Posted On 26 Jul 2017
Meet Interscope’s newest artist, 20-year-old Jaira Burns. Hailing from just outside of Pittsburgh, Jaira sits in the middle of pop, somewhere between ballads and bars.
Burns first discovered her singing voice when she was nine years old and singing in the shower. Since then, she has been practicing hard, honing her songwriting skills and has performed countless industry showcases
Her breakout first single is entitled “Ugly.”
Learn more about Jaira Burns in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016?
I would say, Growth. Excitement. At times uncomfortable. Lots of change.
How has 2017 been treating you so far? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
Better than any year has ever treated me! Yes, I feel like every year will be a different approach. As I mature and grow, so will my music.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
In my living room with my dogs. No music on at the moment. Technically when I’m “working” it’s my own music because I’m recording or performing. But I really enjoy Pop and Rap and anything that’s different and new. Hybrid stuff like Ella Vos.
What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
It depends on how bad of a mood lol, but vibey rap is a go to. Stuff from Wiz Khalifa, Drake, TY$…
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yes, the first memory that I can recall I was about 6 years old in the back of my parent’s car on the way to my grandparents to go swimming when “Sugar Sugar” by Babybash came on. I remember singing along and asking my mom to turn it up. Yes, growing up I always wanted to be someone others could look up to. Music was always my passion so I knew that is what I would do.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Or could you really not see yourself doing anything else?
Hard to see myself doing anything else, but I’ve always had an infatuation with nursing and a desire to help others.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown in Pittsburgh has shaped who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Pittsburgh is a blue-collar, hardworking town. The city’s spirit gave me a hands-on approach that shaped my work ethic and drove me to expect more from myself. I was taught so many challenging/necessary lessons in that city. Its where my perspective for the underdogs/misfits comes from in my music. I want them to relate to and be inspired by. I like to push limits, partially because I’ve always had to, coming from where I’m from.
What was it like signing with Interscope Records? Why do you think they are the right label for you and your music today?
Just days before signing with another major label, my management team secured a meeting with Aaron Bay-Shuck and John Janick at Interscope. From my first meeting to now, there has been a natural connection. Their focus on artist development and emphasis on artists keeping creative control is what made them a great fit for my vision.
Let’s talk about your brand new single, “Ugly.” Where did the inspiration for this song come from? How does this track prepare listeners for more music from you?
The storyline of “Ugly” is about two people who meet, which sparks a “friends with benefits” sort of relationship, and things get Ugly. It also serves as a warning that this love (relationship) could get Ugly. I LOVE music that pushes limits sonically and tells a story that some aren’t so comfortable sharing. “Ugly” has dancehall/reggae vibes, but also leans Pop and a little Urban. I’m a huge fan of diversity though, so you’ll hear and see a lot more from me soon.
What was it like shooting the music video for “Ugly”? How creatively involved were you with the whole process? (PS I LOVE you blue hair in this video)
The video was shot in Palm Springs. It was fun but also grueling to shoot in the desert sun in heels for hours. But when you’re doing what you love and always dreamed of that’s all that matters. It was my first full production video, so I’m grateful to have had Wiissa directing, Anne-Marie Hoang styling, and a strong management and label team to bring it all together. I had the opportunity to act again which is one of my favorite things other than singing.
When do you hope to release more songs and a full-length album of new material? Are you currently writing songs?
I’ll be releasing my second single “Burn Slow” in a few weeks. It’s a really cool vibe, and highlights another side of me. We’ve got a lot coming, and we are ALWAYS creating new music. I have enough material that would fill an album, but we plan to release some of my favorites one song at a time.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I’m very inspired by Rihanna, Jesse J, Stevie Nicks, The Fray, Wiz Khalifa, so many to name. I want people to know that no matter what they’re facing or situation they’re in, that they can find control in it. Everyone has the ability to create their own path. If you can fix it, change it. If you can’t, let it go. I would love to work with Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna, Young Thug, Quavo, Ty$, and Kung Fu Kenny.
What do you have planned for this summer? Will you have any time to play out live at all?
I just plan to release more music throughout the summer, but I’m not big on plans. I like to roll with the waves. I try to strategize on what I would like to see happen in my future, but life has a way of reminding us that it has its own plans. I will definetly have time for live shows in the near future!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Nah, you’ll just have to follow along and listen 😉 -@JairaBurns