Meet your neighbor, Istvan.


Istvan Janos


About Istvan:

I grew up in Berwyn with my mom, dad, and younger brother. My uncle and cousin lived on the second floor of our building and they were very much a part of our daily routine. Our family home was located on 24th and Clarence, right down the street from St. Odilo where I went to school from K to 8th grade. There was constant activity on our block. The pace was slow but at the same time busy in a good way. There was always a game of tag happening, bike riding, or getting into a little bit of mischief. Fun fact, I was in one of the first Kindergarten classes at St. Odilo! I completed high school down the road at Fenwick in Oak Park -Go Friars.

I have been with my lovely wife, Michelle for over 20 years. We met at North Riverside Mall! She was the cool alternative girl working at the record store, while I worked at the Gap. I knew I needed to meet her and with the help of a great friend who worked his magic, I was able to land a job at the record store with Michelle. The rest is history. We have an amazing daughter named Evie. Our daughter has been the greatest joy and overall gift to us. Of any title I hold, “Evie’s Dad” is by far my favorite.

The Business Side:

I am primarily a musician but I make many other things related to the songs I write! Music is the best way for me to communicate with my audience. I am starting to work on a podcast focused on families and I’m so excited to roll that out to the community very soon, so stay tuned. The inspiration behind the work that I do is my daughter. From the time she was a baby, I would create songs inspired by the fun and playful back and forth interactions I had with her. I never expected to become a musician focused on kids, but it has been the most profound thing that has ever happened. I love incorporating my little family into my work. Be sure to follow me! From my fun “Dad’s Jokes” to my porch music series on Instagram @iamistvan to my mini web series Istvan’s Imaginary Family Show on my youtube channel: or my soon to be podcast, Istvan’s Imaginary Podcast.

 Describe yourself using 3 words and explain why you chose those words.

Creative: This is the key to the work that I do. I want to inspire imagination.

Reflective: I really take the time to unpack the work that I do and why I do it. Family is at the root of that.

Resourceful: In my line of work you must be resourceful.

What inspires you?

Humor is a cornerstone in my life. My daughter is my biggest human inspiration and critic. She had her own little personality from the day she was born and has never held back on how she feels about something and I love that about her. I work hard to make her proud.

Tell us something that people might not know about you.

I am a total introvert that enjoys creating. I take nervousness and transform that into enthusiasm.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I can flawlessly fold laundry.

If we were to hang out, what would we do?

I would try to get you to record something with me. That is how my social life works. I try to pull people’s talents and rope them into creating something with me. It is so important to have a network of friends to enjoy and learn from.

Which time period would you visit in history?

I’d love to travel to the mid-60 and 70s. That is the time where I feel the best music was being created. If I could experience that music firsthand that would be amazing.

What is the meaning of your name?

My name is Hungarian in origin. I am a junior.

What job would you be terrible at?

Salesman of any kind.

Why Berwyn?

I lived in LA briefly. I was drawn back to Berwyn. We are in the shadow of the Big City but have our own personality. There is a growing music and arts community in Berwyn that I love. I feel like I want to be part of the spirit of this community. Berwyn is a unique place. I feel like you can become whatever you want to become in this town. And I feel like you add your own flavor when you do.