NL: As a songwriter, who inspires you?
JJ: I’ve always been a massive MJ and Prince fan. When I was growing up, my mum and dad would play Tracy Chapman, D-Train…I’m a massive 80s punk fan and I love Funkadelics and Gap Band, Rose Royce. I just love 80s music. Like, the harmonies and the soul-ness of it. The melody and the lyrical content. Right now, I’m a huge Rihanna fan. I’ve always been slightly obsessed with her. And I think I idolize Beyoncé as a performer. But, you know, it’s weird because I don’t really get inspired a lot by other people. It’s gonna sound really awful like I don’t listen to music much because I do, but I don’t eat, breathe, live, smoke, eat — I said that already — music. I kind of just go with the flow. Like I’ll see a mum with her daughter playing in the street and that will spark an idea for a song. I don’t know. I don’t want to get too much inspired by what other people are doing because I don’t like copying them…but, yeah, I love writing songs. It’s my musical outlet.
NL: If you had your choice of a duet partner, who would be your dream partner?
JJ: Prince, all the way. Prince is like…oooh amazing! Him or Beyoncé. I think Beyoncé is the person that I think…Beyoncé, Jazmine Sullivan, Christina Aguilera, Kim Burrell, Pink…they vocally scare me, which is why I would love to work with them because I love a challenge. I would love to do a tune with Erykah Badu or Jazmine Sullivan or anyone I vocally idolize.
NL: If you could do an internship with any artist and learn from them first-hand, who would that be?
JJ: Oh my God. I would have to say Beyoncé. Ahead of everything, I just want to see her to see if she’s real and just to ask ‘how are you doing this? How are you conquering the world like this?’ I just think she’s amazing. I would kind of sit in and make notes.