Doug: According to your Reverb Nation music page, you came to the United States about 4 years ago. What drove you to leave behind your music career in Moscow and transition to the Triangle area of North Carolina?
Janna: Marriage this time; but I had gone to a grad school in DC in the late 90’s, so it’s not my first relocation to the US. Now I’m married to an American guy and I have to start my music career from scratch, here. As I am also a singer-songwriter, that means writing songs in English – which is becoming easier after some years of living among native speakers (including my own little daughter).
Doug: A lot of people are curious about your singing. After hearing you sing, many are surprised to find out that you are from Russia! What motivated you to learn how to sing jazz standards in English and Portuguese?
Janna: Ella F. has always been my idol; plus I went to a jazz college in Moscow for a couple of years. I also sing in French, Italian, Romani, etc. – don’t care what tongue it is as long as it sounds good.
Doug: In America, it is notoriously difficult for singers to find shows performing original music. How would you compare the music scene here versus Russia in terms of finding musical venues and building a loyal audience?
Janna: I’m just starting to self-promote here, so I can’t compare. In Moscow, you have a 3 musicians to 1 listener ratio so it can’t be much worse here. Hopefully when the economy recovers, the music industry will boom again, and us singers-songwriters will also ride the wave. For now, I am content performing standards (much easier to find musicians to play with!) and squeezing in an original tune here and there. My next show is Feb. 9 at Oliver Twist, 7 pm, no cover fee.