THE WRITERS ROUND by Dr. T. Roberts
Janiva Magness “I Won’t Cry” AirPlayDirect.com/JanivaMagness AirPlayDirect.com/JanivaMagnessStrongerForItRadioSpecial the Direct Buzz: Janiva Magness, your reputation as a worldclass, award-winning Blues artist and performer is well known. But today, I ask for you to focus on a singular piece of art… your song “I Won’t Cry”. In 2013 you were honored with the Blues Music Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Song” for “I Won’t Cry”, that you wrote with your producer and friend Dave Darling. Please share with us the genesis of the song, and then how it makes you feel when you hear it now. Janiva Magness: What a great question. It would be unfair to say that that tune was born from a singular difficult event. The genesis of that song, to be completely fair and accurate, would date back as far as I can remember. In other words the idea that “I GET CUT, I MIGHT BLEED, BUT I WON’T CRY” has been an ongoing personal theme for as long as I can remember. It is about resilience. It is about pushing through something that is very painful, but not allowing that situation or person, in the end, to get the
best of me. Dave is also a very strong person. I believe he understands the posture of refusing to lose. He is a brilliant artist and a very dear friend. He also knows me well, so when he came up with the idea for the song (the story) and had the path laid out (music), it was not a stretch for me in the least, to take a swing at completing the story, because it’s the core that runs through much of my life experience. I have a very rich lower vocal register. Sometimes magic things can happen down there. He set the melody dark and low to utilize that part of my range – in part because it is so intimate. This lyric is very
simple and direct. It is the deeply personal resolve of someone who will not quit. It seems there are a lot of people who connect with that idea, which is really lovely and encouraging for me personally. I know Dave was pleased that we won “Song of the Year”. PRETTY DARN COOL! When I hear it now, I realize it is a beautiful, very well crafted song. I am very happy and though I am generally not a prideful person, I do feel proud of this. I also feel very lucky to be allowed to develop as a songwriter, seriously. This one was a kinda’ big fat “YES” from the universe about writing for me. tDB: Do you have to be inspired
the Direct Buzz January 2014 issue. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform.