John Papa Gros

Live Performances

You have to accept the inconsistencies of live performances. One night you play a song fast, another night it might be slow. Embrace the moment and make sure, no matter what, the song feels good.

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Music Is Alive

Music is alive and it's breathing. Our heartbeats and breathing patterns are in constant change, whether you are relaxed, anxious, sleeping, etc. There are so many different factors in every day. And to share that with three or four other guys – however many you have...

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When Ideas Come To Fruition

That's my favorite part about working on a record: Getting an idea, when you're coming out of the shower, singing this ditty in your head, and then turning it into a full-blown song that someone else might enjoy and become a part of their...

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On Touring

Touring gives us the opportunity to play for different people and see their reaction to our New Orleans music. It also allows us to experience how other cultures are similar and different to ours. While it’s easy to get excited and appreciate other cities and...

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Validation

Personally for me, Allen Toussaint validated me as a New Orleans songwriter and musician and told me that I was part of the lineage of the great New Orleans piano players. He really liked my songs “Yes Ma’am” and “Back...

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Evaluations

I evaluate myself by asking: Do I like what I am writing and playing? Does it represent me? Does it represent my family. Does it represent New Orleans? Those are the only questions. It's really that...

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Vocal Work

In the old days it was common for my voice to go out. I couldn't sing more than two days in a row on the road, and often times my voice would go out by the end of the first show. I couldn't even talk. I wasn’t singing. I was yelling and screaming trying to be heard...

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Who I Am

I try to incorporate elements of who I am as a musician in each song I write. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes not.

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