Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Florida’s J0VANNA. Together we discussed their first memory of music that made an impact, being a Berklee student, their influences, and so much more! Check it out below!
1. Hello! Mustard thanks you for being here! How are you doing today?
Hello Mustard! Thank you for having me. I’m doing really well now that I’m finally being interviewed by my favorite condiment!
2. You began your career at an early age. Can you recall your first memory that music impacted you? What song or album do you still revisit from your childhood?
Oh wow! My first memory of being affected by music, I’d have to say was seeing my dad sing to me “Preciosa” by Marc Anthony. He sang, and still sings, with such emotion. I felt every emotion he felt while singing, and I sang along with him. I absolutely loved the feeling. It was at that point that my love for music and singing really blossomed. Other than this song, I don’t have a particular song or album that I revisit from my childhood, but I do often listen to artists such as Journey, Prince, Etta James, Janis Joplin, who I have listened to throughout the years. They have shaped me into the artist I am today.
3. You are a Florida Native. How do you feel about Publix? What is your go-to deli order?
Ooooo! Let me tell you something about Publix! Publix is my favorite place to go to because of their signature fried chicken and pub-subs! The chicken tender sub is my go-to order from there! Oh my goodness! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! If you ever visit Florida, you should definitely try this sandwich! Without a doubt!!! However, I do have to say, Publix did screw up a very important cake order for me when I released my first song, Brain on Fire. They wrote on the cake, “Fire on Brain.” LOL! Cake was still yummy, and there were no hard feelings.
4. Mustard loves the creativity and passion of artists coming from Berklee. How do you balance being a student and a musician?
It really depends on my schedule. I like to believe that I am a very organized person and so I keep track of my time and have a set schedule in order to manage both school and being a musician. It can be difficult at times, but I manage.
5. You are studying music business and songwriting. What have you learned so far that has surprised you? How have you implemented what you’ve learned so far into your music?
So far, the most surprising thing I’ve learned is how long it takes to market a song release and how much planning is required. There’s a lot to do, especially if you’re a DIY singer-songwriter. You need at least two months to plan and prepare for the release. You have to organize assets by preparing a bio, creating or tweaking your EPK, making sure embedded links work, researching your niche, analyzing your streams, and determining who you should cater to a little more, creating a SmartLink for pre-saving and mailing list, and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, it is a lot of work.
6. What is your songwriting process?
It is pretty straightforward. I usually first write my lyrics and then figure out how I would want the melody to sound or how I hear it sounding in my head. Then, I make a few edits if needed to make the “groove” flow. Once that is settled, I go to the studio and meet up with my producer and lay out everything on the table in terms of what I envision for the song, and we work in a collaborative way to bring the sound recording to life.
7. Mustard wonders who (or what) influences you?
Life experiences are a major influence in my songs. I enjoy writing about them, and I usually don’t hold back. As for artists, my biggest influences have been artists like Demi Lovato (I am a huge Lovatic), Janis Joplin, Etta James, James Arthur, and Prince. I love their music!
8. On TwentyOne you proclaim that “real life has begun.” now that you are TwentyOne. As a condiment, time is a hard concept to grasp. Could you elaborate more on what it means to be 21? What is expected of you now that was not before?
Well, when I wrote 21 (now I’m twenty-two, twenty-two, twenty-two lol), I was worried about growing older and especially about seeing others I care about grow older as well. I was also wary about having to accept new responsibilities and start a new chapter in my life. I still feel like a kid. It felt natural to express my feelings because I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
9. “Brain On Fire” is such a powerful song. What do you do to free yourself from your external prison cell? Do you have any advice for humans who may be feeling the same way?
What I do now to free myself from my external prison cell is to find a quiet place where I can meditate and free my mind from the ‘noise’ and stressors of life. My advice to those who feel the same way is to take it day by day and not be too hard on yourself because we all have bad days and it may appear cloudy right now, but you’ll get through it. Be gentle and kind to yourself. And if you need a break from school, your job, social media, or anything else, take it to give yourself time to heal because I know your inner child would want the same for you.
10. What’s next for J0VANNA?
I have been working on new music for my first E.P. The goal is to release new music by the end of the year. Fingers-crossed!
11. Where can readers listen to your music?
My music is available on any music streaming service, including Spotify, Apple Music, and/or YouTube! Follow me on social media @xjovannamusicx if you want to stay in touch. Thank you for having me again, Mustard, and I hope to speak with you again soon!