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TRANSCEND: JANINE FOSTER

the following is a transcript of Gracie’s conversation with Singer/Songwriter, Janine Foster.

GRACIE

Topping the charts like only she knows best, next. My guest today is fiercely talented. She is a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi instrumentals who creates her own artwork, and directs her own music videos. Talk about power house. Janine has climbed the charts of Billboard, iTunes, and has won R&B Album at the New Zealand Music Awards. With her seductive, soulful, sick pain gain and determination she has created her own record label, Little Mixtape Records. I’m a fan of her music, her heart and her spirit. Please welcome to Transcend the beautiful Janine.

JANINEAw, thank you so much. What a lovely introduction.

GRACIE

Welcome to Transcend my love, and thank you for joining us all the way from New Zealand in the future.

JANINE

Well, thank you for having me. It’s so good to see you. You look amazing as usual.

GRACIE

Thank you, my love. So, Janine and I, we go way back because before I could even go into a singer, song writer, let’s start there. We started at the Lesly Kahn Acting School and she’s an amazing actress as well.

JANINE

Thank you.

GRACIE

Let’s throw that in there. And we just hit it off. And honestly, I was hearing Janine music before I even knew that this was Janine with me always listening to Pandora and always… It finally clicked and registered that this was the beautiful songbird that I’m in acting class doing scenes with. So I’m so happy to have you. Welcome.

JANINE

Aw, thank you. Well, yeah, absolutely amazing to meet you. It felt like that class was, it was just part of I guess divine energy that we all needed to come together at that point. It’s almost like so strange to look and to be like for some reason we all came together at the exact time we needed to. So I think that’s such a beautiful thing.

GRACIE

I agree. At 14 you began performing your original songs with the a guitar at open mics mostly held at bars. Girl, how did it happen?

JANINE

With my sister’s ID. Well, luckily our drinking age is 18 so it wasn’t too far off like it is. But yeah, my sister’s friend was doing open mics and I just wanted to get out there. So yeah, she took me to my first one and I went and just sung to people talking over me. And that was like the beginning of things. I mean, it was an amazing way to get into it although I don’t miss that environment.

GRACIE

And 2018 you released your debut album, “99.” The album hit number eight on the US iTunes R&B Chart and number 13 on overall New Zealand iTunes Chart. And those are just to name a few. What did that mean to you at that point in your career?

JANINE

Oh! Well the first charting I ever had was on my first EP and that one the biggest change. My visa had run out in the states that I did a post-graduate. I was so broke. I’d come back to New Zealand. I was trying to figure out how I could get back to America. And I had a sync on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta with my song called “Me.” And that night it went to number one or number two on the R&B charts. And I had every major label in America at the time reaching out to me. And that was so crazy because it went from being at that point just having nothing and trying to figure out how to pursue my dreams, to having literally everything thrown in my face at one time. So that was probably the biggest jump of, the biggest change in what meant the most is just that opportunity to do whatever I, to pursue my dreams and come back to the states.

GRACIE

I love that. As we all know with many accomplishment comes many upsets and disappointments and navigating the journey of this business. What has been one of your hardest obstacles that you had to overcome?

JANINE

Oh, plenty, but I’m no longer with a major label anymore. So it was quite interesting for me being an independent artist that did well on a major label to being dropped from that label as well as life challenges. I think that we have such, trying to maintain relationships in the outside world and having other people’s opinions. And I think for me the biggest thing was I got lost in the world of trying to please others and thinking that other people could do things better and I stopped trusting myself. And I think that was a hard thing to realize. I noticed the other day that I think there was, I had a lot of insecurity, but also a lot of ego. And that was, when I look at it now my biggest obstacle. And it’s hard to admit that I think I at times was also my biggest obstacle and now I’m looking at it and I’m like, ah, I wish I had realized this earlier. I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak in a lot of situations.

GRACIE

I’m sitting here, I’m listening and I’m smiling and I’m having so many different thoughts. One, I miss your beautiful face and spirit. Then I also miss your accent. But I also can relate because I remember in acting class, you’re so talented, but the same, just like was myself, we were really so hard on ourselves, but there was always this force and this push and this drive. And I just wanna know, where does your determination and your perseverance come from?

JANINE

Well, I think I was born that way and also I get a lot of it from my dad. And he’s just always been so good at everything he did and always worked really hard. And now I obviously have an extra means to wanna do even more just to make my family proud. So I think that’s where it’s come from as well as the fact that I’ve been through a lot and had a lot of pain. And for me music has been that outlet to turn something that’s so horrible into something so beautiful that can inspire change and heal others so that it doesn’t feel like my pain was done to me, but maybe for me so that I could help others. And that’s a way to stop that from winning. So I think all of those things combined is what makes me have the drive that I have today.

GRACIE

That happened to me before. I mean, wow! Janine, as I’ve shared with you privately, I now get to say again publicly, my deepest condolences to you as Janine has lost her father recently. I would like to know how have you been handling his transition?

JANINE

Oh, not well. I mean, it’s been four months now so I still, I don’t know. It’s one of those things where nothing can prepare you. You literally lose yourself, you lose them, you lose life you had planned and try to look for the positives. And I know that I’ve had more amazing moments with him in the short time that I was given than most people would get in their entire lives and I’m grateful, but it’s at the same time still trying to rebuild. I’m here in New Zealand, I’m with my mom and there’s nothing that’s really part of my normality at this moment. So yeah, it’s been tough. It’s really hard. What do they say? The only thing normal is that nothing is normal. So I’m still figuring it out. Honestly I don’t know. It’s been really hard. I’ve had some extremely dark times where I just don’t wanna go on. But at the same time it’s also taught me how precious life is. And well, it’s a funny thing. I have this weird thing where on one hand I’m like nothing matters and that can be a positive and a negative. It’s sort of like, I have this, I don’t know if I’m allowed to swear on your show, but it’s like a very much of a like a it mentality with a lot of things because life is happening now. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. So if you want something, you do it now. And I learned that through this process. So there is I guess some positives, it sounds weird to say that, but I’m just going for everything now. I don’t care as much what people think because the person whose opinion I cared about the most isn’t physically here even though I know that he’s here, it’s not… You know what I mean.

GRACIE

Girl, you know I know what the hell you mean, honey. I so relate to that because you do kinda gain this fuck it mentality and you do just kinda like just go for life and you just kinda go through this phase of if people are gonna be in your life, you’re okay with it, if people are not, you’re fine with that, if opportunities are gonna pop, you’re fine with that, if opportunities are not, because you realize when you lose the most valuable and precious thing to you, nothing else really matters. And you realize that if I can still get up each and every day and continue to move forward without no longer having my heart and soul with me, me losing anything else, what does that matter? Your father’s passing, has it affected or has it inspired your creative process? And if so, how?

JANINE

I didn’t touch music for like a good month at all, which I just found other means as I tried to do some drawing and there’s been a lot of drinking in the family, a lot of wine. I don’t know if that’s something I should say laughing. But there’s just been a lot of like trying to do things to get through. And then recently I’ve gotten back onto it because it’s the thing that keeps me going. I have a song that I’ve been working on. It’s called “Crying in the Club.” And it’s based on being out a couple of months after the passing and going out and just being devastated and literally breaking down and crying in the club and just saying like, “I would give my life for you and to have you back.” And so I’ve been working on that song because I feel like it’s important for me to get that out before I can go back to all my, what seems like silly relationship songs. I don’t think they are. I think they’re necessary, but I do need to get this part of my story out before I can kinda move forward.

GRACIE

I look forward to it. Like I said, your pain game is so sick and the way how you just expose yourself. You’re so vulnerable, you’re so honest and upfront with your emotions and just all your vulnerabilities, and like you said, speaking on your insecurities. So I really do look forward to this new music that is about to be birthed with you from the loss of your dad and your now found angel. Janine, thank you so much for being here today, for being so raw and open with all of us. I’m wrapping my arms around you and tightly and sending you so much love to New Zealand. Meanwhile, again, like I said girl, I wanna hear that music.

JANINE

Yeah. I love you. Thank you for having me and thank you for being you. You’re such a beautiful light and I admire you and I love you and I miss you.

GRACIE

To watch this episode again, check out our website @pluslifemedia.com and make sure to follow us @pluslifemedia. Until next time, don’t be afraid to lean into the pain. You have to feel it to heal it.

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