Blending their unique style of Country-infused Pop with heartfelt lyrics and vocal harmony prowess, sister duo and Oklahoma natives Lavendine are poised to take the music world by storm. With their debut album “Feel My Way” slated for release later this year, we sat down to a phone interview with Jana and Jacy, discussing everything from their early musical upbringing, to the obstacles that made them consider giving up the dream, and the drive and determination that has gotten them where they are today.
HRC: Reading your bio, you were both involved with music from an early age, talk about those experiences and the lessons you learned.
Jacy: Literally, when we popped out of the womb, we were singing. My first memory, the storm shelters in Oklahoma are a big deal, I can remember being five or six years old, they would have at least a hundred people come to the storm shelter, that whole community. I can remember my Grandmother and her friends begging Jana and I to get up and sing. That kind of set the course for Jana and I, we didn’t know where we would move to, but we knew there was a place somewhere on this earth that we could go live and do music. By the time we entered high school it was second nature, it’s something we’ve always had the drive to do. Those early experiences helped us build our confidence.
HRC: What’s it like being a duo in terms of not only performing, but dealing with the pressures that go along with that? Has it helped going through those experiences together as opposed to by yourselves?
Jana: Absolutely. When we were younger we would always go to the harmony quicker than the lead vocal, we grew up singing harmony. The duo thing was extremely important to us because we couldn’t harmonize unless we had each other.
HRC: Given the obstacles that you’ve faced, was there ever a moment where you felt like giving up the dream as far as music was concerned?
Both: Oh goodness [laughs] more than once. That question is comical! Jana and I have always loved to sing, but we’ve realized now that were older, there’s a meaning to why we do what we do. We feel like we have a calling to bring hope to people, and we can understand why we’ve gone through so many struggles. At the time we were going through it, we were like, it just seems too hard. Hindsight is letting us know it’s good we went through those hard times, now we feel like we have something to offer. We do it because we genuinely feel like we have a message and we want to help people. That’s the only reason we didn’t give up, because we finally got that message within ourselves, we can’t stop, because there’s someone out there were supposed to reach.
On the journey there have been times, we would sit and have a conversation for two hours, both crying, saying we can’t do it anymore. We would go to the grocery store, and a complete stranger would come up to us and say “Are you those girls that have that radio show?” We had a radio show in Oklahoma for about a year, reached about 250,000 people. They would say: “Please don’t stop doing that, you don’t understand, I wake up and wait for that to come on because your words help me get through the day.” Every time we would get to a point in our lives where we wanted to give up, we’d get that sign. We were truly at our wits end, it’s amazing to be standing here today knowing that we’ve come through all that. I don’t know how we did it [laughs].
HRC: How has your relationship with music changed in light of all that you’ve had to overcome?
Jana: It’s made me selfless. When I was winning all those awards and doing all those shows, I was prideful at that stage of my life. We were raised by a father that was a perfectionist, we’ve always been that way, now, when we get up to talk or sing, we let that go. It changed us, the struggles we went through and the road we walked, it doesn’t really matter if were perfect.
Jacy: When we first got to Nashville, we just wanted so bad to get noticed and be approved, but now our whole paradigm has shifted, we don’t need their approval, we just need to do what were called to do and it’ll find it’s place. When we first started out, we saw ourselves as just artists. We get in the studio now and we have the mind of a producer, we’ve grown in a lot of areas that we never thought we’d grow in. It’s a really rewarding feeling to know that you’ve come all this way and developed in those areas.
HRC: For those that haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it in your own words?
Both: Real, raw, something people can relate to, hope is the underlying message. When we sit down to write, we write from the experiences we’ve been through. There’s this deep well of hope in both of us because we’ve both been through so much, it comes out in our songwriting. We sit back and listen to a song, maybe, two, three months later, and we cry, because it gives us hope. If our own songs give us hope, surely there’s someone out there who will feel the same.
HRC: Between the two of you, how does the songwriting dynamic work?
Both: There’s never been a method, we write songs in every way you can imagine. Sometimes we’ll have the chorus of a song before we have a verse, sometimes, if one of us comes up with an amazing chorus, the verse drops on the other, and vice versa. Wherever one of us doesn’t finish, the other one completes it, it’s the strangest thing, like it’s waiting there or something. We see them as little miracles. We have our own style, but we’re always in agreement stylistically in terms of where the songs should go.
HRC: Finally, what’s up next for ya’ll, and what are you looking forward to most about your debut album?
Both: We’re excited to get out and start promoting it, letting people see our faces, we’ve kind of been in the background writing for the next record, if you can believe that one. We’re trying to stay focused on this one and make sure our focus is where it needs to be, but as a Singer/Songwriter you’re always in the background still creating. We’re just excited to see where this goes, we feel like it’s starting to grow wings and it’s gonna fly, we just don’t know where it’s gonna land, we’re excited to sit back and watch it evolve, we’re enjoying this part of it.
HRC: We want to thank you ladies for your time, it’s been a pleasure talking with you, and we wish you the best of luck with all your future goals.
Both: Thank you so much, so nice to meet you!