Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and international blues-pop singer-songwriter Jann Klose has been a Big Apple local for the last two decades. Beautiful voice and art, the ability to earn citizenship in this country – and beloved city – is a feat deserving of recognition.

Jann Klose and his five piece band will perform his first concert as an American citizen at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 on Tuesday, October 26, at 7:00p.m..  Based in New York City for almost 20 years, the acclaimed German-born pop singer-songwriter spent most of that time performing throughout the world, including five tours of South Africa since 2015 where he broke the top 20 with a song “Pour the Champagne.”  Earlier this year he had a top 50 song, a duet with Alicia Madison “Love You The Most.”

Because he wasn’t able to tour, he focused on studying for U.S. Citizenship.  He spoke with The Aquarian about the work he did to achieve his goal, which included being sworn in at City Hall on October 22.

What advice do you have for immigrants to America, especially those from Europe?

Be prepared. Educate yourself on the laws of the land and consider spending time here prior to your application. While that’s probably the case anyway for most people that want to build a life here, it’s an important part of getting to know yourself in the American environment. Many have preconceived notions about what American culture is like and how people here “tick” but it’s never what you think or expect. I would also suggest traveling outside of the big cities like New York or Los Angeles. Most of America is quite different! Every state has unique laws and customs that should be understood. You may also find that rural life is better suited for your needs! One thing that I’ve discovered personally is that traveling through the U.S. is an adventure that is life changing. I had the opportunity to really get to know most parts of the US through touring with shows and my own music. I love that aspect of what American culture has to offer. Meeting new people and discovering new locations here has always been one of my favorite things to do!

What’s the value of setting up dual citizenship?  How much harder is it than just studying for your USA immigration test?

Since I have a lot of family in Germany it’s important for me to stay connected to the country I was born in. But now that I’ve spent half of my life in the United States I really wanted to be a part of the political process here. It holds value for me. It feels like a responsibility I have. The application process for dual citizenship was actually not that complicated, just an extra step I had to go through. 

Can you think of times when you have felt unwelcome as an immigrant? What about when you have felt welcomed?

Yes, some people have said things to me like “Why don’t you go back to Germany then?” when I’ve disagreed with them politically. Clearly it’s them being lazy or unable to argue properly but it is upsetting nevertheless. Becoming an American myself gives me the opportunity to argue my point without being discriminated against. That being said, Americans in general have been the most welcoming people! I’ve mostly been treated with kindness and respect and love the opportunities that this country and its people have offered me.

What have been your biggest challenges?

Patience… it always is! There were times when I was looking for change in my personal and professional life and have felt trapped, unable to do the things I wanted to do. The pace at which I was able to achieve success sometimes felt like molasses. It was only when I was able to let go of some of those “dreams” that they in fact did happen. There’s a still a lot I want to do and I believe I will but I know there will be times when I will feel like progress isn’t going as fast as I’d like. 


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