Other than being known as an artist, author, peace activist and wife to John Lennon, Yoko Ono also makes great music. Her life and career have seen many ups and downs, but right now it seems like all things are in an upswing for her as she’s dominating the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts with the latest track off of her latest remix series, “The Remixes.” While many so-called artists today tend to walk a safe path when it comes to art and the perceptions others have towards it, Yoko Ono never felt the need to follow a particular path, but controversially created her own and welcomed everyone else to do the same.
Clubplanet recently caught up with Yoko Ono and chatted about the recent success of her remix series, the underlying theme behind her latest single, and what she thinks of music today in relation to art.
Clubplanet: You’ve had many great accomplishments throughout your life, and now you’re topping Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. How does it feel to do this four consecutive times in a genre that’s extremely stacked with talent from all areas of the globe?
Yoko Ono: Well I’m totally surprised. ‘Shocked’ is really the word. I never expected that. I really think that I’m very lucky. I’m lucky to be here and lucky to experience this. All my life there was talk that people really didn’t like my songs or that my songs were just swept under the rug. But now, suddenly, there are people that love my music. It’s a very nice feeling.
CP: What’s the underlying theme behind the track, “Give Me Something”?
Yoko Ono: It really says it all in the song. It’s just a feeling that I had about society. We live in a kind of society where we all scream, “Give me something.” At the time I thought that this is what society was feeling. It’s interesting because "Death of Samantha" was another song I wrote a long time before John passed away, but it was about John passing away... about the day of the vigil. The words were coming through me, and they were definitely about the vigil. And it was the same for this song too, it says it in the song, “Give me something that’s not cold.” We’re all getting very cold now as a society. That’s what I was feeling.
CP: When you write these songs, do your influences come from the state of the world today?
Yoko Ono: I usually feel that they come from somewhere, like outer space, and I’m just passing it along to you guys and sharing the experience.
CP: What’s your process for determining what remixes will make the cut for your series?
Yoko Ono: Well I don’t like to play the bad mommy role, telling these guys that they have to make their mixes a certain way or it won’t work out. I like to see what happens with their creativity. I like to give them their space to work. My whole attitude for this comes from a “everything is beautiful, all styles are beautiful” way of thinking. I love them all [the remixes] and I also appreciate working with them. I feel very lucky.
CP: How do you feel about the role of the "producer" today?
Yoko Ono: I think that the producer’s job today is very exciting. It’s very creative and exciting work. It’s also a joint effort with the artist and sometimes they may feel like they’re not appreciated as much, but I’d really like to say that I really appreciate each one of them.
CP: In relation to art, what are your thoughts on dance music today?
Yoko Ono: We should all keep dancing. I really think that dance is a very, very important part of our lives. I always say, “Don’t march through life, dance through life.” Marching is one way of going through life, but dancing is a much more joyful way of going through life and we need joy.
CP: What do you have planned for the remainder of the year?
Yoko Ono: Many things. (laughs) But you’ll find out when the time is right. I don’t believe in saying things before the soup is made, so to speak. (laughs)