Greg Johnson (musician)

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Greg Johnson (born 1968, Auckland, New Zealand) is a singer/songwriter of melodic, lyric-based pop. He has seen success both as a solo artist and writing for others. Since 2002 he has been a resident of the United States, living in California.

Music career[edit]

Over the years, he has toured and played with Coldplay, The Wallflowers, Lloyd Cole, The Cranberries, Dave Dobbyn, Mel Parsons, The Corrs, 10,000 Maniacs, The Proclaimers, Paul Kelly, Minibar, Ben King , Grada, The Exponents, The Dead Kennedys, Melissa Etheridge, Simply Red, Mental As Anything, Boh Runga, Ted Brown . He was also a founding member of the band, The Greg Johnson Set with "Nigel Russell". Johnson and various line-ups of his band have toured almost every town in New Zealand multiple times over the years, where he has many dedicated fans. with festivals and concerts including Wellington Arts Festival , Christchurch Arts Festival, Tauranga Jazz Festival, South Park Music Festival Colorado, Toast Festival London and many others. In 2005 Johnson performed a collection of his songs with The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Auckland's Aotea Concert Hall. He has played live on Radio New Zealand many times most recently 2017 with Jesse Mulligan.

Johnson won New Zealand's "Top Male Vocalist" at New Zealand Music Awards in 1995 and in 2002 "Best Compilation" for his album "The Best Yet".

In 1997 Johnson won the APRA Silver Scroll ,New Zealand's most prestigious Songwriting Award with his tune "Liberty" from the album "Chinese Whispers". Other Johnson tunes in the finals for the Silver Scroll have included "Isabelle" and "Boxers hands" (Strawpeople)

His 11 Studio Albums so far have had consistent and continuous airplay since the single "Isabelle" first hit the New Zealand charts back in 1991. The song was released on Pagan Records his label until 1999 when he signed direct to EMI Records , on which he released "Vine Street Stories", "Chinese Whispers" and "Seabreeze Motel" produced by Ian Morris, before moving to Los Angeles in 2002 and signing a worldwide deal with "Immergent Records' a label set up by former Fleetwood Mac producers Richard Dashut, and Ken Caillat 2002 he won NZ Tui Best Compilation Album 2003 for "The Best Yet"..In 2005 as an independent on Johnson Music America he with manager Michelle Bakker broke his tune "Save Yourself" from the album Here Comes The Caviar produced by Clark Stiles, on over 50 US Adult Alternative Radio stations.. first out of WBOS Boston and reached 43 on the US AA Billboard charts. Johnson and band toured the US extensively doing many radio concerts and Arts Festivals including playing a sell out show at Boston's famous Paradise Lounge in August 2006. Other songs that received airplay at College radio in the US included "Horses" and "Now The Sun Is Out" off the album "Anyone Can Say Goodbye" . The song "Now The Sun Is Out" was also the most played New Zealand song on NZ radio in 2006 and joins "Isabelle", "Liberty", "You Stay Out Of Your Life", "Don't Wait Another Day", "Save Yourself", "It's Been So Long", "Kiss Me", "Don't Be The One", "Looking Out On Monday" " I Got Opinions"and "Maybe Your True Love" as NZ Radio Hits.

He has written and co-written songs for Strawpeople, and others, including Co-writes with Mozella, Dick Rudolf, Gordon Pogoda and in 2005 collaborated with Russ DeSalvo and Arnie Roman on a song for New Zealand artist Amber Claire. His songs have been covered by artists including Grada, Hallelujah Picasso's, He has also released three albums with jazz side project Bluespeak.

Songs placed in TV shows include The Hills,[1] Party Of Five, Beautiful People, High School Reunion, Road Rules, Castle, The Brokenwood Mysteries, 800 Words, Lawless, and Citylife.

Film score and placements include Fifty Pills, Entry Level, The Catch, and Last Chance Harvey featuring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.[citation needed]

Commercial clients list includes See Political, California Natural History Museum, Audi Quattro, AA Health, Oceania Healthcare, Sony, Bendon, TAB, Suzuki, NZ Telecom, Placemakers, Culver City, Tip Top (ice Cream), Film Motel, Anthem Vault, Lumino In 2002 his music and an interview was used in British Politician Austin Mitchells, Pavalova Paradise Revisited in Episode 3 clip 3 (5.05mins) [NZ on Screen]. In 2007, his song "Hold Tight" was used in the New Zealand drama series Shortland Street during the wedding of characters Sarah Potts and TK Samuels.

His songs have featured on Air New Zealand inflight programs between 1996-2017 and in 2016 his song "No Need For Invitations" from the album "Swing The Lantern" was featured on all flights around the world.

He continues to tour frequently in New Zealand, USA and Europe, he toured a live version of "Here Comes The Caviar" album selling out two nights at Auckland's "Tuning Fork" ... When not touring he produces Artists, Commercials and Film Soundtracks from his studio in Santa Monica since 2017 under the Moniker "Tropical Noise" .


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
As the Greg Johnson Set
1991 The Watertable -
1993 Everyday Distortions 25
1995 Vine Street Stories 8
As Greg Johnson
1997 Chinese Whispers 16
2000 Sea Breeze Motel 10
2003 The Lost EP -
2004 Here Comes The Caviar 20
2006 Anyone Can Say Goodbye 17
2008 Seven Day Cure 20
2010 Secret Weapon 15
2012 Exits 21
2015 Swing The Lantern

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
2001 The Best Yet -
2006 Greatest Hits 24
2007 Me and Joanna
  • US-only release
2007 Trouble-Shooters Manual
  • US-only iTunes release

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
2011 Small Towns Live -


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
As the Greg Johnson Set
1991 "Two Feet off the Ground" 47 Everyday Distortions
1992 "Isabelle" 4
"Talk In This Town" 22
1993 "Baby"
"Winter Song" 44 Non-album single
"Sun Beat Down" Vine Street Stories
1994 "Come On"
1995 "You Stay Out Of Your Life"
"Don't Wait Another Day" 34
As Greg Johnson
1995 "If I Swagger" Vine Street Stories
1996 "Softly On Me" Non-album single
1997 "Liberty" Chinese Whispers
"My Ship Is Sitting Low"
1999 "Hibiscus Song" Sea Breeze Motel
"Beautiful Storm" 26
2000 "Cut To The Chase"
2003 "Save Yourself" 24 USA 44 Here Comes The Caviar
2004 "Kiss Me"
2005 "It's Been So Long"
"Don't Be The One"
2006 "Now The Sun Is Out" 28 Anyone Can Say Goodbye
2009 "I Got Opinions" Seven Day Cure

Bluespeak discography[edit]

  • Late Last Night (1992)
  • The Drinking Set
  • Dark Blue (1999)


  • NZ Tui Top Male Vocalist 1995
  • Winner APRA Silver Scroll for songwriting 1997 with the song "Liberty"
  • NZ Tui Best Compilation Album 2003 for "The Best Yet"

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hills " Season 2 " Songs From the Show " Ep. 208".
  2. ^ "Greg Johnson: Chart positions". Retrieved 4 November 2012.