Contributor’s Note: Out of Portland, Maine, JanaeSound is set to change the game with her powerful voice. She is a voice for empowerment, a voice for the cause and for change, especially given today’s climate of uncertainty and social unrest. She has recently released her single entitled “Feared” and curated a wonderful event in Portland, Maine to celebrate Juneteenth and to give other black artists the stage to have their music and their voices heard. In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, JanaeSound discusses Juneteenth, how we can make voices heard, and how she has been coping with Covid-19 and the social unrest in America. Fans can find JanaeSound at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into a day in the life of Portland, Maine and the music scene(naturally pre-Covid).
JanaeSound: I was on tour when Covid-19 happened but good day when I was home went like this:
I would start a song, answer a few booking inquiries for a rad venue I worked for, meet up with a musician or an artist to plan something fun, then I’d either practice, perform or go to a local show. On the odd chance I was home for the night, I’d work on merch and/or a custom jacket (for myself or someone else), plan a photoshoot, design posters, or send a barrage of emails to book myself. Those were the days. But I don’t miss being tired all the time.
Madness To Creation: Three biggest reasons why you became a singer.
The singing life chose me. Jk. I feel the happiest when I am singing
I tried the whole 9-5 thing and while I found success, I was bored to DEATH and always daydreaming of something more— usually while softly singing to myself
It’s in my blood. My grandfather was a songwriter too.
Madness To Creation: One song you want to cover and why?
JanaeSound: My favorite song that I currently cover is Babe I’m gonna Leave You – Led Zeppelin. One song I’m dying to cover is ‘If you feel it’- Thelma Houston. My grandfather wrote that one and he’s given me permission to record it—- but it seems like… sacrilege to change anything. I may have to cover it straight and then put my own spin on it. A 2 for 1, if you will!
Madness To Creation: I love the song “Feared”, it has a poignant message to it, if you could take us into that song and the message?
JanaeSound: Thank you. Before I have a breakthrough, I go through periods of intense self doubt and I struggle with an intense fear that is really paralyzing. That’s no way to live. I learned that acknowledging my fear helps me to move through the negativity quickly and get back to creating. In Feared, I personify my inner saboteur, listen to her warnings about everything that could go wrong, thank her for trying to keep me safe and get back to work.
Madness To Creation: How do you mentally prepare yourself when you go into that studio?
JanaeSound: The studio is therapy for me! I like to bring all of the feels with me and I always feel lighter when I leave. I always pray beforehand and come as prepared as possible!
Madness To Creation: You helped raise thousands of dollars for the Juneteenth Event for Indigo Arts Alliance and Black Owned Maine, what were some takeaways from that event and what did you learn about yourself in that event?
JanaeSound: All Glory to God! We raised 10k- a combination of individual donations and generous donation matches from Bangor Savings Bank and Coffee By Design. Martin’s Point Healthcare covered all production costs so every cent went to our beneficiaries. Juneteenth was a celebration of the holiday, a showcase of local Black talent, and supported local organizations that empower Portland’s Black community. The stream available to Incarcerated folks in 150 facilities nationwide were also able to see the stream thanks to a partnership with Edovo.
I learned a lot about how hard I am willing to push myself for something I am deeply passionate about. I curated, produced and performed in Juneteenth which went from pitch to livestream in nine days. This meant working 15-17 hours days and I stayed awake 30 hours with my team to edit the footage. I crawled into bed each night with a smile on my face because I was so proud of the work.
Madness To Creation: What can publications like Madness To Creation do to make it better to ensure better coverage and raise awareness for Black voices in entertainment?
JanaeSound: Hire Black talent, cover Black artists and issues.
Madness To Creation: We cover mental health awareness at Madness To Creation, we believe in normalizing mental health conversations as that is our mantra so to speak, what are some things you do to help you when you struggle and what makes you happy?
JanaeSound: My mental health tanked in March. I was forced to end a tour early, missing what I felt was my most important show. I was set to play Whisky A Go-Go (DREAM 1) and perform for my uncle for the first time (DREAM 2). He was recently released from prison after serving 25 years.
Madness To Creation: What is the first thing that you want to do when this pandemic is over(or under control at least)?
JanaeSound: I want to fly home to St. Louis and hug my mom. And then put on a huge show with all of my hometown heroes. I also want to go to a roller rink!
Madness To Creation: How have you adjusted your social media with this pandemic? How do you make yourself stand out in sea of people?
JanaeSound: I’ve started talking more about social justice issues. It feels like my social media is more honest and vulnerable than it’s ever been.
Madness To Creation: Thank you so much for this mental health conversation, I so appreciate you taking the time!
JanaeSound: Thank you so much for allowing me a place to share my thoughts and feelings!
And there you have it! Stay up to date on her social media accounts listed above! Check her out via Spotify below: