Beneath the sensual attack of her pop melodies and rapping, Janae Daniels is a DC baby born-and-raised in some of the city’s hallmark musical cultures. With equal roots singing in church choirs and go-go bands, she began developing a distinct personality and rhythm to her musical expression from an early age. And as her prowess began to earn her acclaim through high school, she dug in deeper.
With her go-go band, she notes the moment where the light switch went off in her brain. “I did a collegiate competition where we had to perform and made it to the final round. That’s when I knew I wanted to sing as a professional. So, I started doing open mics and I started expressing myself through writing and it just flourished.”
Between her go-go roots, the inspiring voices of women in her church choir (she specifically shouts out a woman with an angelic voice named “Ms. Brooks”, and some external influences like the singular Mary J. Blige, Janae has shown up continually with unshakeable presence. “Go-go has always been a fun and powerful genre of music for me” she says. “It represents home and it’s a turn up or a safe space to just release. The ladies in go-go always seemed to be confident and powerful.”
In her latest EP, 4FOR4, Janae channels the intrinsic strength of Cardi B as much as she does Beyoncé with a notable split between her rap and pop personalities evenly spread between the four tracks. Where “CA$H APP” and “LICK BACK” have those hard cutting syllables and rhymes acting as bookends, “OWN IT” and “DEEP” show off a dynamic range in her voice giving the EP a softer center.
While talking about the making of the album and navigating the shift between these two modes, Janae enthusiastically says, “It was really fun, actually! I got to work with this amazing writer by the name of StarrZ. He is a moody and vibey type guy and I’m super expressive, so it was fun combining the two. It was a nice balance. It was almost like therapy. Like, express yourself but now that you have, how do we manage that?”
“It was a bit nerve racking though because putting together a project is so difficult because I find myself all over the place at times. I like to express myself and being in a rap mood and then switching to a singing mood had me nervous about the release. Some people like the rap and some people like the singing. I didn’t know who to please, so I decided to please both!”
However, it should be noted that, aside from another EP titled 11/24 released in 2019, Janae has focused primarily on singles over the course of her music career so far, but it seemed clear from the initial conversations about the project that this would be a little different.
“Initially, the producer, DeezBeats came to me and said he wanted to do a project with me. I thought I’d see what we could come up with and convince him otherwise. But after starting the process, I realized that each song spoke to a different part of me, and I thought it would be dope to share multiple sides of me at once. A body of work usually is cohesive, but I thought I could do something different and make it individual but still unified because you can see and hear exactly who I am in each song.”
And this is by no means the end of 4FOR4. Speaking on her plans for the remainder of 2023, she states that, “As of right now, I would really like to push this 4FOR4 project! I am going to release a visual for each song as well.”
But it’s also clear that she has more tricks up her sleeve. “I’m pretty sure there will be another release of music this year,” she says. “I have been creating some new stuff, and I have some songs in the cut that I need to get out. And I will absolutely be performing this year! I’m trying to go all over if I can. I have a few shows lined up in Atlanta and I’m DC. I’m trying to make it back to NYC and LA this year as well. I’m looking into Charlotte because they have some really dope event spaces and a really dope upcoming music scene. I may be back in Miami as well. I’m open to travel just about anywhere, so stay tuned!”
Whether you’re new to the Janae experience or hungry for more, she knows how to please with a steady workflow and output of fantastic songs that continue to showcase her growth as an artist. “I guarantee there’s something that you can connect with in my music” she says confidently. “There’s literally something for everyone. I’m super versatile and super expressive, so you’re bound to find your vibe or your style.”
“I even like to include my listeners into my music and my music process, so if you want to collab please reach out! I’m a family-oriented person, so any supporter of mine is my family. Lock in with me, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I’m growing in my craft every day from writing to singing to rapping. I got something for you!”
Be sure to follow Janae’s music on her social media circuit including Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and her official website, and don’t miss 4FOR4 streaming now on all major platforms.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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