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Portland, Maine, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Pop Rock




"Local Music Lover's Road leads to All Roads"

“Her voice is huge, and she wraps it around that song with the force of a tsunami. Said another way, it’s glorious. Her voice soars to heights only reached by rockets. At the end, I felt like Oliver with his soup bowl standing there saying, “More, please!”... It simply must be heard to be believed.” - Aimsel Ponti on Janaesounds vocals for Maine Today - Maine Today

"Maine Transplant Janaesound hits Gold with Diamonds"

“[Janaesound’s] voice is the kind that immediately instills hope with its ardor. It invites, even compels, the listener to stop what she’s doing and let the song wash over her. Said another way, Woodruff’s voice is sensational.”- Maine Today - Maine Today

"Morning Edition"

Creative Portland is launching a new event intending to highlight the city's performing arts talent. It will take place this Sunday, Feb. 17. The show will feature music, dance, digital art. Singer JanaeSound recently relocated to Portland from St. Louis, Missouri, and will be performing on Sunday. Her song "Diamonds" has racked up more than 100,000 listeners on services like SoundCloud and Spotify. She spoke with Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Singer JanaeSound during a recent visit to Maine Public's Portland studio.
JANAESOUND: Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited for this event. The lineup is just incredible. Some of my favorites will be there - Sarah Violette, Renee Coolbrith, Palaver Strings. And I have something up my sleeve - I've collaborated with Big Room Studios to create a VR [virtual reality] project which will be really fun for all the viewers in the audience.

All right. You are originally from St. Louis?


What attracted you to the local music scene here?

JANAESOUND: I started singing a long time ago. I got my start through the Opera Theatre of St. Louis - when I was 9 years old, I was cast in an opera called La Boheme, and I've just been singing the entire time. My husband brought me out here and I just - I can't let music go. So I just got started and it's just the momentum that I've built has been great and everyone's been so welcoming. So this is the best scene.

As I mentioned at the top your song "Diamonds" appears to have captured some folks' attention. Where do you go from here?

JANAESOUND: I think the whole thing is just being consistent and constantly working. So I'm so glad that so many people liked "Diamonds" and I want to build upon that and just keep being an uplifting force for my fans and listeners. All my music is about pushing through adversity, overcoming obstacles - and I live that daily. Being a local musician, it's not easy. So what's next for me is more content, more music videos, more shows and touring, and all kinds of stuff like that - just keep it going.

Listen to JaneaSound's hit song "Diamonds."

The national music scene has certainly changed in the last several decades - technology has driven change, the business has changed. Do you have a sense of whether or not local music scenes like Portland's, like St. Louis's, have changed in those last few decades?

JANAESOUND: That's a great question. Obviously so much has changed. Even on a national level, I feel like so many of the artists that I look up to have warned us about what it really means to be a giant mainstream act. And so we have this resurgence of independent artists. And so I think - I don't want to say trickle down - but I think it has helped local artists realize that maybe independent artistry is the way to go - remain independent as long as you can. Even if you have different goals or want a record deal, it just changes how we operate. I feel like I wear very many hats promoting myself, writing my music and getting it out, booking my own shows and handling my own tours. I don't have a management team or anything like that. So I think things are very different than in the 70s too, because with the technology so many more people are able to upload their music onto Soundcloud and YouTube, and, you know, services like that - there's just more of us, and you can see so many people. So how do you stand out when there's so many more people in it and the flow isn't controlled, necessarily, by album sales or being on the radio? So things are changing, but probably for the better, in my opinion. Because of the way things are set up I've been empowered to really take the music that I make and treat it like a business. and really work on being self-sufficient. And I'm having a great time.

JanaeSound, thank you very much - appreciate the time.

Thank you. - NPR Maine Public

"On the Record"

singer-songwriter who’s new to Portland, where she performs monthly at Blue and recently collaborated with Big Room Studios on a virtual reality-accented live performance of her single “Diamonds” in a show produced by Creative Portland at Merrill Auditorium.

Woodruff, who performs as JanaeSound, sat down with Mainebiz to talk about music and the entrepreneurial challenge of being an independent artist.

Mainebiz: What brought you to Maine?

Janay Woodruff: I moved to Maine in August of 2016. My husband, whom I met and started dating when we were 13, brought me out here, and we got married a week after I stepped off the plane from St. Louis. We were staying with his folks in Woolwich, and then moved to Portland in March of last year.

MB: When did you first get serious about music?

JW: I was really fortunate when I was nine years old to be cast in “La Bohème” through the Opera Theatre at St. Louis. Then in my teenage years, my singing was more of backing up other artists and collaborating with rap artists in St. Louis. I knew that I wanted to do my own thing and was trying to figure out my own sound, and landed on rock with pop and soul influences. My first performance as JanaeSound was in 2017, opening for Flo Rida in St. Louis.

MB: What’s your assessment of the Portland music scene?

JW: We have a lot of talent here, so many good musicians, and people have been so welcoming. It’s so hard to start over in a new place, which is why I wear my name everywhere so people can learn it.

MB: Why the name JanaeSound?

JW: I’m a person, and JanaeSound is a brand. I wanted to disassociate Janay Woodruff from JanaeSound, so that I could be treated as a person and not be hurt when JanaeSound is inevitably treated like a thing.

MB: As an independent artist, you’re also an entrepreneur. What’s the hardest part?

JW: My folks are entrepreneurs, they have a construction company they started when I was an adult and I helped them build. I was raised to work really hard — and if you have that drive, why not work for yourself? There are days where it’s hard, but I like wearing all the hats and it’s fun because you get to make all the decisions.

MB: How much time do you spend on the business versus the artistic side?

JW: I didn’t realize until I got going that music is only 10% of the work. I spend every single day writing a song, and then the rest of it is crazy — dance rehearsal, a photo shoot, band rehearsal, travelling. I wish and hope that one day my job will mostly be just writing and performing.

MB: How many songs have you released so far?

JW: Two singles for purchase — “Diamonds” and “Break Me Down.” I have one EP ready to go, so many more written, and tons and tons of demos because songwriting is my passion.

MB: What was the inspiration for “Diamonds?”

JW: “Diamonds” is one of the most honest songs I’ve written. I actually wrote it in a really dark place when I thought I should quit music.

MB: Did the song change your mind?

JW: The song is about realizing that even if all you have is faith, do it, and so I want anyone that listens to it to know that you should keep going in whatever you’re pursuing and don’t give up on yourself.

MB: Do services like Spotify make it easier for new artists to get out there?

JW: It makes it easier for me to put my music out so that someone could find it, but there are so many artists. I’m not sure if that means that just because I’m on Spotify that someone will listen. That’s where the work comes in.

MB: What’s next for JanaeSound?

JW: 2019 will be all about releasing more visual content, and this won’t be the last time you see me working with Big Room Studios. - Maine Biz


Break me down
Death of Me
You Knew 



JanaeSound (BMI) harnesses an unforgettable voice that is known to stir the soul. The powerhouse rock singer hails from St. Louis where she began cultivating her love for music at the tender age of 9 through the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Known for her laser focus and unshakeable drive, JanaeSound was unsurprisingly tapped to open for FloRida alongside hometown hero Allen Gates at the 2017 NOW 96.3 NOW Night Out. Currently based in Portland, Maine, she has booked over 100 shows since her debut performance in Maine at the 2nd Annual Soul Revue at Portland House of Music and Events (July 2017). JanaeSound has also performed at the Heart Soul & Substance Festival,  Sunaana Winter Music Festival, Bitter End (NYC), AllRoads Music Festival, Harvest Moon Festival, Federal Frenzy, The Mint (LA), Hotel Café (LA, BMI Showcase). Janaesound has appeared in Maine Biz, Maine Today, Bangor Daily News, Old Port Magazine, Portland Magazine, The Kotzschmar organ. Her music is in rotation at WMPG, WHOM (Commercial), WCYY (Commercial), WBLM (Commercial), WCLZ (commercial), WHSN (Commercial)

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