ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Genre Blending Rising Star, Janine the Machine On Journey To ‘High Places’
Although the still on-the-rise Detroit-born, Atlanta based singer-songwriter Janine the Machine may not yet be a household name, let that be of no indication as to what the future holds for RedZone Entertainment’s newest tour-de-force. As the protégé of multi-Grammy Award winning producer Tricky Stewart, Janine the Machine, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Communications from the University of Michigan, unveiled her latest body of work, High Places, back on April 27th.
We caught up with the budding star to talk about the latest EP, working with Tricky Stewart and everything in between.
Janine The Machine On…
High Places: High Places is just all about… I want everybody to feel empowered on the highest frequency and absolutely just at their highest level. So for me, I get to my high place through music. Like I love music. I love creating, that’s what I do. But for everyone it’s something different, so it’s just all about tapping into that high frequency of yours and going for your goals.
High Places Lead Single & Video, “Mañana”: Yeah so I was thinking, you know, how people always talk about the newness of relationships and how it’s just like fun in the beginning. You don’t know what to expect and it’s like a lot of spontaneity, so I was thinking about that when I was writing it and I just wanted to make something that captures that fun, flirty vibe where you don’t take things too seriously. Just getting like lost in the moment. So that’s what “Mañana” is all about. Just thinking about this moment. Not worried about if it’s forever. Just, you know, one step at a time.
Early Beginnings: I’ve been in love with music my whole life. It’s just always been a part of who I am. I played a bunch of different instruments, so I kinda grew up playing piano and guitar. I studied music in college, and when I came to Atlanta I was actually writing with one of my friends – her name’s Raja Kumari she’s an insanely talented artist – and, yeah, we were writing for her project and that’s how I met Tricky Stewart. So I met Tricky and the rest is just basically… like I moved to Atlanta a week later, and we just started working on my project.
Musical Sheroes: Ooh, that’s a really good question. Do you mean just in Detroit or just period? Okay, yeah, so my favorite favorite artists; I love the girls who are all about like originality and taking chances. So I love Kelis, Missy Elliott, The Spice Girls… who else? I love Aaliyah. I just really love like bad ass (women), that’s my thing (that) I grew up listening to.
Musical Identity: I think it’s definitely international. I think it blends a lot of different sounds. It’s different sonics from all over the world. I love to travel. I traveled a lot as a kid. My mom is from Jamaica, so I spent a lot of time there. I think a lot of the music is very Island inspired, especially when it comes down to the beach and stuff that I’m drawn to. But, the whole sound is just really fun. It’s energetic and it’s international. I wanna connect to as many people as possible, so I’m always listening to try to figure out how to blend genres.
Her Unique Moniker: *Giggles* Yeah, so a lot of people don’t know this, but, my middle name is actually Janine – my first name is Colby – so that’s where Janine comes from. And then The Machine; I love to be involved in every part of the creative process, so I write my own songs. I record them. I co-direct my videos. I write treatments. I just do it all, kinda like a machine… Janine The Machine.
Tricky Stewart: Yeah, so I learned so much working with… Tricky is amazing. I’ve learned so much just being around him every day. He’s been in the industry so long, he has so much experience that he doesn’t even know it. Like every other sentence out of his mouth he’s dropping some gem, and I’m just soaking it all up. But he’s just really dope! I think some of the best advice he’s given me is to just be authentic. Never try to force my sound. Never try to sound like anybody else, be like anybody else, but just be authentic and just use my gift the way that it’s intended to be.
Process for Penning Lyrics: Oh my goodness, everywhere! Like I can be walking down the street and see like a street sign and look at it and be like, “Oh, that’s a song title!” Or I can read a book. Literally… everywhere! I have a little note thing in my phone, a section where anytime I look at something or hear something or someone says something, I’m like, “Oh my God, that’ll be dope in a song,” and I just write it down.
Recipe For Success: Hmm…that’s a really good question. I think a lot of it is originality. It’s just like I’ve been working really hard on trying to develop my sound and develop a certain style, so I think we’re doing a pretty good job of making it distinct. And what’s gonna sustain me… I can’t really take any credit for that. Like I believe that what’s gonna happen is gonna happen. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe I’m walking in my purpose, so I think that I’m gonna be alright.
Future Aspirations: So I love music, it is what I believe I was placed on this earth to do. But I definitely wanna use my music and my influence as a platform to help people. So it doesn’t matter, I have a few passions. Like I’m really passionate about veterans. My dad was a disabled vet, so I think I definitely wanna do something like maybe some charity work with that. Whatever it is, I wanna use my platform to help make the world a better place or else why are we all doing this?
State Of Music: Yeah, I think it’s exciting. I think it’s a really exciting time to be a new artist and really exciting time to be making music. There’s never been a time like this where technology has allowed people all over the world, no matter what your budget is, you can set up a little studio in your house for under a hundred dollars and you can make a whole album if you want to. So I think that’s dope! I think it really pushes creativity and helps people to maybe try things they wouldn’t try before because maybe they had less access or budget constraints or whatever. So I think it’s dope. I think it adds a level of competitiveness. It’s like everybody gotta come with their A game. I like that.
Janine the Machine: Um…well it is my hope – my big hope – that people will get all of me through listening to my music. I really try to express myself as much as possible through my music. I’m really bad at talking – expressing my feelings – just like person to person or whatever, so I put everything I have into my music. So I want people to be able to just press play and be like, “Okay, I know this girl. I know what she’s thinking. I feel like I’m her friend.”
[Fun Fact: Janine The Machine has a real affinity for both crystals and meditation.]
Biggest Career High(light): Ooh, biggest career moment…that’s a really good question. Um… I did this Pepsi campaign that I’m really proud of. I wrote the song… I wrote it with my (biological) brother – his name is Bei Maejor; he’s also in the industry – and that was really cool. It was my first big campaign or commercial, so that was kinda cool.
Crystal Ball Prediction(s): I see myself just being great and just going with the flow. I really don’t like to…I mean I set goals – I think we all do set goals – but I really am all about following wherever the Universe tells me to go (and) that’s exactly where I’m gonna go. So we don’t know, we’ll see where I end up.
What’s Next: I’m always writing. I just can’t not write. I’m in the studio almost everyday, so the next project is almost done. We’re just like wrapping up a few things with it. And, yeah, I’m getting ready, getting my live show together, so I want to go on the road. I want to meet people all over the world and just share the music.
Parting Wordz: Um…yeah, I just want everyone to listen to my project High Places if you haven’t already. And just like we talked about in the beginning, always just operate at your highest level, at your highest frequency. Don’t ever try to be like anybody else ’cause you are the way you are for a reason, and it’s to bless the world with your gift. Thank you so much, this was fun.
Stay Connected with Janine The Machine on Social Media
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