Miami raised Jenevieve had her whole life change during the pandemic, she released “Baby Powder,” and it became a massive streaming hit, gaining attention of many major record labels who reached out for many zoom calls pitching her why she should sign with them. Her merging of R&B, disco and pop is reminiscent of times when music was not made on computers.
A true wunderkind, at just 13, she told her mother she wanted to go to record some songs in a professional studio, mom made it happen, and 3 songs later she had her demo to share. Within weeks, a friend of her mother’s was interested the songs; an engineer at Interscope who helped make her career start, “He took me there (to Interscope) for inspiration, thinking about it now, I was manifesting my destiny and didn’t even know it then. The song I recorded with him was an EDM song, next thing I know, the song got a placement for a TV show, I never looked back after that, I knew then that this is what I wanted to do.” Now signed with Interscope, during the pandemic no less, a truly kismet experience, she shares her silky vocals and poetic word play in all her music, sometimes reminiscent of Alicia Keys but with a playful energy, rare in a talent like hers. Jenevieve just debuted her new project “Division” with 12 new tracks created by her producer and writing partner Benziboy, proving her range and talent deserving of comparisons to the legends who inspired her since she was a child, even Sade.
Her mother and grandmother were professional ballet dancers, so her confidence with her body and early inspirations were sophisticated at a very young age and it shows in everything she creates. We sat down with her to discuss advice from Post Malone, fashion, music of course and what’s next.
Check out the interview below…
Tell us about your debut project “Division” ?
“Division” debuted Sept. 3rd and features 12 tracks, this body of work is one that really means a lot to me and my producer and writing partner Benziboy. It’s based on our emotional roller coaster experiences throughout our lives and we’re so excited to share it and finally release it into the universe. I hope it blesses everyones ears.
How did growing up in Miami influence your musical taste?
My musical taste began in the dance studio at a very young age. Discovering music thru dance was the start of learning rhythm and movement coming together as one, and from there, it sparked my passion and curiosity to discover new sounds. I began to search for different sounds, from classical to salsa to pop to funk and anything I could get my hands on.
How has being Cuban, French and Spanish impacted you?
On my mother’s side Cuban, French and Spaniard, on my fathers side Bahamian and Irish actually. It’s a lot of different cultures to keep up with, but I love that I’m a melting pot of it all. The impact of it is that I get to interpret all these different cultures thru my music, my style and it gives me a wide variety of choices to choose from when I’m creative or creating.
“Baby Powder” has gotten rave reviews and became so popular up to 7M listens, in what seemed like such a short time, what was that song about for you and how did its success change you?
Baby Powder was special, I’m so grateful that so many people connected with it. Basically that song is about a boy lying and deceiving a girl and a love gone dry, hence baby powder. The success of it hasn’t changed me at all, I’m still the same .
Were you surprised to hear it on the radio and streaming platforms? Do you feel supported by the streamers?
So I haven’t heard my music on the radio yet, but I have heard it play in stores while shopping. Fun fact, the first time I realized my music was touching people was when I was walking down Fairfax and a convertible car pulled up at the red light blasting Medallion and filling the block with my song,!!! It’s an indescribable feeling. My music has landed on quite a few playlists, I am however looking forward to it going mainstream.
Speaking of listening to music, what are you currently listening to and what is your favorite way to consume music these days?
I have a Spotify playlist I created of songs that I listen to , but I listen mostly to old school songs, music back then touches me in a way that today’s music doesn’t, with a few exceptions of course, but I’m an old soul so I tend to go back to the classics. My favorite way to consume music is on a turn table, vinyl always hits different, and of course thru various streaming platforms.
Which artists had the biggest impact on you when you were growing up vs today? Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Ooh, that’s a long list. Most of the artists that impacted me are unfortunately gone now, if I had the opportunity to collaborate with them while they where here, the list would look like: The King of Pop; Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Prince, Celia Cruz, Freddie Mercury, Barry White, John Lennon, David Bowie and Teena Marie. All these artists heavily influenced me in their own way growing up. Artists that are on my wish list today are: Rosalia, Bad Bunny, Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani, Hall and Oats, Solange, Cameo, Post Malone, Chris Brown, Drake, Andre 3000, Peggy Gou, Stromae, Depeche Mode and Mariah Carey if she’ll have me lol.
Now that America is more open since the pandemic began how have you been spending your time?
I like reading fashion magazines, Wonderland has always been one of my favorites so thank you so much for featuring me. I also love to dance, go to the park with my pup Mojo. I enjoy boxing with my personal trainer, thrifting for vintage cameras and just being outdoors.
What are you watching or reading right now?
I just finished Ratched on Netflix, it’s visually very enticing and the storyline had me hooked. Whenever I have spare time,I like mostly reading poetry and magazine articles.
How important are the creative visuals to you? How do you choose what to make to match your songs?
Visuals are extremely important to me, it’s what sets the tone or mood to the song and so I like to be very hands on when it comes to that. I like to work closely with the directors to make sure my vision and creative ideas along with their ideas are able to come together and match the song.
How do you write a song, what is your process ?
It depends on the song if there’s a beat that I really like, It just comes thru me organically and I bounce these ideas back and forth to Benziboi and visa versa. sometimes I just already have a melody in my head with no beat and then I write . Some come easier than others, but I like to challenge myself each time.
You created an acoustic performance with Puma recently, how did that come about and how has that experience been for you?
The people at Puma are very kind ,they contacted me and asked me if I would collab with them on the acoustic project and I was very pleased on how it turned out.
Fashion and music are so tied together, what designers emerging or known do you love and who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’m so obsessed with fashion it’s not normal! I’ve always dreamed of collaborating and designing with fashion brands to create what’s been in my head for years. I love quite a few brands, such as Lacoste, Bottega Veneta, YSL, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Dior, Christopher John Rogers, Ralph Lauren, just to name a few.
How did you get signed with Interscope? How has that changed your career for you?
Shortly after my first release Medallion, a few labels started reaching out, by the time Baby Powder came out quite a few more did as well, then the zoom meetings began since we where in the middle of a pandemic, it was all very surreal. After discussing with my team, we ultimately understood Interscope was the best fit for me. I wouldn’t say it’s changed much as of yet, I’m at the beginning stages, and so this is where it all starts.
What advice have you been given that has been most impactful? What advice do you have for others who are also artists or creatives?
Best advice I’ve received and would share to aspiring future artist is; don’t sell out, be true to yourself and believe in yourself completely. Don’t listen to anything or anyone trying to convince you away from your goals and follow your instincts. Challenge yourself to produce quality music. Make sure you have a solid team and people who truly uplift and support you. And pretty much, “don’t get lost in the sauce”… Post Malone once told me that before he became who we all know today, so that always stuck with me.
How do you stay grounded, balanced and healthy?
Mainly by staying connected to positive energies, be it through clean food intake to meditating and cleansing all things toxic.
During the pandemic what did you take away from it all?
Since everything pretty much came to a halt, it made me not take the smaller things for granted., I was able to spend quality time with loved ones, prioritize in self care and work on “Division”.
What is your own version of Wonderland, a wish or magical idealistic day ?
My magical idealistic Wonderland wish would be to bring back all the musical greats that have passed for one last show!