuming, even morose outlook. Standing out and being different was not regarded as a positive thing at the time. There’s even an old saying in Finland that translates to: “The one who has happiness should hide it.” Ironic, since these days, Finland has polled as the happiest country on Earth for six years in a row. Things have clearly changed! Nevertheless, growing up in an environment in which taking pride for your accomplishments, and a joyful, outgoing nature were scoffed at, well…that made me quite serious and self-conscious. I’ve lived in New York for 25 years now, and I’m still not entirely Americanized, hehe. But at this point I’m ok with it. I’m an amalgam of two wildly different cultures: Finland and the US. It gives me a unique perspective on the world.

 

GT: Now, we can get into your accomplishments as an artist. In your About section, we learned much about what you have achieved in a short period of time. What do you contribute to your success?

Janita: My deep passion for music and art is what drives me, and has driven me my whole life. I started singing even before I started talking, and the moment I discovered the keyboard (a classic Casio) when I was 2 or 3 years old, you couldn’t pry me off of it. I first and foremost consider myself a musician; this is who I am, and this is what I do in life. There’s no alternative. I think that therein lies the secret to my success: I’m always interested and engaged in what I do, and I keep going no matter what. My love of music has led me to great successes in my career, and has carried me through the times when some others might have given up.

 

GT: Do you ever get tired of performing?

Janita: Performing itself is a great thrill and a rush, and always exciting in my experience. It’s the things that surround the performing: the nerves, the travel, the stresses of touring, the challenges of taking care of yourself and staying healthy through all of it––those are the things you can get tired of in the long run. But to a point, all of that is thrilling too. I am certainly left with a lot of interesting stories and memories from all my experiences. Much more to come.

 

GT: What kinds of projects are you planning for 2023? Do you plan on touring soon?

Janita: I’m currently working on a new album, which I couldn’t be more excited about. We just recorded drums after making the arrangements and rehearsing the parts for almost two months. This will be an intricate, nuanced, and electrifying record, and in my opinion my best work yet. My record label ECR Music Group and I have plans to release the first single later on this year, and I will certainly be touring next year to promote the album.

 

GT: I know there is a strong Finnish influence in the U.S., especially in New York. Has any of the states that you performed in, shaped you as an artist, if so where? Please explain.

Janita: New York itself has shaped me as an artist, enormously. I’ve now lived in NYC for longer than I ever lived in Finland, and so I consider myself as having two homes, and being both a Finn and a New Yorker. Perhaps equal parts.

New York is obviously incredibly beneficial for any artist, and I certainly have relished the chance to be in the center of it all, and to rub up against talented people of all stripes. I’ve been influenced by the energy, and have gotten used to the very high level of musicianship and artistry happening around me. In NYC you are never the big fish in a small pond, and you can never rest on your laurels. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to sharpen your skills on a consistent basis.

 

GT: Who were your musical inspirations?

Janita: There have been so many over my life, it’s so hard to pick. I grew up on a lot of R&B and hip hop, and Stevie Wonder was a huge influence on me early on. I fell in love with Meshell Ndegeocello’s music and style in my teens, and she’s been influential to me as an artist and a musician ever since. Later on, my tastes have veered towards a more alternative and rock direction, and artists and bands like Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, and Elliott Smith took over my world. I also have a long-lasting love affair with everything Tom Waits, and currently listening to The Beatles and Django Reinhardt a lot. Man, this is just scratching the surface. I’d just say that genre is meaningless to me, I’ll listen to anything that’s great.

 

GT: That is awesome. Is there releases to be expected, anything you can share with us?

Janita: Like I mentioned earlier, I’m in the studio as we speak working on an album that we’re planning to release next year, in 2024. The first single will be coming out at the end of this year.

 

GT: We want to follow up with you soon. Would you be interested in setting up another interview?

Janita: Absolutely! Once I’m about to release this new music I’m working on, I would love to talk to you guys some more about it.

 

GT: Excellent. We look forward to it.

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