Chicago has been involved in an ongoing musical renaissance over the last several years. The Windy City birthed numerous artists that have made waves on a national level. The next Chitown representative looking to connect with the greater world is R&B/Hip Hop artist Jennifair.
After releasing her debut mixtape Quaz in 2012, Jennifair dropped new visuals for her song Paranoia Consumes in June. The deeply personal tune addresses a troubling experience for the Mogul Media signee. The track was produced by longtime collaborator Drum Mage and serves as a preview to her upcoming project S.I.N.S. (Sorry I’m Not Sorry): Paranoia Consumes.
Jennifair rapped with DZI: The Voice about her career, Chicago’s musical rebirth, and more.
YK: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
Jennifair: I discovered my voice as an artist when I was 16 or 17. I grew up singing and wanting to be a performer, but I first started recording about that age, my senior year in high school.
YK: What first attracted you to want to pursue a career in music?
J: I was introduced to different genres of music as a child between my mother and my father, but my dad played a big part in it because he’s an artist also. I would listen to him sing all the time when I was younger. He taught me a lot about the industry growing up. I started writing my own lyrics and creating my own melodies when I was 14, and I just didn’t stop.
YK: Who are some of the artists that have inspired you?
J: I was inspired by Anita Baker, Sade, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kanye West… those are just some of the names I can remember listening to growing up, and I still listen to all of them today.
YK: How did you first connect with your producer Drum Mage?
J: I moved to a suburb outside of Chicago (Sauk Village, IL) and met Drum Mage through a mutual friend. We all made music together for the first time in 2006, and Drum and I have been inseparable since.
YK: You released the video for the single “Paranoia Consumes”. What inspired the theme for that song?
J: It was inspired by a true event. I dealt with a situation where someone I knew was battling an addiction. It’s really about seeing someone at their lowest point and trying to bring them out of that state. Meanwhile, you’re struggling trying to help that person but you can’t because they don’t want it.
YK: How did you come up with the treatment for the “Paranoia Consumes” video?
J: Tim Mogul and I wanted to make the video as real as possible. So we got with Rita Monroe and had her act out true events. I wanted to make sure that when people saw it, they felt what was happening. That way, the story is relatable.
YK: Your songs “Come Home With Me” and “Temptation” have a different sound than “Paranoia Consumes”. Do you enjoy rapping or singing more?
J: To be honest, I don’t like one more than the other. I never know what kind of song I’m going to make. It’s however the beat makes me feel. Drum always comes up with something crazy when we link up so I never know what it’s going to be.
YK: I saw you did your own version of Nicki Minaj’s “Looking Ass Nigga”. Did you get any negative feedback from men about the track the same way Nicki did?
J: Surprisingly, no. I think the guys love my version more than the girls.
YK: What’s your opinion on the state of female rappers in the game at the moment?
J: It’s scarce and there’s not enough respect being given. You have a few mainstream female rappers that are popular. You have a lot of mainstream female rappers that aren’t. You have a lot of underground female rappers that are really dope but nobody cares.
Predominately, the rap game is run by men. Men (the majority) who don’t respect or listen to female rappers. Some think we’re corny or can’t spit which I think is ridiculous. Nicki is number one right now. Iggy isn’t far behind. We need a variety of female emcees. Too many talented women not being listened to. That’s my opinion.
YK: Chicago Hip Hop is really hot right now. Rappers like Lil Durk, Chance The Rapper, Rockie Fresh, Chief Keef, and many others have garnered national attention over the last few years. Why do you think a lot of artists from the city have been able to break out recently?
J: We break out because we have to. They didn’t respect us like 5 or 6 years ago. Many said there was “no talent in Chicago. Don’t go there.” We’re innovators. Chief Keef, Lil Durk, and Chance… they created a lane for themselves. Once you do that, people can’t help but listen.
J: My most memorable moment has to be the first time I performed. Everyone always told me, “You can’t move New York crowds. They don’t move for people. New York is the toughest crowd.” My first show I had them rocking. Enough said.
YK: Besides music do you express yourself through any other artistic mediums?
J: Poetry. Before I wrote lyrics, I wrote and read a lot of poetry.
YK: What’s next for Jennifair?
J: We’re currently working on the video treatment for my R&B single “Running”. Mogul and I are getting ready for this takeover! More music, more visuals, more shows, more interviews. More Jennifair. We’re staying busy. I’m going to be any and everywhere I can be.
For more info about Jennifair click it
Check out Jennifair’s “Daydreaming (Short Film)”: