After releasing two successful projects recording artist a.jené is preparing project number three and if you haven't tuned in before we recommend you do now, it's about time.
Check out her recent interview with TGWEWON's Du'Lanci Vallie below.
What inspires you the most about the music industry these days?
What inspires me most is that the industry is a lot more accessible for people who weren’t born into it. Like everyday people can come up now and it’s not just the same few families getting the spotlight. I love that I feel like I have a chance. Being a young black woman with a dream watching so many other successful black woman reach stardom is heartwarming to say the least.
If you wasn't in the music business or industry, what do you think you would be doing with your life instead?
I went to college for teaching. I lived my whole life with passion and plan to be an elementary school teacher and if it wasn’t for certain unfortunate circumstances, I’d probably still be on that path. Life has a funny way of shifting things around when you least expect it. My love of music has always been here, and getting that push to get serious with it made me see it more clearly. I want to do what I love for the rest of my life. Teaching is what I knew I’d enjoy and could pay the bills, but music is what keeps me going, happy, and sane.
Do you prefer the Independent route or would you rather sign to a major record label, and why?
If I could make it independently that would be a dream, but if a label gives me an offer I can’t refuse, why refuse it ? I want all my masters and everything that comes with being independent. Right now I have been doing everything independently. I am my own songwriter, booking manager, creative director, music video director, distributor, A&R, etc… It would be nice to take some of those loads off my shoulders, but I do like being in complete control. I feel like I have a good eye for knowing what works best for me and if I were to sign to a label I would hope they believe and invest in me on that.
Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I have performed many times this past year. I dropped my first song in 2018, but it took me a minute to get over my stage fright and really put myself out there. I did a lot of shows this summer 2022 and it helped get my name in more places. The more shows I do, the more the opportunities come. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small crowd or a huge one. I have realized there is always a chance to gain another supporter when taking any stage and to give it all I got each time. The supporters that are with me now will be the ones that can say they knew me when, and I feel like having those day ones are so important and key to building a top tier fan base. I have three shows coming up this weekend on the 15-17 of September, so if you are in the Huntsville, Al area stop by and vibe with me !!
Are you able to make a living with your music? If so, how were you able to attain a career doing what you love? If not, what do you do in order to fund your music career? What advice would give to someone who's interested in pursuing a career in music?
I haven’t made a living just yet, but I have made enough to know that if I keep pushing the money will just keep getting longer and longer. Out of nowhere one of my songs, “Bout It” ft. Erik Cain, blew up in Asia, South Korea especially. Watching the numbers and amount of people who knew my name go up really put that my goals of living off of my music into reach. It may not be in the next year or so, but it is coming. Right now I am so very grateful to put whatever I make back into creating more content and music, and I am even more extremely grateful for my mother supporting me on my music journey when needed. If I had to give one piece of advice for someone coming up like me I’d say “Just drop it. The people are not gonna hear you if the files stay in your computer. Perfection isn’t feasible and no one expects that. Once you start dropping the fans and love will follow. Someone out there will appreciate what you got in the vault. Just know they can’t show any love if there’s nothing to love on”
What is the story behind your band name/stage name?
The way I got A. Jené is pretty simple. For my first day out I was given the name Anisa, and that is a little hard for people to pronounce sometimes. I decided to just go with A and then my middle name, which is Jené (jah - nay). It is pronounced like Jhené Aiko. Not like jean or genie which I hear often.
What is your latest release and where fans can find it?
I am in the process of working on my third project which is gonna be a mix of self discovery, healing, love, and everything in between. I have dropped two singles already from it called “No Fool” and “Too Many Love Songs” on all platforms, which are two completely different vibes in themselves. My next single is coming out very soon called “Solitude”. You will be able to check that out on all platforms too. I have many music videos out and a lot of other types of content and shows in the works. My first two projects “Instability” and “It’s Not Me. It’s U” did really well for music to be just a hobby. Now I am coming full swing. My third tape “Only a Figment” will be nothing like you’ve heard and top those tapes by far. A lot of people would say I drop RnB music, but what I have coming is much more than that (in a good way).