Photo Credit: Travis Trautt
Last week we introduced our readers to Jasmine Jordan, a soulful artist born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, and today we have another who hails from there; JNA. It’s funny how you can oftentimes draw a line between the people you connect with, such as this but with JNA we get a burst of ‘70s soul and disco. Yes, we’re talking about the music that made those mirror balls go wild back in the day, and thanks to artists like JNA – that magic continues. We talked about the PNW, disco, beautiful homes, and more with JNA – including her July 2022 single, “I Have Good Taste but for Some Reason I Like You.”
Kendra: You’re one of two soulful artists I’m talking to out of the Pacific Northwest this month. Usually, we hear about that area being the home of grunge and Riot Grrrl music, but rarely soul and R&B. Is this a new emergence or something that the mainstream has yet to shine a light on?
JNA: Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest on a whole, isn’t the most diverse of places. I naturally gravitated towards music that I grew up listening to as a child, music that made me feel good. I remember mornings waking up and hearing my father play earth wind and fire and Chaka Khan and we would jam out or my mother blasting Gladys Knight and the Pips or maybe it was more of an Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder kinda day.
I don’t think my experience is a unique one. I think most little Black girls and boys that were my age grew up with their parents’ generation of music; in my opinion, it was one of the greatest times for music. I wanted to show my love and appreciation for a genre of music that I believe made me the person and mother I am today. I think you are absolutely starting to see an ode to the genre with mainstream artists. Silk Sonic and Lizzo are two names that come to mind. I think this is only the beginning.
Kendra: Last month I spoke with an LA-based singer-songwriter who had a ‘70s soul, and now here you are inspired by disco. That’s not a genre that gets enough praise in modern days. What do you feel the disco era gave to music as a whole, and what does it bring out in you?
JNA: OH GOD!!! It does not get enough praise AT ALL! I feel like music should make you feel something. Whatever it is, whether that be excitement or melancholy, it should touch you in some way. I have always been a happy-go-lucky kinda gal. Of course, I get down, but I want to dance, laugh, and be happy. Disco does that for me!
If you turn on KC and the Sunshine Band I am going to dance my little booty off, until I sweat lol. I think that is what disco gave to the music world too. Music has always been a part of life. Since the beginning of time, disco gave us that shift from going to a party and doing a two-step, to being able to go to a nightclub and let loose to this new rhythm and style of music. Where there are fabulous lights, the fashion is fabulous and the hair is glamorous. I think it could make the average person feel like a glamor queen.
Disco wasn’t just about the music, it was a lifestyle. Now with that came the downside of it, and I think people couldn’t separate the all-night party life from the beauty that was disco, so just like that true disco fizzled away. But it remains, Beyonce’s “Blow” has some of that disco vibe, Silk Sonic has totally taken a time machine back in time to bring us some major disco fabulousness, The Weeknd has started diving into that 70’s/80’s vibe. So it is absolutely making its way back.
Kendra: So ‘I Have Good Taste but for Some Reason I Like You’ is probably one of the funniest, most eye-catching titles I’ve seen in a long time. Was this album aimed at anyone in particular or is this more of a culmination of sorts?
JNA: One of the songs on my EP “Only One” is absolutely about a past relationship. I am not so bitter that I will reveal his name. As far as the title of the EP, it literally came to me one day, I thought it was hilarious and was very fitting for all the guys I tend to be attracted to. With the exception of my husband, who is absolutely perfect in every single way and can do no wrong (just in case he reads this!).
Kendra: When it comes to the video for “Tell Me Why,” you went to Bainbridge Island. Other than having a friend with a home there you could utilize, what makes that location a must-see in the Seattle area?
JNA: It was actually my aunt’s home. She has amazing style and an amazing art collection. So using her house seemed like a no-brainer. Bainbridge, Itself is just so beautiful and serene. There are beautiful water scenes, lush landscapes. It truly is like a little adventure to get on the ferry and go to Bainbridge.
Kendra: You’ve got a CD release show coming on June 30th. What can fans expect who are heading out?
JNA: Oh I am just hoping to get off this COVID train, safely that is, and dance the night away. There will be all the glitz and glam of Donna Summer and the energy of studio 54. I have DJ Nasir who is a fabulous DJ. I have a few friends opening for me.
I’m going for a fun, happy, feel-good vibe, that’s beautiful to look at. I want people to feel like they have time traveled into the 70s, before COVID, when times were simple, and we could go out and dance to some good music with your friends and leave on a natural high.
Kendra: Will this be your first show since things opened back up?
JNA: Actually no, I am also an actress. I performed with Jet City Improv and we had a show in April “A Tribe Called Yes.” It’s a hilarious, wild, story about three rappers and their rise and fall from stardom. It felt really good to be on stage in front of an audience again. Even though we required masks for audience members, and the cast and crew were required to be vaccinated, for just a little bit, things felt normal. People laughing and having an amazing time, made me feel so good to be able to make people happy. I’m not ready to let that feeling go.
Kendra: Also, with Coachella still fresh on my mind and all these artists from today bringing out the likes of Shania Twain and Hayley Williams, I’d love to know what artist you’ve drawn inspiration from would you love to connect with if you had the chance to at a festival like that?
JNA: I mean I’m not sure if this is their vibe but it would be my dream to perform at Coachella and bring out Diana Ross!!!!! OR CHAKA!!!! I would die! I am also obsessed with Dua Lipa. She is so cute, I love her music, it makes me so happy!!! And of course ALL HAIL QUEEN BEY! If Beyonce just came on stage and did a pose while I performed, I could die a happy woman.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘I Have Good Taste but for Some Reason I Like You’ out July 1st – anything else you can share with us, perhaps tour plans?
JNA: No tour plans as of yet, I am currently in the studio working on some new Music and the plan is to release a full album. I am planning on releasing a Visual for “Freak” this summer and keeping my acting chops wet.