Ja’leeyna was the girl, who growing up, was told on repeat that she had the pipes, and a handful of years ago she started to push forward on making the most of it. Today, we’re talking about not only how she got started, but also her ‘Predicated’ EP, and even some ‘Proud Family’ got tossed into the mix in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: The first thing I noticed listening to ‘Predicated’ was that you have this wonderful control over your harmonies. Did you grow up singing in your bedroom, with a brush in hand, taking notes from any artist to learn that skill?
Ja’leeyna: Thank you so much! I honestly wasn’t one of those girls oddly enough! I just found out I could sing by other people telling me I could and began to sing at local talent shows. Eventually, my parents wanted to make sure I was fine-tuned in my “vocal blessing” and started me with vocal lessons!
I loved Brandy since I can remember! I think she was just a great representation of a dark skin woman that had the vocal skills, and also had talent and drive to have her own television show!
Kendra: Another noticeable thing about your music is that you put a lot of your faith into it. Did you come up in church choirs?
Ja’leeyna: Honestly the only song that was faith-based being “Thank You” was me, of course, paying homage to God for bringing me as far as he did because most people tend to think I was raised in a church or sang in church choirs but that was not my case! I’m just truly blessed with a voice!
Kendra: I mentioned it already, but ‘Predicated’ is your latest release, and being from Michigan – I’d love to know if you had to compare the overall vibe of the record to a spot in your home state, what would it be and why?
Ja’leeyna: Not really! I haven’t been to many places in my home state so I can’t really compare my own music to anywhere specific.
Kendra: Going back to that vocal control, it was really noticeable in “Thank You,” a song I couldn’t get enough of. Everything about it made me think it could’ve been in that scene in ‘Sister Act 2’ when they’re in the church and Lauryn Hill is singing with her friend playing the piano. Are you the one playing the keys?
Ja’leeyna: Thank you so much!! I love that movie so I’m glad it was able to bring you back to that! Unfortunately, I am not the one on keys. The producer’s name is Pyano. Found him and this track on YouTube, and couldn’t get enough of it, and knew I wanted to write something for the glory of God to it. And there went “Thank You.”
Kendra: I did want to ask about 2020’s “Strangers” because the cover art features ‘The Proud Family.’ Seeing that they did bring it back recently – what song off ‘Predicated’ would you love to hear on the Disney+ series?
Ja’leeyna: Haha! I don’t keep up with any Disney+ shows that often. Not even the new ‘Proud Family,’ I know it’s crazy. So really I’m not sure, but I will start looking into that. think it’ll be cool to maybe have one or some of my songs in TV shows and films!
Kendra: Time for a side note – with it being summer, I’d love to know your go-to summer anthem? Like what song must you listen to when the weather is perfect and the sun is out?
Ja’leeyna: Right now in 2022, I’d have to say my summer anthem is going to be between “Boom!” by Scootie Wop, a super dope Christian rapper, “Whole Lotta Choppas” by Sada Baby, or “Mind Yo Business” by Lakeyah featuring Latto. Those have been in HEAVY rotation so far!!
My ALL-TIME summer song though is going Usher’s “U Don’t Have To Call.” That song is the epitome of a young summer! It feels like “I’m good tonight, either way, it’s warm outside and that’s where I’ll be, so don’t wait up!!”
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Predicated’ out now, what are your plans moving forward? Is there a possible tour in the works?
Ja’leeyna: A tour would be GREAT! I think especially with this EP it would be so easy to have a great pull out of my own music I could do! I would just have to set that up, but it probably wouldn’t be for another year or so for proper preparation and marketing! Plus by then I’ll have more music out!! And speaking of Usher I have a song coming out with one of his most popular songs being sampled and my FIRST MUSIC VIDEO along with it!! I’m super excited about this! All coming out toward the end of 2022, date TBA!