After one rejection, Welcome Estate singer and songwriter, Janice, 25, nearly gave up on her dream, but thanks to her good friend, Jimmy Nevis, she picked herself up and is now ready to share her colourful story.
Janice, with her warm and bubbly personality, her band and dancers, are ready to welcome Cape Town audiences to her concert, called Colourful, at the Roxy Revue Bar at Grand West on Friday August 5.
Her music is deeply personal, as she writes about her experiences and puts her emotions on the music sheets.
Janice’s latest hit single, “Liar, Liar”, has received national exposure and is currently rising to the top of the South African charts.
She prefers to be known only on her first name, as she wants to be her authentic self.
“I have a story to tell, and if you know me by my first name, then you can connect with who I am,” she said.
Her musical journey, like that of many other artists, started at school and at church.
Janice, the youngest of three siblings, comes from a musical family. She grew up listening to songs from the “old school” era, like Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind and Fire.
All her aunts and uncles can sing, and among her favourite childhood memories is cleaning the house with the rest of her family, while singing along to songs on the radio.
“Now that I have the chance to make my own music, I hope to make a classic that will last forever. Music has the power to change the world. If every artist just gets back to the basics, a lot would change in the industry.”
Although overjoyed that Liar Liar is doing so well, she’s a bit disappointed that her other single, Battle Scars, did not do so well on radio.
“It’s such a good song, and it’s the audience’s favourite when I sing it live. My mother’s friend is a life coach, and she uses it in her sessions.”
At the age of 17, she entered a well-known South African singing competition and made it to the top 70.
Janice did not make it to the final rounds, however, and, feeling rejected and despondent, she chose to no longer pursue her singing career.
“After that first rejection, I didn’t think this industry was for me. I then enrolled to do my BComm and I’m also passionate about make-up artistry.”
But a few years later, when her childhood friend, Jimmy Nevis, convinced her to join his band as a backing vocalist and, within three years, Janice toured with Mr Nevis, and backed other artists, such as Loyiso Bala and various international gospel acts.
Last year, Janice joined the Cape Town Independent Record label, Rude World Records – the same label as her friend and now industry peer, Mr Nevis.
It was difficult for her initially to write secular songs, after having been involved with the church for most of her life, she said.
But she was forced to step out of her comfort zone.
When asked about the release of her album, Janice said while she is busy in the studio, she is not rushing it.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. God’s timing is good. Right now I’m focusing on Colourful. It’s constant hard work, the show is hectic, but I love it. I’m so blessed to be able to get up every morning and love what I do. I didn’t want to settle for a life that’s just to settle the bills. A few years ago, I could not envision this. Life changed so much over the past three years and I’m excited for what God still has in store.
“Colourful is about growing up as a colourful, vibrant child – who took a couple of wrong turns and down spiraled, at the risk of losing who you are. If we don’t work hard, we defy the purpose of our lives. The show is about finding your colours again that were stolen. I’m very excited,” Janice explained.
Janice and her band will be on stage at the Roxy Revue Bar at GrandWest on Friday August 5.
Tickets, at Computicket, are R150 each.