Jackson, Mississippi vocalist and songwriter Jonquia Rose presents the Olskool Ice-Gre-directed video for “From The Ashes”, the new DJ Self Born-produced single, from episode 1 of the two-part EP _Single Mom_. At 9 years old, Jonquia began taking vocal lessons and later after a relocation to California, she was trained by Jackie aka Baby J of the group Lyric, who are recognized as the first female trio to sign to Clive Davis’s now defunct J Records. Jonquia enrolled in LACC where she studied music and psychology. Later she completed a dental program in Dallas, where she currently resides. “From the Ashes is my story, my real life, my truth. It’s me willing to be honest about my past situation. I’m ok with sharing my personal experience because I feel it can inspire and even help other women or people in general who’ve suffered depression or fallen to their lowest point.”
What made you decide to first sing, and then later to take it seriously as a career?
I’ve always enjoyed singing. As a kid I watched my mom and pretty much all of my cousins sing at different functions. When I was a teenager, I enjoyed how it felt to turn every emotion into a song. I lived off my break-ups and puppy love; everything I went through was a song. Unfortunately, once I got older, life got real and I could not bear being so vulnerable. This caused me to stop singing for a while but my mom wouldn’t let it go. She made some calls and pretty much told me I needed to get back to it. Once I got back to music, I realized I was living in my purpose.
Paint us a picture of Jackson, Mississippi and your life in this city.
I spent the majority of my childhood years in Jackson and I enjoyed most of it. I was always family oriented and really valued the time we spent together. I would always try to get everyone together for a cook out regardless of what they wanted to do. I found my first love in Mississippi… “Music”. I wrote my first song in Mississippi, played my first piano, and recorded a track for the first time.
What’s the first R&B song you ever heard?
Describe the moment. I grew up listening to soulful R&B artist like Betty Wright, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, and Johnny Taylor but didn’t understand anything they were talking about until I grew up. Later when Monica came out with “Miss Thang,” I wanted to sing every song on that album. “Why I Love You So Much” was the first song that truly encouraged me to play with my vocals. I was a young girl living in the projects and my mom was in the kitchen cooking and singing that song over and over. I got butterflies in my stomach and I instantly learned the song. I found my own little world of music after that and from then on, I wanted to understand and know all about it.
How did “From the Ashes” come together?
I was just getting back to my happy place when my mom reached out to her college buddy Greg “Olskool Ice-Gre” Lewis. I was in a head space where I was willing to be used for a greater purpose and when I spoke to Greg, I realized we had a similar vision and we were on a similar wave length, I think. He would call me and ask me all kind of questions about my life and what I went through as a single mother. Then one Sunday I went to church and my Pastor, T.D Jakes talked about making beauty from your ashes. Greg sent me the song that very next week and when we talked about the meaning of it, he mentioned he had listen to the same sermon so that became the inspiration for the title and my story.
What are your predictions for 2018, personally and musically?
In 2017 I was all over the place when it came to music. I realized that you should really be careful what you allow yourself to listen to on the radio. Not all good sounding music is good to listen to. Slowly but surely, there are young artist emerging around my age that are influencing positive things. I predict that in 2018 music will motivate our youth in a more positively way. For me musically, I’m calling 2018 my “Get Ready” year. I want to get closer to the artist I’m destined to be. My upcoming EP Single Mom is truly something special and I want to take the year to share it with the world. It will be released in two parts with 5 songs on each. I want to be a part of a movement to reach out and help someone who may be struggling with similar issues as I did. I want to be a conduit for positive change, especially in the Millennial/Centennial age group.