Greg Janssen is a Toronto-based independent recording artist. He is a singer-songwriter with a keen ear for production and a flair for stylistic experimentation.
His career began in Ottawa, with 2008's FACTOR-funded Urban Aesthetic EP, a record which earned some solid press in print and online, rotation on CBC and college radio, and a Dan Mangan cover of "See The Sunshine Through The Haze" for CBC Radio 2's Concert On Demand. A steady series of shows throughout Ontario and Quebec followed, culminating in an unplayed showcase slot at NXNE '09 and a City of Ottawa Emerging Artist grant which allowed for an unfortunately fruitless recording expedition to Marin County, California.
By 2010, Janssen found himself in Toronto—a traveling Librarian for the Toronto Public Library's Bookmobile by day, by night a struggling artist fine-tuning his songcraft and DIY production skills. Two self-released EPs came and went with little fanfare, as did the occasional live show, including gigs at CMW and the Toronto Fringe Festival. In 2012, the FX Network's Around the Next Bend picked up "Heavier Than Heaven" to play over the closing credits of its final episode. Then, the 2014 SummerWorks Performance Festival picked up Janssen's Animal Pharmacy: A Medicine Show. A musical satire of the pharmaceutical industry inspired by The Threepenny Opera—by way of Urinetown—as well as the artist's persistent struggles with depression, the show was praised by Mooney On Theatre for its "beautifully written" songs "with on-point lyrics ... of a calibre would rival any top musical."
Ontario Arts Council funding has kept him busy with further development work on Animal Pharmacy. He continues to play live, in stripped-down solo acoustic mode, and pursue production opportunities for the show. Watch out for the all-digital release of his first full-length playlist, Greg Janssen Sings The Songs From Animal Pharmacy And Other Popular Favourites, coming Fall 2018. Join the mailing list to stay tuned and receive exclusive email-only releases.
“... covers more ground in five songs than many a band has mustered over the course of a decades-long career.”
— Allan Wigney, Ottawa Sun