Most of us know Janelle Phillips as the cute reggae girl from San Diego that always posts videos on social media of herself singing with an ukulele. I met Janelle at Winston’s in Ocean Beach back in 2015 and she immediately had my respect because after her set with Skanks Roots Project she walked up to KBong and introduced herself, no hesitation and full of confidence. Janelle is so passionate about getting her music out there, and I super duper admire how consistent she is with writing and making new music.
AA: Do you want to tell me a little bit about the RAW SESSIONS you’ve been doing? How you got them started?
JP: So basically, Instagram has been a huge platform for me. They used to have thirty second videos, now moved up to a minute, and it was perfect to give people a sample of what I was working on. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they like looking at my Instagram because they can see how a song was made. Almost like a journey of my creations. So to engage more people I started putting out the whole song and releasing them every once in awhile on my YouTube. Then my bandmate was telling me I should promote it and make a statement out of it. I’ve posted a few now along with a cover; that was for Amy Winehouse’s birthday the other day. I have two songs that are going to be on the next record up on there, so it’s just a way I can show everyone and also producers what I’ve been working on.
AA: How did you come up with the name?
JP: I thought because I’m on my ukulele or guitar, unplugged, recording on my phone, usually at my house by myself. It’s how all my songs start. You know, I write these songs as simple as it gets and it’s cool seeing them turn into a production like Lioness (her debut EP) which was written on a ukulele.
AA: I think a lot of people are interested in what goes into the making of song, you seem to be onto something.
JP: Yeah totally and if you’re close to me and pay attention to what I post, you’ll notice that everything I write pertains to what’s happening in my life. Recently I went through a major heartbreak and so all my songs reflected that, but it’s cool to look back at now that I’m over it and got a great song.
AA: So where can people see you next?
JP: I’m playing a Reggae Sunday pool party on October 1 at Sea Legs in Long Beach, then I have the Desert Oasis Festival in Indio on October 7.
AA: Thank you sooo much for talking with me!