Janette King Shares Her Sassy Side Through Song

Sassy Sisters Podcast with Cyd Eva and Special Guest Janette King



Singer and producer, Janette King brings a loving fusion of electronic music and RnB to her latest solo album 'What We Lost'. Shaped by her upbringing as a Caribbean-Canadian woman, Janette uses her music to inspire a fresh perspective on queer identity and self-expression. With sensual, yet straight-talking lyrics about bisexual love and self-pleasure, we wanted to hear more about Janette's musical motivations.

Sitting down with fellow Canadian artist, Cyd Eva, Janette discusses the energy of being on stage, and how she wishes to inspire others into authentic self-expression. Tune in to the full podcast episode and check out Janette's music videos below.


 

Growing up in East Vancouver, Canada, Janette King found herself embedded between two separate worlds. At home, Janette's Caribbean heritage created a rich, cultural tapestry of dance and music, explaining how"bashment parties.. and dance hall became a big part of her life". However, going to school and being surrounded by friends from different backgrounds, Janette recognised the dual identity she was existing within, whilst "in the context of being Canadian, was really interesting... it was like a bridge between two worlds." Expressing an openness to building these connections further, Janette decided to move to Montreal, a predominantly French-speaking city with a very different pace of life. "When I first touched down in Montreal, it was such a culture shock." But over time, Janette found her feet and fell in love with the artistic city, "there's this depth of energy that exists there. I think because it's affordable for people to live there.. [they] use their time in a more creative way." This is something Janette was able to use to her advantage, finding her way around the language by building connections with fellow creatives. "In Montreal it's really about community, coming together and being impeccable about your word." This resulted in Janette collaborating with an array of artists and finding fresh opportunities to thrive as a musician.

Interestingly, Janette first entered the industry by working as a dancer for seven years. During this time, she continually wrote poetry, creating melodies in her mind, but never thought of music as the direction she would go in. It was only when Janette started singing backup vocals and touring with the band, The Boom Booms, that she connected with the power of performance. "Being on stage in front of people - I was like 'What is this feeling?!' There's this reciprocity when you're on stage and the audience is sending you their energy and you're sending it back to them. It's like a conversation that I'd never experienced before. I was hooked from then on." After spending time in bands developing her skills as a songwriter and producer, Janette decided to take the next step and go solo.


There's this reciprocity when you're on stage and the audience is sending you their energy and you're sending it back to them. It's like a conversation that I'd never experienced before. I was hooked from then on.

As a solo artist, Janette King creates a soundscape of emotions that are both painfully familiar, and reassuringly human. Throughout her latest album 'What We Lost', we hear stories of unlearning generational shame and stepping into your own truth. Janette explains how writing these tracks allowed her to express her sensuality and sexuality through music. "I wanted to explore these avenues a bit more because... being Caribbean, there is a sense of conservative [expectations]. A woman should be proper because it's ingrained in the culture through catholicism...things get passed down and you can judge yourself a little bit because of those ingrained doctrines."Janette set out to purposefully break free of these pressures by openly expressing her experiences as a bisexual woman, (something she explores in the track 'Mars') and the importance of sexual pleasure (listen to 'Oh Yeah' and let yourself melt!). "I just love to express who I am and express all parts of me. I'm shy with that {initmate] kind of stuff." This timidness is revolutionised by a confidence that sores through Janette ever catchy melodies and laid-back beats.


Breaking the mould...going with what feels right to you is the most important thing in all aspects of life


When talking to Cyd Eva about building a sense of self-belief, Janette explains how it comes with a commitment to not letting anyone or anything stand in the way of your drive and vision. "I think as you gain success, it can become harder to continue the momentum because a lot of people get mad at you for succeeding and want to see the negative side of what you're doing." Even in moments of challenges, Janette expresses how "Doors will be shut in your face... but the drive has to come from yourself, you have to have that inner belief system and not letting anything stand in your way." We hear this philosophy in Janette's track 'Cool Me Down', creating an anthem for motivation and self-respect featuring Eartha Kitt's renowned quote, 'A man comes into my life, and I have to compromise? For what? Compromise for what? For what? A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned.'



Similar themes of standing true to yourself and resisting oppression shine through in songs such as 'Change', made in response to Breonna Taylor's death, and 'Mirror', an ode to self-reflection. The former is a call to action for people to change their mindsets, and the latter, Janette shares how "I wrote it during a time when I felt I was losing myself a little bit...[Mirror] is a call to look within yourself, look in the mirror, and figure out why you're unhappy. At some point, you have to ask yourself (your inner child, your higher self ) why is there no joy in my life and what does that mean."These messages of self analysis and advocating for soceital change is something Janette does in both obvious and subtle ways. In her interview with Cyd Eva, she highlights the fundamental importance of legalising same-sex marriage around the world, aswell as sharing her connection to femininity. When asked what Janette loves most about herself, she answers "My empathy...and my ability to create life. The magic that is the womb. It brings me to tears every time I touch a pregnant woman's belly or witness a birth. It's like a magic portal in between our legs, that brings people from the other dimensions into this one!" We love this description so much.



I think one of my purposes in life is to meet people, for people to be able to experience themselves through my music


With ambition, motivation, and music in her heart, Janette King is steadily spreading her wings and reaching audiences beyond Canada and the US. Her current tour sees her coming to the UK and aspiring to perform throughout Europe soon. Keep you eyes and ears open for this wonder, and enjoy watching her music videos below.


Catch Janette King's gig in London on October 6th and in Wales October 7th - 9th, for more details check out Janette's IG place @janette.king and visit her Bandcamp page here


Big love to Cyd Eva for bringing this Sassy wonder into our life, stay up to date with Cyd Eva's work via IG @cydeva

 

Janette King's Tracklist


Airplane


Mirror


You Don't Love Me


Cool Me Down


Change