Jonathan Fluevog’s father might be John Fluevog, the man behind Fluevog Shoes, but Jon minus the “h” walks to his own beat. As the founder and creative mind behind Vogville Recording and FineVog Films, the record and video producer is carving a name for himself in his own industry. We caught up with Fluevog to find out more about his artistic career path…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am an entrepreneur in beautiful Vancouver! I own Vogville Recording and FineVog Films, so I like to have fun as both a record and video producer. I say “fun” because work is fun for me and I love what I do. The common areas for me in music and video are storytelling and collaboration. I love stories and I like working with people, so they are great matches for me. Whether it’s a musical story or a corporate video story, it is still powerful in its own way and it’s so rewarding to be part of the process.
Also, my dad is John Fluevog. He inspired me to become an entrepreneur in the areas that I was drawn to. Before I started out on my own, I spent a year working for the family business – Fluevog Shoes – and making women’s clogs. I know I’m doing other things these days, but I think that even 25 years later, I could still make a mighty fine pair of clogs if anyone requested some.
What sets Vogville Recording apart from other studios and who are some of the most interesting talents you’ve had the chance to work with so far?
Music is one of the strongest ways to bring people together and it’s also an extremely beautiful and personal means of artistic expression. I started Vogville Recording to give artists around Vancouver (and beyond) a place where they could feel comfortable in their creativity and let their ideas flow. I think what sets Vogville apart is that every artist is welcome and every song counts. Some studios get lost in the hype of artists who come there. Vogville is about the music community as a whole, not the specific names. It doesn’t matter who the artist is. What matters is that they have something to play, they want to be heard, and they have the desire to make it happen. So while we’ve had higher profile artists like k-os, Drake, Matthew Good, and Ashlee Simpson record at Vogville, every artist has something to offer and we have stayed true to that philosophy from the very beginning.
What has been one of your most unbelievable moments in studio; a story you tell at dinner parties?
There have been many unbelievable moments, like the police showing up at odd hours looking for band members or a singer forced to leave the studio during a recording session after his bandmates lit so many candles that he was losing oxygen and almost passed out! The music industry is unpredictable and always interesting.
The crazier moments are indeed dinner party-worthy, but when I think back on my favourite Vogville memories what comes to mind first are the moments where artists reached a new level of personal growth and artistic confidence.
A few years ago, I met three young guys who wanted to play music together. The lead singer and guitarist became friends after they got into a fistfight over a girl and the third one was a mutual friend. They weren’t clear on their sound yet, but what they did know was that they wanted to start a band. I took a personal interest in them because I saw their potential, and within a year they had a name (The Light Machines), a video that went viral and a distinct sound. The turning point was when they invited their friends to the studio to hear their recordings. There was a strong sense of accomplishment from all three of them and their increased confidence in that moment showed just how far they had come in a short time. It’s something that you want every artist to experience and it’s a very fond memory.
Tell us about how Vogville’s Day & Night Festival got started and what it’s all about.
Here in Vancouver there’s a common idea that every major music festival needs a headliner. Having seen so many promising new artists come through Vogville, I felt it was time for a music festival in which a group of new artists could act as headliners together. So Vogville’s Day & Night Festival was created in 2011 to do just that for 12 new bands. One of those bands, The Matinee, was seen at the festival by 604 Records and signed to a record deal later that year. It was a fun event to put together and I would like to revisit it in the future when the time is right.
You’re also on TV – busy guy! What is Vogville Presents about?
Vogville Presents gives musicians a chance to tell their stories in their own words. Being able to connect with the person behind a great song allows others to appreciate where it came from and the journey that made it all happen. That was my aim in creating the series – giving select musicians, the ones with talent, charisma, and a little bit of business savvy, the chance to be heard in a different way.
For the new season of the show, I’ve decided to try something different and adopt a more conversational format. Brian Thompson of ThornyBleeder Records will be hosting and leading the discussion. We’re very excited!
What are three things you can’t live without?
Music, my camera, and my Fluevogs.
What’s next for you?
You mean I’m not doing enough things already? My new company, FineVog Films, is taking up the bulk of my time these days. I work with clients in the corporate world to create effective videos that will connect with their customers. In January, I completed a filmmaking intensive at New York Film Academy and as a result of that I am also actively developing more television and film properties.
Really, what’s always next for me is whatever is inspiring me. I want to have an impact and an interest in whatever I do and with every project and every person I connect with – I want to make it count in a positive way.
How do we stay up-to-date with you?
My websites have everything you’ve always wanted to know about me and more: JonathanFluevog.com, Vogville.com and FinevogFilms.com. I’m also all over social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please connect!