[EXCLUSIVE] Janine and The Mixtape Talks Transition to U.S., Finding Her Sound, Her Struggles, More

Janine and The Mixtape have been building a strong buzz since releasing her Dark Mind EP over a year ago. Recently, the New Zealand born singer-songwriter received even more notoriety after one of her songs aired on VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop,” which also prompt several chart placements.

Janine’s newfound success can be credited to her airy and soulful sound, but we also love her chill personality. In a sit down with Singersroom recently, she opened about her struggles, how she developed her sound, her influences, and more.

New Zealand to New York City: I came to New York about 3-4 years ago and in 2012 I moved here for a year and a half; I was living out in Brooklyn… I loved it. My first home was quite crazy; It was a bit of a party house… but such amazing music… I got to meet some pretty amazing, talented people and it was always good to vibe out to R&B [and] Hip-Hop.

Discovering Music Early: Soon as I could make a noise dad told me I could sing like an angel so that kind of continued. Even when I was five years old I had a songbook; I would write lyrics down… About 13 I started playing guitar… and at 14 I went to Open Mic nights and started playing my original songs.

Creating Sound: I listen to a lot of different things. When I was younger, I started off with Celine Dion, Mariah Carey then went into Aaliyah, NWA, Biggie, Ashanti, like that whole era, then I went into a Punk phase and Ska… I went through a lot of different genres that I was playing. I love hip hop because I love listening to the beat and the way it makes me feel… and I love that the storytelling and the lyrics are upfront. R&B, I just like the melodies and the vocals… I just kind of combined the things that I loved. Getting into production really helped shape that.


Inspiration & Influences: I feel like for me it’s always albums as oppose to artists because we all go through phases and albums are just like a point of our lives… there’s just classic albums that will always stick with me.

The Dark Mind EP Era: That was a period of time that I needed to write about; it was 10 years about that I really need to express and move forward on.

Struggles as a New Artist: I’m from New Zealand, so it’s like 19 hours from home. I gave up a lot, relationships and things through long distance that didn’t work out. Also, I got so carried away in the music at one point… like a forgot to really nurture those important relationships with family and friends… that’s been the toughest thing.

Next: I already have the next album kind of ready to go… There’s quite a few people since the charting that kind of jumped on board that are interested in working. It’s a real exciting time… No dates yet that I can speak of right now.

If you're in the New York Metropolitan area, coming and see Janine rock the stage tonight (July 14th) at Mercury Lounge in NYC. Get more details here.

Gary Gentles

Founder and Creator of Singersroom.com and IncredibleWork.com. Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.

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