Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Talented Janniz Antoniou

Photographed By: Ellinor Forje

"I have a son, that joy can't be expressed in anything. He's number one. Everything else comes secondary."
- Janniz Antoniou

Janniz Antoniou had a friend in primary school who could draw well. His name was Joakim Olofsson. Joakim's creativity, inspired Janniz to draw an Easter Egg as part of an assignment for class. His teacher didn't believe he had drawn it, and gave him a low grade.

The Chronicle:
'83-87 Breakdance/Graffiti
'88-93 Hip Hop Productions/Dj
'93-97 House/Dj
'98-06 Hip Hop/Rnb Productions/ Club Promoter/ Dj
'07 - Progressive Productions/Art

Janniz cites two movies of the early 80's as his biggest inspirations: One is, "Beat Street" the other, "Breakdance: The Movie". These masterpieces got him into Breakdancing, Electric Boogie and DJing. These films also made him realize he had a passion for the art of Graffiti. He became part of a crew, NSA - New School Authority. This group consisting of Core, Pike and Janniz aka Ruze, would watch other B-Boys dance the streets of Lund together, while they spray painted its walls.

In the late 80's and early 90's, Janniz set his spray cans aside and started focusing more on a career in music. Working with some of Sweden's finest musician Janniz, went on to established himself as something of a household name in the city of Lund. But, he limited himself, he restricted his talent, while the others went on to inforce themselves as Sweden's Hip Hop elite.

"The street culture is conservative, or it was back then." said Janniz explaining his love for others genres of music like the Depeche Mode, that he hadn't openly admitted, then. He broke away from his inhibitions and started playing more House Music at his venues. The music was still always rooted in soul.
Janniz had escaped his inhibitions. But, he was still plagued by an element that is innate in all human beings:

Fear.

The fear of failing. The fear of succeeding.

Until;

"Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And behold, no one was there."

The Talent overcame his fear.

Around 2007, Janniz started painting again. His music also became more progressive. He was inspired by the white walls in the new apartment he had just moved into; they needed colour. He also had a 20-year-old canvas, sitting in his closet. "The graff came back." said Janniz.

Janniz' paintings are abstract, beautiful and colourful. He remains private in his creative process. "I still have to work on my technique" said Janniz. Yeah well, we all do. Even the Mona Lisa could have benifitted from a bit more depth. La Joconde is still stunning to look at, despite its visible imperfection.

Janniz believes that no other subculture has influenced the spectrum of fashion, more than the Hip Hop culture. "What formally belonged to a subgroup has become nothing at all." said Janniz continuing, "The feeling of exlusivity, was nice." He has also had his fair share of fashion shows from venues he used to DJ at; "I've had enough." he said. But, he admitts that he enjoys seeing his in-law Fernanda Palmeiro at "her game" as he calls it. Yet, he's not into the whole fashion thing: "As long as I have a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers, I'm good. I spend my money more on music - related items."

Janniz feels that he's still looking for a concrete ground to stand on. It's possible he's found it. "Man, has to be rational to obtain his goals." said Janniz. His wisdom is only matched by the artistry of his Talent.

As for Janniz' primary school-drawing instructor; Only God knows what became of him. Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach should get lost, and stay gone.

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