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Green Festival Speakers

Jennifer Johns



Vacillating between HipHop, Soul, Electronica, Reggae, World and everykind of rhythm in between, sultry voiced Jennifer Johns crafts stirringtunes that are both heartrending and headbobbing. The Oakland,California music powerhouse proved herself as a potent interpreter oftaboo desires with a passion for creating Electric HipSoul, on hercriticallyhailed debut, heavyelectromagneticsoularpoeticjunglehop,showing up ; coming singers/songwriters/lyricists/producers howits done.

An exceptionally graceful artist, Johns got her start by hittinghigh notes in the church and school choirs, but it was her experienceperforming with the multiculti Oakland Youth Chorus, where shereceived her comprehensive training. I started with OYC from age 14 to19 and we did some truly amazing stuff. We played with Roberta FlackPeabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, Nancy Wilson to name a few. I alsoperformed in their professional acapella ensemble, where we sang in amillion different languages. The Bay Area is so rich in culture; itsalso the birthplace of so many (r)evolutionary and arts movements. Thatdiversity is reflected in my music. Being from such a places forces youto make good music, not genrespecific music.

Allowing her boisterous pipes to branch out and extend across AdultContemporary and HipHop, Johns boldly stakes out her own turf on hersophomore effort, Painting On Wax, a title that symbolizes the calmafter the storm. I was just coming out of a painful break up duringthe recording of my first album. We did the great majority of therecording in a basement in Seattle over the span of 10 days, while Ihas bronchitis. To say the least I had a lot of emotional experienceswhile working on that album. I felt as if I had poured everything outof me; bled almost. So I felt that this time around, I decided that Iwould much rather paint.

The dazzling 12 track composition is a perfect balance of genuineworld thumpers, intoxicatingly erotic slow burners and feelgood vocalconfections that are full of life. On Ghetto International, thetalented tunesmith calls on a bevy of talented California artists fromthe underground HipHop scene to join her in a global jam fest whereyou find Palestinian and Panamanian MCs rhyming in their nativelanguages. The Latinflavored dancehall jam, Get Up was coproducedby Johns and is an exuberant funhouse of a record that makes you wantto crank up the volume and do just what it says. Let the Drum Moan apercussive sensual knocker coproduced by DJ Uno while on tour inMalaysia shows Jennifer's love for painting in international colors,Chasing The Sun is another electoworld gem, one of the 4songs Johnscoproduced. This along with songs like Golden Eye are beautifulexpression of her spirituality. While the first single, Move With It,as well as Goody Goody Gumdrops, contain trunk rattling basssignifying certified club anthems, Nasty is on the opposite end ofthe spectrum; a clever cocktail of 80sera electroPop with sexuallycharged lyricism. With guest appearances by Gift of Gab fromBlackalicious and Zion, to name a few and production provided by AmpLive, Zion and Grammynominees Spontaneous (Mystic) and Charles Stella(Norah Jones, Wax Poetic, Mos Def, Olu Dara), Paint on Wax is a musicalmasterpiece.

The standout songstress has toured with and opened shows for someof the most respected names in the industry including Lauryn Hill,Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Common, KRS1, Ziggy Marley, Les Nubian,Blackalicious, Zap Mama, Res, Capelton, Junior Reid, Shaggy, SlumVillage, Bebel Gilberto, MC Lyte and Black Thought of The Roots, toname a few. Johns music abounds with experiences that are both familiarand inspiring, which is an instant reminder of her hitmaking prowess.

In addition to amplifying her singing voice for the masses, Johns alsolends her time to a variety of community based organizations. She is aGreen For All Fellow and has made it her business to bring theconversation of real sustainable living to the urban/black and browncommunities around the world.

The left coast ingenue who is influenced by musical artists like Sade,Aretha Franklin, Sizzla, Angelique Kujo, Phoebe Snow, Whitney Houston,Bob Marley, Earth, Wind ; Fire, Stevie Wonder, Rakim, The Fugees,Vikter Duplaix, Jill Scott and a billion others. Jennifer Johns saysIt is day to day life the blessings and the tragedy that influencesme the most. Our job as songwriters is to capture a moment or energyand provide folks with a soundtrack to life...

Oakland native Jennifer Johns will inevitably draw comparisons toJill Scott, and possibly fellow Oakland Youth Chorus alumnus Goapele,but be clear Johns is her own artist. From the opening 808 kick ofHeavy to the spoken word/D;B of Do You Believe in Love to thedoleful ambitious cover of Sade's Cherish the Day Johns proves thatshe's an original voice. XLR8R Magazine

It is not every day that an artist achieves the ability to stirthe heart and soul through song and vibration. My heart has not yetstopped stirring since I have heard Jennifer Johns. KRSOne

Jennifer Johns is making waves in the ocean of music that combinesR;B, soul, funk and electronica. Coming at you from Oakland, Ms.Johns is an eclectic artist that dabbles with all types of music andpulls it off fairly well many say that if she continues to hone herskills, she could join the ranks of Jill Scott. Receiving praise fromyour peers is one thing, but when the legendary KRSOne says, It isnot everyday that an artist achieves the ability to stir the heart andsoul through song and vibration. My heart has not yet stopped stirringsince I have heard Jennifer Johns, that's when you know she's doingsomething right. URB Magazine

Mademoiselle Jennifer Johns incontournable souffle de musique avoir et a ecouter car la vie, c'est maintenant. Les Nubians

Jennifer Johns, another locally bred singer on the verge of anartistic breakthrough whose oversize personality matches her talent.Another Bay Areabred singer on the verge of an artistic and commercialbreakthrough is Jennifer Johns. She's an Oakland native who's toiledfor years, opening shows for national artists such as KRSOne andtouring with althop fan favorites Blackalicious. Johns' 2004 debutalbum, Heavyelectromagnecticsoularpoeticjunglehop, was an eclecticfusion of electronic beats and organic vocals, which touched oneverything from hiphop to soul to drum and bass to spoken word. Johns'second album, titled Painting on Wax, looks to build on thatfoundation considerably, with production by Grammynominated producersSpontaneous (Mystic) and Charles Stella (Norah Jones), as well as localstalwart Amp Live (ZionI, Goapele). San Francisco Chronicle
Classic hiphop beats are freshened up with the sultry vocalharmonies and showering flows of Jennifer Johns. While honing hersinging skills in the Oakland Youth Chorus, the sexy songstress/MC fellin love with hiphop culture and decided to meld her R;B ambitionswith boombap rap. The versatile Johns is well on her way toestablishing herself as one of hiphop soul's elite. Chicago Tribune