You might not have ever heard of JanaeSound, but she’s about to make sure you know her name. This powerhouse rock singer has recently released two new singles and has an EP on the horizon. I got the chance to talk with her about how Flo Rida inspired her to pursue music professionally, what inspired her single “Diamonds,” what she’s nerding out about and so much more. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I’ve always loved singing, but I got my first real gig due to a strange unfolding of events. An awesome teacher from my elementary school gave me a cassette tape to take home and told me to learn this a cappella song. I thought we were on field trip, but it was actually an audition for The Opera Theatre of St. Louis. I was cast (PRAISE GOD) and the movement just grew from there.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I’ve always wanted to pursue music professionally but didn’t how it could actually happen. All of that changed after I opened for Flo Rida in St. Louis. I had the best time and I was so encouraged.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
I produce uplifting, empowering anthems that dare my listeners to fearlessly pursue their goals and smash through whatever obstacle is in their way.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
I love Nina Simone, Heart, Prince, and Led Zeppelin.
Let’s talk about your single, “Diamonds.” What’s the story behind that song?
“Diamonds” is my first single and is super special to me. It is a slow building rock ballad with that focuses on the journey instead of the prize. It’s about that moment when you’ve been kicked down and you aren’t sure if you can stand up again. I wrote it during a long period of self-doubt, when I convinced myself that pursuing music would be a waste of time and energy. Since releasing the track, people have reached out via Facebook, Instagram or my website with their stories and I’m humbled that “Diamonds” brought some small measure of comfort to them.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into that, specifically what it was like for this song. Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with others?
The words really flew out of me for this song and I spent the majority of my time focused on the melody. I wanted to make a song that conveyed an intense dark place without being too depressing. I played violin when I was little and I battled this longing of sorts to include strings on this song — but ultimately included them.
What was the recording process like for song? Were there any major changes made once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
I had the best time ever recording “Diamonds” at The Halo Studio in Maine. There is nothing quite like making music while surrounded by positive, encouraging and talented folks. I’m especially grateful to Kevin Billingslea (sound engineer) for helping me bring it to life. When it was all finished, I cried right in the studio.
Over the summer at a BMI Music Workshop, I presented my work tape of “Diamonds” after playing about a minute of the finished track. The consensus was that I stayed in line with the original vision. It felt good to hear other accomplished songwriters make that point.
You also recently released your music video for “Diamonds” and my favorite thing about it is how simple it is. How did you come up with the concept, or lack thereof, and what was the shooting process like?
[laughs] We did the best we could with what we had. We shot the video in my apartment. Will Berry Films made the magic happen with basically no budget.
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
I just crossed a big goal off of the list: I’ll be performing in a BMI Showcase at Hotel Café March 4th.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I’m obsessing over Red Dead Redemption 2 and LED lights I plan to use in a weird way for an upcoming project.