We caught up with JINX at his Album Release party at Crowbar in Ybor City, FL early November. Peep the promo out and see some clips from his performance that night.
J'Nelle is one of those artists that you come across once in a blue moon that has true talent and a voice worth hearing. She brings that raw emotion to every song she creates. Truly talented and blessed with the ability to touch a soul; she uses this skill to reach even the most un-conventional ears.
J'Nelle is one of those artists that you come across once in a blue moon that has true talent and a voice worth hearing. She brings that raw emotion to every song she creates. Truly talented and blessed with the ability to touch a soul; she uses this skill to reach even the most un-conventional ears. She is definitely one woman whom I can say will touch many people in her journey with music. I had the amazing opportunity to sit and speak with her about her new album, "Forward Ever, Backward Never", being dropped September 23, 2011.
BSR: When did you first get your start with singing?
Well my mom says 3 and I say 4. When I was a little girl it was in church. I grew up in a church home and you know, I started singing with the choir. So that's when I really started singing.
BSR: Who is that one person out of everyone that you dream of collaborating with?
Wow. That's a whole bunch. Just one? Aw man I would have to say Chaka Khan. She influences me a lot just by the hair, the way she dresses, and the way she sings. I just love the way she carries herself when she is on stage. She moves on the stage gracefully. Chaka! That's my one person that I would love to collaborate with.
BSR: There are so many starving (if you will) artists out there trying to make it with their talents, what sets you apart from them and how do you get over the major obstacles?
It's typical and its cliché but you have to be yourself. I can't come in and try to imitate a Beyoncé or try to imitate a Chaka Khan. I have to find who I am inside and what can I bring to the table and what's going to set me apart from the other people. That's being you. Just because someone sings or raps about 22's on their ride doesn't mean that you have to do the same. You know what I'm saying? What outfit, what trend can I bring to the music industry that will make them be like "Yea wow that's such and such). So me being myself when I'm stage, me being myself when I'm wearing clothing or hair. That's the one thing that you need to learn to obtain before you get out to the music industry; in my opinion.
BSR: How are you able to juggle everything that you have going on? Church, Work, Singing?
Prioritization and I can't procrastinate. I used to procrastinate a lot but that would make me be under pressure and I would be stressed out. Just prioritization. If I know that I have a test for school, you know for a couple days I would study, study, and study. And then music, when I have that free time I would, work on my music and then I would get on Facebook and promote it. It's all about prioritization. I'm doing things in order. Which one goes first and which one can wait until the last minute? You know? So yea it's that one word, prioritization, that's how I do so much stuff at once. Oh and I also have a calendar, that's another important thing. I always have a calendar so I wouldn't be confused with dates. [Laughs] And when I am available to do something.
BSR: I know you are about to drop a new album here on the 23rd…So that's right around the corner.… What can you tell me about your collabs and the people you have worked with to make this album happen?
From the producers, I have great, great producers. The production that they sent me took me to another level because my niche is r-n-b and neo-soul. From the producer side I have Jay Mack. He sent me this techno beat, futuristic music, and I'm like oh my god what am I going to do with this? I told myself that I have to reach another element; I need to take myself out of the box and explore this. That's what I wanted to do with this project was to EXPLORE! I worked with producers out of Atlanta, GA. (Romell) I did a hip-hop beat. It's just exploring something basically different. I want people to look at me and say, "Wow she did that!" On the engineering side, I thank BullsEye Studios for sponsoring me with the recording. A lot of people came in and helped me with this project with sponsoring, engineering, mastering. But of course I had my roadblocks and stumbles throughout this project. It set me back a little bit because I had to post pone the release date 3 times because things weren't done in order. So it's been a journey and it still is a journey. I am still going through some stumbles but it's going to be great. I hope I can, no I will touch the souls and inspire someone to do whatever they want to do and that they can achieve their dreams.
BSR: Your songs are so empowering with such a STRONG voice! Where does that emotion come from?
That emotion comes from the year before, life experiences, and my friend's experiences. Some troubles that I have gone through, from being in bad relationships, and almost getting cancer. I write and I pray. When I'm on stage I like to show that what you're going through I am also going through. Or I went through it and I overcame it and I am just sharing my testimony. That's what it all is. That's where it comes from; my life experience. It comes from God taking me out those issues. From my mom and the influence she gives me. From things that I want and things on this Earth that we can change. Just the whole environment that's around me.
BSR: Honestly my personal favorite of yours is "Picky"! I absolutely love that song! Which song means the most to you and why on your album?
Oh man. Miss Muneca why you do this to me? [Laughs] Wow each song on this project has its own little influence on me. Can I pick 3? [Laughs] Well there are three sections on the album; the first section is about empowerment, second section is the love section, and third section is my becoming. Out of the first section I would choose "Picky". "Picky" because it brings a different vibe than what I usually do. It really shows my versatility and it really tells you the standard that I hold because a lot of guys'….well you know it doesn't necessarily have to be about guys. The whole concept behind the "Picky" song was that you have to hold standards in order to get to where you want to be; so that people can listen to and respect what you have to say. I chose the more typical one for a female because a lot of females think that you have to get a guy like this, or he has to be this way, and NO! You have to set standards so that when you bring him home to Mama; she can say "Wow I like him"! When I talk about no baggie jeans I am just explaining what I know that my Mama would approve of. So when we are walking down the street people are like "Wow now that's a power couple!"
For the love section, "One"! This song basically shows my love for God. He is my number one source. I don't care what nobody says he is my number one. The second song out of this is called "Sir Amazing". it was produced by Mike Mass. This brings out something eccentric and this is my Neo Soul side. It talks about my experience with a guy I have always liked but I was too shy to actually tell him. And he still doesn't know. [Laughs]
Under the third section I would have to choose "Life and Music". This is one of the songs I performed at King of the Stage. It shows that I bring my struggle, and pain. I cry, just like you cry and I want people to see that. That was produced by Romell from GA.
BSR: Who did you enjoy working with the most in this album?
Collaboration wise….writing… I would have to say Jus Henry. He took one of the songs on my album to another level and it's just his creativity. It's amazing what he did for the song. Style wise I would have to say King Henry James. He is a rapper and what he was saying and how he was in the studio. He really felt what he was saying.
BSR: You had the pleasure of working with some amazing producers; tell me about a few and the experiences.
Wow. The one that stood out the most was Jay Mack. He produced quite a few songs on my album. I would love to work with him again. He is so passionate. He was one of my mentors through out this journey of this album. He gave me advice. He is definitely the one I want to work with through out my career in music until I retire. Even though I don't plan on retiring. [Laughs] That's the one that stood out the most.
BSR: So what's next for Miss J'Nelle? What can we look forward too?
Of course the album, "Forward Ever, Backward Never" September 23, 2011. We are also throwing an album release party. I have a show in DC coming up in October at Howard University. I am going to the Apollo in October also in Harlem, NY. I am also working on a show in Europe for next year. I just thank God for these opportunities. Those are the plans. I will continue to collab and write beautiful music.
BSR: One last question…
You recently performed at Aych's King of the Stage and won the runner up position next to Suntin' Xtra… How do you feel about that?
[Laughs] I feel accomplished honestly. I did it the year before and I placed third. To have people and judges that listen to my music and see people who predominantly listen to rap hear me and as a female also in a male dominated competition and I was the only female. To even reach that far I felt accomplished, I feel like I did my job. Of course I wanted to win but I still got that respect. Afterwards people came up to me and spoke with me and made me cry because I did King of the Stage for them. To be able to pour my feelings out on stage was a great opportunity. I thank Aych for what he did and actually believing in me and for putting me in the show. It was a great experience. If I had to say something else about I, to the judges, you are judging a rapper and a singer and it was kind of different, but I'm not complaining. So it is what it is. Overall I feel good about it and it's something I accomplished.
BSR: So what do you want to tell me? Quotes? Anything to add?
I want to thank everyone that has helped me through this process. If it wasn't for you all and if it wasn't for the love of God; trust me this would not have been. To Bullseye Studios, the engineers and even you [Muneca], AZ1 "Jason". My mommy; she's the one who started this whole project honestly. Jay Mack, Big CJ, Trinity, TK Phresh, and a lot of people. I really want to thank everyone who contributed their time effort and money to make this project happen.
Quote: If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. There you have it! It's the truth and it's what I live by. My mom always says it.