California native, JNNA, has had a love for music and performing since she was a young girl growing up in La Canada, California. After two years of college in Santa Monica, JNNA made the bold choice to follow her gut and pursue her passion for music
She was initially noticed for her incredible covers of a huge range of songs, from “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson to Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” For the past year, she’s been lending her soulful vocals to talented producers like Stewart G and Tyzo Bloom, who’s been producing JNNA’s solo music.
Come 2017; she’ll be releasing her first full-length album. JNNA was kind enough to chat with TNWU and answer our questions about her collaboration wishlist, the song she can’t stop listening to, and her first time making her own solo album.
What or who got you into music? Are you a music buff as well as an artist?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been in love with music. When I was in elementary school, I would constantly watch MTV music videos. As I got older, a friend of mine introduced me to a whole new world of music that I had never opened my ears to. I started developing my taste from this new music that I was relating to on a deeper level. I am a huge music buff as well as an artist. I like to think that I have a very eclectic taste in music today, ranging from Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, and Marvin Gaye to Lauryn Hill, Adele, and Disclosure.
Give us a peek into your writing process?
If I’m just at home trying to focus on something new to write, ideas will usually just come to me. Mainly from past experiences I’ve had or experiences that people close to me have had. Sometimes if I’m looking for a starting point, I’ll imagine myself in a certain situation and write about how I imagine I’d be feeling. But if I’m with Casey (Tyzo Bloom) and we’re about to start a new track, he will usually start to mess around with production and I’ll just write whatever’s on my mind that day! Once he’s done with a chunk of the track he’ll begin to write as well, and then we collaborate!
We’ve seen you collaborate with artists like Stewart G and Tyzo Bloom. Are there any other artists or producers that you’d like to work with?
Oh absolutely! Disclosure, Flume, Odesza, Diplo, Jack U, Drake, Rihanna, Lauryn Hill, Little Dragon, Lawrence Taylor, John Mayer, J. Cole. There are so many more; seriously the list goes on and on! (laughs) I love the collaborative process because it brings people together with different experiences and tastes and combines them to make something beautiful!
I’ve seen your videos on Instagram of “Roses” by the Chainsmokers and Ansel Elgort’s new song “Home Alone.” Do we have any other covers to look forward to? Anything you’ve been itching to cover?
(laughs) It feels like I haven’t done a cover in so long now so I would definitely like to post another one sometime soon! And if I had to choose one song, I would have to go with John Mayer’s cover of Beyoncés “XO”!!
What are you listening to on repeat lately?
John Mayer’s cover of “XO” ;).
You’re releasing your first EP in 2017! What has been the best part of making it? What challenges have you encountered?
Yes! I’m just so excited to finally be working on what I love and want most in life. I am working towards my passion and am just so damn thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a talented producer! I think the biggest challenge I’m having is just to remember that I need to make music for myself, not for anyone else. I need to focus on making music that I want to listen to; I can’t think about what other people want to hear because if I focus on that, I’ll never be doing this authentically.
We’ve seen you mostly on features; can you give us a little preview of your sound as a solo artist? Is it similar to Stewart and Casey’s music?
Of course! It was so awesome collaborating with Stewart not only because he’s a long-time friend of mine, but because our vibes with our own music differ so much! With Tyzo Bloom, I’ve realized that working with him definitely does affect my sound because he’s the one producing it! He’s his own artist so he produces his own music as well and he has a unique sound that trickles into every creation! The first single on my EP, that is just about to be complete, has a sense of Casey’s production, but I don’t think it sounds like a Tyzo Bloom track. It’s definitely a JNNA single, and I’m so excited to share it with you all! I’m striving to make my music eclectic musically and soulful vocally and lyrically.
What do you like to nerd out about?
I watch an insane amount of movies and TV, and currently, I have been watching and re-watching every season of American Horror Story…I’M OBSESSED!