By Jack Barnes
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Janeliasoul: I was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Nigeria to Nigerian mother and a father from Baltimore, MD USA. I am a Nigerian-American singer and band leader with a “best of both worlds” approach to my music. I get to do a fusion of different types of music and it still falls under the one category of World music. My previous release Love-Hate created some buzz in the independent music scene with over One million YouTube views.
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Janeliasoul: I started with live performances which is at the heart of everything I do as an artist because I began performing live with musicians long before I started writing songs.
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Janeliasoul: I have been in the music industry for about ten years. While I was in college I started as a backup singer in several bands and then ventured into starting my own band known today as Janeliasoul Band.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your sound?
Janeliasoul: My sound can simply be described as world music. The traditional African rhythms are present with the modern afro-pop sounds, mixed with soul, jazz and other contemporary genres.
Getmybuzzup: What are you currently working on?
Janeliasoul: My upcoming release is an album about self-affirmations and it is recorded with all live musical instruments. It is probably the world’s first album about self-affirmations.
Getmybuzzup: What is the concept behind your latest project and where have you been recording?
Janeliasoul: Until now, self-affirmations are in form of spoken word that one speaks to one’s self. However, my upcoming release is a musical self-affirmation that one can sing, listen to and even dance to. I am presenting it as an EP album with 6 songs and the album is titled the “Self Affirmation Project”. The album is being recorded in Baltimore, MD at my project studio and featuring both local and international musicians who will be revealed when the album is released.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on touring to promote your latest project?
Janeliasoul: Yes, the bigger picture for the Self Affirmation Project would be to go on a national and international “New Album Tour” so as to bring these very powerful songs live to as many people as possible.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists on this project or in the future?
Janeliasoul: Yes, there are a couple of collaborations with other artists on my upcoming release. I also did a cover of one of Beyoncé’s songs. However, everyone would have to wait until the album drops on July 13, 2018 so as not to ruin the element of surprise. My version of Beyoncé’s original will be a unique and pleasant surprise on the album.
Getmybuzzup: What’s different about this creative process from previous projects?
Janeliasoul: As the name of the album reflects i.e. Self-Affirmation Project, all the title of the songs on the album begins with “I Am” affirmations. For example, the first single from the album is titled “I Am Bold”. In addition, all the tracks are played and procured by one of Nigeria’s best producers, Femi Sanya. We are then hiring musicians to come in the studio to play the instrumentation live. For example, the programmed drums will be replaced with live acoustic drums in order to give the album that organic live feel as opposed to sounding programmed or synthetic.
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Janeliasoul: I believe my new album will be mostly enjoyed for the lyrical content because of its powerful message of using affirmations as a solution for negative self-talk. Affirmations have helped me create magic in my life and to find my inner genius as an artist. So much so that I wanted to use my songs as an instrument of impact by recording probably the world’s first album dedicated to self-affirmations.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Janeliasoul: The area that I would like to improve the most is marketing and promotion. I believe I have a good product and a good sound. I continue to work on learning the business of music and marketing myself better.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Janeliasoul: I am inspired by great world music artists like Fela Kuti and Angelique Kidjo. I aspire to continue to improve my craft and to make music that would wow the world like these great African artists.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Janeliasoul: “Your Love is King” by Sade
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Janeliasoul: Angelique Kidjo, because she has released quite a number of top-selling albums, toured internationally, won the Grammy and other awards; all while still keeping to her traditional sound.
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Janeliasoul: I have not worked with any of my favorite artists yet but looking forward to it.
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check off music?
Janeliasoul: I bought ankara fabrics to make more custom-made Ankara tops for my live performances.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Janeliasoul: Take the time to understand the music business.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Janeliasoul: I love the fact that there has not been a better time to be an independent artist but now in this day in age. Although there is a lot of competitions on YouTube and streaming music services, internet radio and other platforms now available to indie artists, I love taking on the challenge to stand out.
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Janeliasoul: My main music goals are to release a number of top-selling albums that would wow the world, tour nationally and internationally, win the Grammy and other awards, all while still keeping to my “best of both worlds” approach to music.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Janeliasoul: People from multiple backgrounds that enjoy live music and conscious lyrics.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Janeliasoul: When I first started making music, I tried to put myself in a box and label myself as R&B because I felt I had to belong in that category. However, over time I have learned to take a “best of both worlds” approach to my music being that I am both a Nigerian and an American and that is what separates me from other artists. My music is a beautiful fusion of different genres.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Janeliasoul: I love to cook for family and friends and especially enjoy those summer evenings on the deck when I have people over for great food/wine and interesting conversions.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Janeliasoul: I would like to work with Timberland. Although he is a hip hop and pop producer, something about his sound is rhythmic on a world music level.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Janeliasoul: Performing for tens of thousands of people at the Ojude Oba Festival in Ogun Stage, Nigeria and being accepted. It was lovely being recognized by my own people despite my “fusion” sound.
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
Janeliasoul: Cia. I admire her vast songwriting skills.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Janeliasoul: One of my favorite moments on stage is to tell the story of the song titled “Cocoa” before I perform it. I somehow always get the audience to say “Thank You Nigeria” before singing that song because Nigeria is one of the top producers of cocoa which is used to make chocolate and a massive list of cocoa based products in America. That never gets old.
Getmybuzzup: When performing and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Janeliasoul: It feels deeply familiar, like maybe I was a famous singer or orator in a past life and I am doing it all again in this life.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Janeliasoul: I will soon be dropping the first single titled “I Am Bold” from my upcoming album. It is catchy, hypnotic and will introduce the listener to several self-affirmations. Although it is titled “I Am Bold”, the song encompasses other powerful self-affirmations such as having the power to create change. “I Am Bold” will be released on June 1, 2018.
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
Janeliasoul: Yes, I am shooting a video diary of this journey and on June 5, 2018 I am going to launch a weekly YouTube Vlog about the making of the album. I will upload a new episode every Tuesday and it will let viewers in on the behind the scenes and the creative process of the Self Affirmation Project. I would like to use this opportunity to invite everyone to come along this life changing adventure with me by subscribing to my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/janeliaAKAjaneliasoul.
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music or follow you at?
Janeliasoul: My website and social media handle is Janeliasoul.
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