Singer/songwriter Janelle Mack talks to us about music, culture and her influences.
Q. How did you get into the music industry?
A. I've been singing all of my life, but it wasn't until the last five years that I've written and released my own material. I have a passion for music, so I've always known I wanted to do something in the music realm, but once I picked up a pen, I knew exactly how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Q. Tell us about your style of music.
A. My style of music varies depending on my mood. Growing up, I was exposed to so many different genres and expressions when it came to songwriting. For my upcoming project, my sound has definitely evolved into something beautiful based on rock, RnB, and hip-hop influences.
Janelle Mack wearing our Knitted Mod Stripe Crewneck Sweater
Q. Anything specific we should know about the music industry today?
A. I think the very important light I want to shine on the industry today is that it's becoming more and more prevalent that WE the artists are the industry. We truly have the power to control our careers in every aspect, especially financially.
Also, the amount of acceptance that I've been witnessing and have personally experienced within POC, LGBTQ +, and my plus-size community has been exciting. I used to feel all the odds were against me, but now, I feel the world is about ready to hear the stories that need to be told by people who look like or feel like any of us. We have a lot of work to do, I'm looking forward to being a part of that growth artistically as much as I possibly can.
Q. Any exciting personal projects coming up this year?
A. This year I'll be dropping an EP with some amazing tracks. The music I've been working on with Tay Svpreme and Yuneer Gainz is truly some of my best work. Expect visuals and some very personal topics to be addressed.
I've also just started songwriting for other artists. It's been such a challenging journey so far, but I know having the skills to create songs for others will only improve the work I create for myself.
Janelle Mack in our Mod Tape Tricot Quarter-Zip Pullover
Q. What are some other interests you have? Tell us a little about them.
A. I'm truly into modeling, being that there isn't enough representation for women who look like me in media. I'd also like to get into acting, but we shall see.
Q. Who is your biggest influence?
A. My biggest influence is my mom Josette, she's the strongest woman I know. I'm also influenced by Jill Scott, Brandy, Beyoncé, and Ambré.
Q. What is your favorite activity to do with your friends?
A. My favorite things to do with my friends is spend quality time and talk. My friends Darlene and Travis can honestly tell you I am one for a deep conversation. I love connecting with people and learning new ways and perspectives.
Q. What does Ben Sherman mean to you?
A. In my opinion, Ben Sherman means inclusivity and strength. It means the power to be yourself, no matter how simplistic or outrageous. Ben Sherman means the future.
Janelle Mack in our Chest Stripe Logo Print Tee
Q. What is your favorite piece of Ben Sherman clothing, and why?
A. My favorite piece from Ben Sherman definitely has to be the swim trunks. I have two pairs, and I wear them as summer shorts as well. They're fashionable comfortable and work with just about anything.
Q. How would you describe your personal style, what are key pieces that you can't live without?
A. I would say my style is a bit androgynous. Depending on my mood, I can either dress feminine or masculine, I'm completely in touch with both energies. I have no problem expressing that through my clothing. And being a girl from The Bronx, I really can't live without my hoop earrings!
Q. What is a good mantra or affirmation that you live by?
A. The mantra I live by is, "Tell your truth." If you're completely yourself in whatever you do, you will have no regrets. Being unapologetically yourself is POWER.
Q. Any other personal notes you want to add?
A. Black lives matter, Black trans lives matter, Me Too, and peace love unity & respect.