JVNA is the moniker of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jana. As an LA based producer she is constantly blurring the lines between heart pounding and melodic music. She emerged on the EDM scene in 2016 and has been crafting emotional productions ever since. What makes JVNA really stand out is that she has built a strong fanbase with her unique ability to produce, sing and write all of her own music.
Her successful journey started with her releases of Waterfall and a cover of Kingdom Heart’s Dearly Beloved x Sweater Weather. Over these last couple of years JVNA has managed to keep evolving her unique style. Her fanbase deepened with 2018’s I’m With You Inspired by her father’s death, the contrast of hard-hitting grit and glittering softness mirrored the confusion of loss mixed with loving memories. Also making it another milestone in her career as she self-directed the song’s music video.
Now this multi-talented artist and fashion gem is back with her debut LP Hope In Chaos. With her new album being released we are excited to have a chat with this amazing person about the album’s message and what inspires her. This 12 track album is a deep exploration of her life experiences, from the loss of her father, guilt, love, lust, sexism, and determination. It also showcases JVNA’s skills as a classically trained musician, sonically revolving around pop, rock, and bass.
The opening track “Chaos” sets an ominous tone for the first half of the album, which represents the first, most painful stages of grief. “Where You Are“ sees JVNA expressing a deep longing for lost love with cinematic sonic elements, while “Ghost” showcases a future bass style. “Sins” captures the sultry and turbulent energy of lust and questionable decisions. The first half of the album closes with the interlude “Hope,” which introduces JVNA’s movement into the healing process of grief. She tries to remember the good times of a painful relationship with “At Least It Was Fun,” while the ensuing tracks all lead up to the cathartic healing process with the epilogue “Fly.” “Hope In Chaos” is a truly beautiful and meaningful musical journey that fans of multiple genres will appreciate, whether they’re going through a tough time or just looking for a track to rock out to. For this album, JVNA pushed herself to incorporate more live keys, piano, and organic textures. Overall it makes Hope In Chaos a diverse collection of styles featuring JVNA’s voice like it’s never been heard before, opening up about so much more than the standard dance floor love songs.
The full Hope In Chaos tracklist:
- JVNA – Chaos (Prelude)
- JVNA – Where You Are
- JVNA – Ghost
- JVNA – Breakdown
- JVNA – Sins
- JVNA – 18
- JVNA – Bullseye
- JVNA – Hope (Interlude)
- JVNA – It Least It Was Fun
- JVNA – Dystopia
- JVNA – True Colors
- JVNA – Fly
The Nocturnal Times: Hi Jana. Thank you so much for sitting with us and taking your time for this interview. Congratulations on the new Album Hope In Chaos. How does it feel to release your Debut-EP after these last tumultuous 1.5 years?
JVNA: Ahh Thank you! it’s honestly one of the proudest things I’ve ever done with my life! It feels like I’ve been working on this for ages – over thinking every little detail of my compositions and going insane just hearing these tracks in different variations over and over again. But in the end, it was worth it and I’m so proud of where these tracks have become for the release of the album. I’ve always wanted to be an album artist. I think albums are really special in the way where you can tell a story visually with it’s branding, placing specific tracks in certain areas, having hidden messages whether it’s in your interludes, intros, outros, and the ability to create a grand experience for the listener. I started writing these songs in late 2019 and had hoped to put out a finished album by mid 2020. However, the pandemic hit and I thought ‘oh okay, well I get some more time to work on these songs instead of rushing the process’. I think it was a blessing in disguise because over the pandemic I opened myself up to new genres and developed my vocal style more. I feel like this was the right timing for me to learn more as an artist and put those influences into this album.
The Nocturnal Times: Why did you choose the title Hope In Chaos? What is the bigger message behind the title? And the build up of the album titles in general?
JVNA: The overall theme of this album is about the story of Pandora’s Box. The Greek tale follows the goddess Pandora who opens a forbidden box out of her own curiosity, thus unleashing chaos, diseases, and sins into the universe. The one thing that was left behind was hope. This album is about reaching into the unknown, fighting chaos against all odds, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I wrote this album during a time of my life where a part of me felt like I was seeking and thriving among chaos. I was going through so many changes – healing from the death of my father, breakups from relationships, entering the entertainment industry, and graduating college and going straight into a touring life. It was mentally a lot for me to handle and I felt anxious all the time. However writing this album has been a healing process for me and I’m able to listen to it now and reflect on how much I’ve learned and grown as a person over these past years.
The Nocturnal Times: With a first album release usually you see the artist collaborating with other high profile artists. You decided not to do so and to do everything by yourself, singing, producing and writing. Why did you choose this approach?
JVNA: It was really important for me to release my first album with no collaborations on it. I wanted this piece to be a statement to myself and my audience who I was as an artist authentically. I feel like in the initial stages of my career, I gained an audience while I was still discovering my sound. It is a very independent and lonely process for me to get in touch with who I am as an artist. If I had any collaborations on this album, I knew that in the long run, I would be confused as to my own identity. I truly enjoy being able to express creativity in all aspects of my music – production, melodies, lyrics, and music videos. Because I’m doing all of this, I’m telling a genuine story from my heart that translates to the listener as truthfully and vividly from my imagination as it can be.
The Nocturnal Times: The album containing 12 fantastic tracks – all of them being so unique and showcasing your ear pleasing vocal talents in such a wide range. Our favorite track being “Bullseye.” What is the story behind this track? And naturally we have to ask, you said that “Where You Are” is your favorite track. What makes this one so special for you?
JVNA: “Bullseye” is also one of my favorites as it was definitely a very experimental release. It is the first psy-trance song i’ve ever put out. Initially I was hesitant because I typically release music that leans more future bass and pop. Stepping out of my comfort zone was a push to myself to grow as an artist. The song is about reviving from the ashes, turning the lowest points in your life into ambition for whatever you dream for in life. The drop was inspired by the sound of pulling back an arrow from a bow. I visually pictured ambition in the form of an arrow shooting from the bow and aiming for the archer’s target on their dreams in life.
“Where You Are” is my personal favorite because I just think the drop is so beautiful. This was the most precious song on the album to me since I spent so much time on it trying to get it to sound exactly the way I envisioned it. When I produced the drop, I thought of wildfires, bursts of emotions, screaming off into a cliff, and a kaleidoscope of chaotic colors. It was important for me to get the sound and the feeling right and thus is also my favorite song from the album!
The Nocturnal Times: You are raised in California by your parents who are Taiwanese immigrants. Do you think having multicultural roots affected your style of music? Or was it just your brother influencing you with the shows he watched and games he played? And what was your stepping stone in starting to create your first tracks?
JVNA: Growing up, I listened to a lot of mandarin music. We’d always play Jay Chou in my house and I practically know the lyrics by heart for most of his earlier songs haha. My brother was a huge gamer so I would watch him play and I really enjoyed the music. He would play games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. The music from those games became a core part of my childhood and influenced my initial start into my project as JVNA. I started off making remixes of the soundtrack from the games that I enjoyed listening to growing up.
The Nocturnal Times: You studied composition and game/film scoring at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Will we ever see you producing game and film music? Or would you rather produce music for anime shows?
JVNA: I would love to write music for film and TV one day! I didn’t end up pursuing the path of being a full time film composer because I felt like the environment wasn’t as thrilling as DJ life would be. However, I would love to write music for a Hollywood film one day in the future.
The Nocturnal Times: Knowing that you are an avid streamer and anime lover, will we ever see you streaming games or watching anime on twitch? And the bigger question are you still playing games on your ‘Animal Crossing’ switch?
JVNA: Oh the animal crossing days! As of now, because of my schedule I’m only able to stream maybe once or twice a week. I like to prioritize doing DJ sets or producing music on stream. Sometimes I will turn on the live stream on my phone in my hotel room while I’m at a different city for a show and just talk to people. I think when I have more time, I would definitely be down to do more IRL and gaming content. It’s really fun to engage on stream with your viewers in a personal way outside of music content so I definitely would love to do more of that!
The Nocturnal Times: You are without a doubt one of the most versatile artists out there. Tell us how you became so versatile, producing, singing, playing instruments, streaming, and having an incredible eye for fashion styles? It seems there is nothing you can’t do. If it wasn’t for music what would you be doing instead?
JVNA: Wow. That is very flattering. Thank you! If I wasn’t doing music, I think I would work on something creative. I have an interest in home decor, fashion, or maybe I would be a nail technician! I don’t actually get my own nails done because I like to keep them fresh for playing instruments, but I think I would have a fun time designing nails.
The Nocturnal Times: You and DJ RayRay dropped an amazing B2B last month. So the natural question to ask would be, what are the chances of you girls becoming this amazing powerhouse duo? And if so will we ever see you perform in your ice skating bumblebee outfit?
JVNA: I love Ray Ray!! She is the best. We vibe so well and are on the same level every time we see each other. We’re planning on writing a song together and singing it in Chinese. I think that will be absolutely epic so I can’t wait to start on that with her! As for Ice Skating, it’s been ages since I’ve been able to be that flexible and do those jumps and turns in the air. Maybe I can do a simple music video of me doing very easy things haha but that video of me in that bumblebee outfit was when I was 12 years old. It’s been so long I wish I were still that flexible!
The Nocturnal Times: Is there anything else that you would like to share with your fans about what is coming up for JVNA next year?
JVNA: I’m going on tour! Come see me at my Hope in Chaos Album Tour 2022!!!
Those wanting to join JVNA on her Hope In Chaos Tour can do so on the following dates and locations. More dates TBA, info and tickets here.
Feb 19 – The Republik – Honolulu, HI, United States
Feb 26 – Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA, United States
Feb 27 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA, United States
Mar 03 – Sessions Music Hall – Eugene, OR, United States
Mar 04 – Neumos – Seattle, WA, United States
Mar 05 – 45 East – Portland, OR, United States
Mar 12 – The Loft – Minneapolis, MN, United States
Mar 24 – Mod Club Theatre – Toronto, ON, Canada
Mar 26 – Liquid – Madison, WI, United States
Apr 02 – The Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY, United States
Apr 08 – The Church – Denver, CO, United States
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