Do you remember when R&B singer J Rena won on BET’s “Welcome to Dreamland” a few years back? that was on BET. Now she’s solo and just released a mixtape and things are taking off again for this young lady.
Here, the Atlanta-based artist talks about her dream to sing for former President Obama and how Japan is where she knows she can make music magic.
When did you know that being a musician was your calling?
Music has been in my heart since I can remember but I decided to pursue it as a career when I was a teenager.
Describe three other occupations you’ve held.
Party planner. My friend and I planned weddings, showers, birthdays, etc. I was a job coach for a customer service center — this job bored me to death!! I basically trained new hires and repeated myself over and over for eight hours a day. Ticket agent — I assisted passengers boarding flights.
What inspires you to perform?
Life inspires me to perform. I feel like I’m here for a reason and that reason is to share my gift. To me, music is like medicine and can even be therapeutic. It’s how many cope with their feelings whether good or bad. I love knowing that I can help with the way people express themselves through songs. It’s magical.
What instruments, if any, do you play?
My vocal cords. I’ve mastered this built-in instrument, I tune it daily.
How would you describe your brand of music?
For me, it’s all about a feeling. I aim to feel a connection with my audience so I purposely write songs that are very relatable and easy to imagine. I paint a vivid picture so that whoever is listening to the song; sees themselves, gets pulled in and eventually lost in the lyrics/passion of the song almost as if they themselves wrote it.
When you are on stage what do you want to convey about your style?
When I’m on stage I like to create a vibe so intense that nobody wants the night to end. I love the thought of my fans leaving my show talking about how crazy the energy was.
Name three musicians who have influenced your approach to being a musician?
Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and OutKast.
Describe your creative process from concept to complete song?
I choose a concept based on how the track makes me feel. Example, if the track is slow and seductive, I write a sexy ballad. I usually start with the 1st verse and make my way through the rest of the song. This is my way of creating a mood and putting it in story form.
How do you select your creative music partners to fashion your musical voice?
I base it on whether or not there is a chemistry between us. Music is literally what you make it. It’s all in the way you vibe. There has to be a certain chemistry to make good music.
What advice would you give anyone preparing to enter the music business about publishing and management?
Read and learn as much as possible about publishing and choose management that you can trust.
If you were going to sing for any famous person as a celebration of what they have done for humanity who would it be?
It would definitely be President Barack Obama.
What are the effects on society that you would like the results of listening to your music to be?
I would like for my music to be a coping mechanism if one is going through stress, hurt or heartache.
If you could go outside the USA to write and produce music what country would you choose and why?
I would choose Japan because I had the opportunity to submit music to a girl group there and I learned a lot about how they like their music. So since I already have somewhat of a heads up, I would go there and work my magic.
What do you like the most about being a musician?
What I like most is my freedom of creativity and the reaction I get from others because of it.
What producers are you looking forward to working with soon?
Honestly, I just want to work with whoever I have great chemistry with, that’s all that matters when it comes to making good music.
Name three musicians you would like to record with that are hit makers?
Bruno Mars, OutKast because they’re my fav, and Kendrick Lamar. It all depends on the day and who I’ve heard on the radio that day.
If you could make a duet with someone who would it be and why?
Maybe Bruno Mars? I love his music and his energy.
What musical awards have you aspired to receive and it happened?
I’m aiming for a Grammy… I’ll let you know when it happens.
What musical achievements have you yet to obtain?
I have a long way to go in my music career when it comes to achievements, I’m going to always feel like I can do and be better.
Finish the sentence:
When I hit the stage I feel… alive
When the crowd is responding to my music I know…that there’s a connection and that is what’s most important to me.
I appreciate my fans because…they chose me. I’m honored.
Music is my calling…no ifs, ands, buts or maybes about it. I feel that it’s my destiny.
My method of studying music is…simple. Listening and being open minded.
When you find my music I want you to…be pleasantly surprised each and every time.
Name your favorite two books.
Love At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Follow her on social and check out her mixtape:
[Mixtape] @JRENAMUSIC – If The Shoe Fits :: #GetItLIVE! livemixtap.es/wpi