Playing on the fast ‘Lane’ to success

John Lane sings one of his original songs at a local cafe to share his passion of music. Photo by Kristina Tieken.
John Lane sings one of his original songs at a local cafe. (Photo by Kristina Tieken)

The lone silhouette captivated his audience as he started singing with a glint in his eyes and a smile on his face.

John Lane is not the average BYU college student with musical talent. His passionate love of music has started a journey to succeed in the musical industry.

Last month, Lane released his three-song EP on Spotify and iTunes and a music video on YouTube. He describes his genre as “vocally driven acoustic music.”

His passion for the effect his music has on audience members sets him apart from the other local talent.

“He is very concerned with the experience that his friends have with his music because he cares about their experience,” said David Jon Banks, Lane’s producer and best friend.

Lane said the number-one priority for his EP was making people who hear his music feel something. He doesn’t just sing about silly love songs; he sings about all aspects of life.

“I put songs on the album that made me feel something, because when I play those songs, it’s almost like a spiritual high, and it feels so good,” Lane said.

Lane realized now was the best time to begin recording because of the positive reactions and demands he was receiving from his audience members for more. He realized he had entered a different dimension of writing, and a goal of recording fell into place.

“You get to this point where you finally start creating music that an audience larger than your mother and family enjoys,” Lane said. “This past year, I’ve gotten there, and it made sense to give it a try and record.”

Although Lane plays for large venues and has many fans, his mother is still one of his biggest fans. Diane Lane said she was proud and admired his passion for doing something that is so difficult to succeed in.

“John-John’s very steadfast in what he’s doing, which is very admirable,” Diane Lane said. “It’s one thing to have talent. A lot of people have talent, but when you have the talent, the drive and determination and ability to pursue it and push it forward, that is hard, and not many can do that.”

Music has been a tremendous part of John Lane’s life since he was born in 1991. He said he remembers at a very young age listening to his father play the guitar.

The way his father tells the story, he taught the boy to play three basic chords on the guitar. From there, John Lane took off running and was self-taught.

He taught himself to play the piano as well. John Lane can barely read piano music, but he primarily plays by ear and composes music to accompany his songs.

“He’s always been very passionate about pursuing music and would constantly look for opportunities to grow and improve as a child,” Diane Lane said.

John Lane tried a variety of instruments as a kid. The guitar didn’t feel natural until, one day, the guitar just made sense. He wasn’t sure if it was because his hands where finally big enough to reach the chords or if it just needed time to simmer, but at age 13, he started playing the guitar with confidence.

Since then, John Lane has been writing and singing all over Utah Valley with his guitar, rolled-up jeans and plaid shirts buttoned to the top button.

High expectations are set by John Lane’s harshest critic — himself.

Banks said John Lane struggles with feeling like he gives enough time and attention to competing interests in his life. Banks said the emotional spectrum the musician feels allows him to experience extreme frustration with himself but also allows for love, tenderness and friendship.

“They say great artists need to have a healthy dose of insecurity coupled with a healthy dose of confidence, and he does have both of those,” Banks said.

Daily life feeds John Lane’s inspiration to write about the “real stuff” going on in his life.

“When I sit down to write a song, if it isn’t done by the time I stand back up, chances are it’s not going anywhere and I won’t finish it,” he said. “The music that I write is so based on feeling that if I don’t create this final product that I feel really good about, than it won’t go anywhere.”

John Lane uses Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter who was the first to hold both the 100 meters and 200 meters world records, to illustrate how he feels about his music career.

“I feel like Usain Bolt because I’ve been blessed with a talent and the motivation to go somewhere, but I haven’t found the right event to run as fast as I can yet,” he said. “I’m ready to run. My legs are ready, and I’m ready to go, but I’m still finding my direction of where I want to end up.”

John Lane has studied many labels he is interested in, including Sub Pop and Atlantic Records. He hopes his current EP will help him get there.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m going to keep playing music, touring and writing all the time until I do,” he said.


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