Growing up in La Canada, California, JNNA began to shape her craft at an early age by taking lessons with a vocal coach. At eight years old, JNNA’s passion for music was solidified with her first live performance in front of an audience. To this day, she still remembers being insanely nervous and singing Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You”. In addition to her natural love for music and performing, JNNA cites her father as the biggest influence for pursuing her dream and all of the music that she makes. When JNNA was 20 years old, she lost her Dad, and while he was not a musician, she says a part of her is “always working to keep making him proud.”
JNNA has always had this very eclectic taste in music, and it’s something that is showcased through her own music. Her sound draws inspiration from artists including Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Little Dragon. She loves taking an electronic vibe and incorporating in organic sounds such as guitar, bells, drums, strings, and more. Her music can be described as modern and soulful, with a voice that will make listeners hang on every word and feel an overwhelming sense of powerful emotion.
After just one listen of JNNA’s cover of Kelly Clarkson’s hit song, “Since U Been Gone,” her uniqueness and sheer talent will be quite evident. She takes the traditionally upbeat song and turns it into her own haunting and melodic tune, creating something that irrefutably unforgettable.
2017 is shaping up to be a breakout year for JNNA as she is set to release her EP of original music by the end of this year and hopes to take her songs on the road. She will also continue to collaborate with other artists, including an upcoming single with Tyzo Bloom. JNNA simply wants to inspire others — the exact same way that music had inspired her to get out there and chase her dream.
Learn more JNNA in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for 2017? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
Of course! Thanks so much for talking with me 🙂 Excited, nervous, happy, unique, eclectic are the words I would use to describe last year for me and my music. 2016 was the year where it all started for me and music. I got an email from Tyzo Bloom and ever since then I’ve been pursuing my passion. I gotta say I’m most excited for what’s to come in 2017. It will be a year of so many new experiences and I’m a little freaked but totally excited for it 🙂 I will finally be releasing my own original music and performing! I mean, every year I make the same “I’m going to eat healthier; stop eating so much sugar, burgers, pizza, pasta, and all those other carb-ilicious foods” but we all know that’s not happening I also just promised myself to keep working hard on music and remind myself to not get so down when things don’t exactly go as planned. I believe that everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen 🙂
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
When I was really young and first started singing, I know I definitely hoped that one day I could be a rock star, performing up on stage with a crazy outfit, and see myself up on MTV in my own awesome music video like “Crazy In Love” or “Toxic”. I think back then, I just looked up to all these artists and wanted to live their lives, and look and sound like them. My very first memory of music I’m pretty sure, is when I used to hangout with my older sister. I would drive around with her and my other sister listening to D’Angelo “Devils Pie” and “One Mo Gin” (still two of my favs of his). And honestly, I can’t see myself doing anything other than music. Even the thought of it depresses me
What was it like quitting college and really focusing on your music career? Was it scary coming to that decision?
To be honest, I was completely fine leaving school. I didn’t enjoy myself at all, I felt like I was wasting my life away doing something that didn’t make me happy. All I could think about was the fact that I was already 20 and hadn’t made a step towards my passion. I was actually so relieved to leave school and begin a new chapter of my life.
The song “Closer To You” is really getting a lot of love these days. What do you think it is about it that people are responding to now?
Thank you! Yeah it’s been crazy and amazing watching it grow and hearing from friends, friends of friends, and family how much they love it. People just connect to music on so many different levels, so it could definitely be the story behind the scenes words or even just the music itself.
I’d love to know more about the first time you performed in front of a live audience? How did you go about choosing to sing Alicia Keys’ song “If I Ain’t Got You”?
Well, when I was younger I was obsessed with Alicia Keys and that song and video. I thought she had such an incredible voice and she was so beautiful, I wanted to be exactly like her when I grew up; so I chose to sing “If I Ain’t Got You” for my performance with my first singing coach. I was about 8 or 9 and I remember after I finished my song, I heard a father of one of the others singers tell my mom he thought I should be on American Idol. I remember hearing that and being like “Woah, he thinks I’m that good?” I didn’t pursue going through with American Idol because that thought scared the hell out of me as a little girl. (Laughter)
How do go about selecting which songs you are going to cover? What have been some favorites? Are you constantly thinking of songs to cover?
Well back then, when I was going more covers for my channel and Instagram, I began choosing to cover songs that I had always loved like “If I Ain’t Got You”, “Santeria”, “Into You”, and “Sunday Morning”. But the more covers I did, and the more I got involved in that world of covers I noticed that everyone else was covering popular songs, songs that were more relevant today. I guess that was an easy way to get more views because when a new song got released like “Where Are You Now” or “Hands To Myself” people loved hearing other people cover those songs. I just jumped on that bandwagon a little late and by the time I did, Casey had reached out to me and ever since then I really haven’t done another cover other than my recent “Since U Been Gone” release.
I understand that by the end of this year, you hope to release your debut EP. How has that been going? Have you written all of the songs that will be featured on it?
Well actually, I’m not so sure I’m going to be releasing an EP anymore. I’ve decided to do a single by single release. I just think for where I’m at as an artist it’s not necessary that I release an EP! But I am working on my own music now and actually have one single complete that I’m hoping to release very soon 🙂 I’ve been getting help from Tyzo Bloom with the production of my music and and usually when we’re working on my stuff, I’ll start writing and he gives his input and makes changes if I’m unsure about something I wrote.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
I think all of my favorite musicians are musicians that I would be so lucky if I had the opportunity to work with one day. Some of these artists are Flume, Odesza, James Blake, Jamie XX, The XX, Little Dragon, Leon Bridges, Sia, Rihanna, John Mayer, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, the list seriously goes on and on.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
When I write my songs, I just write from memory, from past experiences I’ve had or experiences others have had. I just hope that my music will remind people of something these experienced too; something they can relate to 🙂
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I have a few more collaborations in the works so stay tuned!!! ❤