INTERVIEW: JANETTE KING TALKS NEW SINGLE/VIDEO FOR 'MARS,' QUEER BIPOC REPRESENTATION, EFFECTIVE ALLYSHIP + MORE

Photo by: Adam Nigro
Janette King is not just an artist but a womxn-of-all-trades.

From her tranquilizing vocals to her hypnotizing production style, King draws inspiration from Erykah Badu to Jill Scott to SZA to create an alternative fusion of electronic, soul and R&B. Along with having produced, written and performed in other projects, the multi-talented Montreal-based powerhouse is also known for delivering eclectic DJ mixes across her hometown's clubs and bars.

King's most recent endeavour comes in the form of the sultry self-produced, directed and edited music video for her dreamy single "Mars":

“I never really write about sex but I wanted this video to focus on sensuality between black people in a not so serious way. Highlighting both my queerness and my cheekiness.”


The release of "Mars" – back in August, was the first taste off new record label Hot Tramp Records –coinciding with the label's launch.

Hot Tramp Records – run by Sarah Armiento, is focused on raising the stage for womxn and aims to make 2021 a breakout year for its roster (Jannette King, Maryze, Alicia Clara). First launched as an artist management venture in 2019, the company grew rapidly – expanding into promotion, booking, PR and even a five day festival – showcasing 25 womxn acts.

There is a dire need for representation in music – not only for womxn but also for black and queer creators. By simply and outwardly being herself, King is doing her part to shed light on the importance of inclusion and diversity in the music world and beyond.

“I am proud of who I am and just being me alone is a political statement that demands space.”


Though Pop Montreal's Hot Tramp showcase has sold out, Janette King will be playing a rooftop show on September 24th that will be available to live stream.

Q: What can you tell us about your latest single “Mars?”


The song is a story about intimacy between two lovers whose connection is otherworldly. Basically the song is playing with the idea that going to the bedroom and being on the bed with your lover is so wild and exciting it’s like going to Mars. The production was done by Vancouver producer Jonny Tobin. He is an incredibly talented artist. As soon as I heard the beat the song was written in a matter of minutes.

Q: You just released your self-produced music video for “Mars.” What message are you trying to convey with the imagery?


I wanted to spotlight intimacy between black people. As someone who is queer, I wanted to highlight that in my video too. I wanted this video to be a bisexual, spacy, visual treat. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have my sexy friends be the stars of it.

Q: Congratulations on signing to Hot Tramp Records, a newly launched label that focuses on raising the stage for womxn artists. How did that come about?


I started out with Hot Tramp as a booking/PR partnership, organizing a North American Tour with its founder, Sarah Armiento. It was then that I asked her to be my manager and then when Hot Tramp Management became Hot Tramp Records the natural progression was to sign with them! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Q: How important is it to carve out spaces and be a representation for the BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ community?


I mean I think it’s important to take space as a queer, black woman in Canada, however, I wouldn’t say that I’m a representative of the Queer community. Just like I’m not a representative for all black people. I am proud of who I am and just being me alone is a political statement that demands space. En plus que ça, spaces dedicated to queer folks and people of colour is so important so that we can feel safe and free at shows, in public and in the world.

Q: With social injustices prominent in current events, what’s your advice on being an effective ally?


Yes, I mean it’s easy to say black lives matters but what actions are you taking in practice of that statement? I would ask any ally to ask themselves these questions:

Am I purchasing and donating to the work of black folks that are around me? Am I offering and connecting black folks to the opportunities and resources that I have access to in order to empower them? (without expecting credits for doing so..) Am I uplifting black lives and voices through my own actions, words and attitudes? Am I profiting off black culture? If so, how am I showing the true origins of the culture and in what ways am I giving back to the black community in order to share the profits that I have made?

Q: What’s some advice you would give to other creators during these times?


Trust yourself and your intuition. Your soul will tell you what you need and what is right for you if you are able to listen.

Q: What’s next for Janette King?


I have another single coming soon and a full length album out in 2021. I have also been collaborating on songs with local artists. I am super excited to share these tunes with the world.


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Connect:
janetteking.com
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twitter.com/janettekingmusic
instagram.com/janette.king