Photography by Shanti Tan
Interview by Sigrun
“Dancing really gave me lots of confidence and love for being on stage.”
After researching a lot about Janina Bey‘s biography and reading some of her interviews I soon started to realize that besides talent she has two other really important features: She is down to earth and incredibly determined. Two qualities that are like gold in the music business.
Born in Munich as the daughter of a German and a Filipino, she then grew up in Dubai where she soon discovered her two big passions: Dancing and singing. Her main goal to become a singer has always been clear, but knowing how difficult the business can be, she made sure to have a third mainstay and finished her studies in International Communications as well. We talked to her about her new song “Good Luck”, how dancing has influenced her life and changed the way she hears music and her plans and wishes for the upcoming year.
You grew up in a very musical surrounding at home – what songs have influenced you the most as a child?
Apart from all the amazing RnB songs by Neyo, Mario, Chris Brown and Co, which really shaped the way I do my music now, there was one song that my mom always wanted me to learn to play on the piano: Love Song by Sara Bareilles. I hated nothing more than coming home from school and being pushed to sit on the piano for two hours, but the day I finally mastered playing and singing this song I started to love it! Looking back I am really thankful that my mom kept pushing me to do music and learn songs that I didn’t want to learn, since I can only do what I do today through my family’s motivation and support.
Have you always been sure that you wanted to become a musician or did you also have another plan in mind at some point?
I always knew that my major goal was to become a singer. Growing up with having watched every single Disney movie, series or musical, I was always inspired to become like one of them and integrate music everywhere in my life. Although I was always aware of how difficult the music business can be and that it’s important to have a plan B in case it doesn’t work out like I planned to. This is why I also pursued my studies in International Communications, to be able to work in other fields of the music industry, if it doesn’t work out as a singer.
„Good Luck“ is a very catchy pop song. It´s about encouraging women to stay confident no matter what lies ahead – or behind. What has been a situation in your life so far where you struggled with confidence?
I think heartbreaks are always moments in life where you question yourself about where you went wrong. It’s also okay to feel sad about it for a while, but the important thing is to not let anyone or anything take away your self-love and confidence! I experienced heartbreaks myself and know that it always gets better, which is what I want to remind everyone to with Good Luck! Like Kelly Clarkson says – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
“It’s also okay to feel sad about it for a while, but the important thing is to not let anyone or anything take away your self-love and confidence!”
I love your accoustic versions of various songs that you show on instagram. Would you like to bring out an accoustic album one day?
Thanks so much! I absolutely love acoustic versions and definitely think of releasing an album once I have enough songs to do so! I think my true love in music and my favorite songs to sing are ballads and acoustic songs with only guitar or piano… they just give me such a calming vibe!
I found it really interesting when you describe that through dancing (you are a trained hiphop coach) you also hear music in a different way – more intense and you can grasp all the subtle nuances. And also that dancing influences you in many other parts of life. Which ones and how?
Ever since I started dancing and choreographing myself, I just didn’t only listen to the lyrics and melodies anymore, but started noticing every beat, every background effect and ad lib of a song. This really helps with doing my own music now, because I know exactly what I want it to sound like and what not. Dancing also influenced the way I’m able to present myself on stage or give presentations in class… it’s quite funny, since I don’t have any problem with singing or dancing on stage in front of huge crowds, but in real life I’m actually a very shy and introverted person. So I’d say dancing really gave me lots of confidence and love for being on stage.
The year is coming to an end – what are your plans and wishes for 2022?
My wishes for 2022 are for the world to be able to slowly go back to normal and be able to enjoy music, dance and the presence of others as soon as possible. I plan on releasing a lot of new music, I have many many songs that I cannot wait to show everyone and I’m excited of what is ahead!