Janice is a singer, writer and performer of intense, soulful pop/ electronic R&B from Stockholm. Her debut album, Fallin’ Up, which was released Feb 2, 2018, is a future classic, with its songs of dark hopefulness that deal with feelings both personal and universal.
It works in clubland and in the bedroom, the songs intimate yet immense, the deep bass and heavy beats providing the perfect ballast to bolster Janice’s powerful voice and searingly emotional lyrics-cum-diary entries.
Janice was born in 1994, the baby of the family, with four older brothers and sisters. She grew up in Stockholm but did a lot of travelling.
“We were a family that did a lot of stuff together,” she says fondly. “We liked to explore the world.”
It was a music-loving home, filled with the reverberations from her brother’s stereo and the singing from her nurse mother and engineer father.
“Both my parents were very expressive,” she recalls. “My mum did musical theatre when she was a teenager, and my dad liked to hum along with melodies. There was a lot of Michael Jackson in the house – my dad loved him. And a lot of women: Whitney, Sade, Brandy, Celine Dion… Big singers.”
Janice showed signs of being talented at an early age. Her parents put her in the musical theatre school Kulturama, one of the leading schools in Scandinavia for artistic pupils, here she studied singing and dancing. After she finished school she wrote her very first song, entitled Karma. She is still very proud of it, even though, she admits, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to say or sing about, or what feeling I wanted to deliver”.
Aged 16, Janice became an alumnus of Stockholm’s Tensta Gospel Choir, a proven training ground for Swedish stars Lykke Li, Sabina Ddumba and Elias.
Janice cites Tensta as a key factor in her development. It was there that she found her voice, a community of like minds, and a space where she could be – express – herself.
By April 2016, Janice had released her first single, a melancholy burst of quiet storm computer soul called Don’t Need To. After that, things started happening fast. The single, a sort of latter-day Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack, became one of the most played songs on Swedish radio during 2016.
In fact, when Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, presented their cultural forecast for 2017, Janice was one of four artists chosen. Soon, Janice was attracting international attention, from indie blogs, even artists of the calibre of Ricky Martin, Charli XCX and Zara Larsson. Record labels queued up to acquire her signature – Sony Germany got there first.
Janice spent the rest of 2016 travelling between Stockholm and London, working on music with writers and producers such as Andreas Söderlund (alias Hyena), Bristol musician Javeon McCarthy and English producer/songwriter Ben Ash (Two Inch Punch).
“We met up and exchanged experiences and stories,” Janice says of the above, explaining the division of labour in the studio, between her and the collaborators.