“Force of Nature” does not begin to describe Janice Robinson. From her years of “Dreamer” with Livin’ Joy, she broke out on her own, and as the single on her criminally underrated album The Color Within Me says, there is just about “nothing she would change”. Recently, Robinson appeared on the UK version of The X-Factor and brought Simon Cowell to his feet and Robbie Williams to tears as she tore into the mid 90’s classic Dreamer, shocking the entire audience and showing the kids that it’s never too late to see your dreams realized.
As her new single Freedom with music icon David Morales hits airwaves worldwide, this divine and accomplished singer/songwriter sat down with me to talk about her return to the spotlight, the men that have helped shape her musical journey, and what it’s like having the undying adoration of the LGBTQ community,
Michael Cook: First up; what has Janice Robinson been up to? We saw your re-emergence on The X Factor last year and it went viral with dance music fans and beyond!
Janice Robinson: That moment is still very surreal. Everything that led up to the airing of my audition was unique; my life had already changed dramatically because I had spent the summer in the hospital with my teenage daughter who was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri. As much as my heart was filled with joy seeing my audition go viral and seeing the inspiration it gave so many people, my heart was breaking at the same time. In the end, I know that my life my story & my journey can inspire anyone from around the world; no matter what your faced with in life-never give up. It feels like I am the artist I was always going to be, which is an inspirational artist.
MC: Take me back; how did you start singing and when did you know that you had a voice of this magnitude?
JR: I began singing in my fathers Baptist Church. I was five years old & it was a Christmas program at church. I was asked to sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. I somehow figured out how to do it in my own unique way and the entire church went crazy! I was very soulful and my voice was bigger then my body. I felt a transformation in my life at that moment, at the age of five. I just knew that this was something I was destined to do.
MC: What are your favorite memories about the “Dreamer” and Livin’ Joy era?
JR: My favorite memories of the Livin’ Joy era is the LGBT fans in the New York City clubs and the amazing fans in the UK. I literally remember feeling so blessed and so happy; I couldn’t believe how people reacted to this song, this simple little song that I wrote on the train in Italy. I’m a dreamer and I feel so fortunate and blessed that I’m able to live my dreams.
MC: What was it like singing “Dreamer” up on that stage of The X Factor and getting that response, especially from Robbie Williams?
JR: It was a very emotional moment on stage I actually sang for about five minutes, edited down for television. Robbie‘s reaction moved me to tears because he also had left a group and had to fight to be Robbie Williams, and not a boy from “Take That”; he fought to be Robbie Williams as I fight today to be Janice Robinson. it’s a big risk leaving something that’s known, but I can I have faith in God and I have faith in myself and in what I was born to do. I wasn’t born to become self-consumed and self-absorbed. I was born to inspire, to encourage, to uplift, and to bring a feeling to people. So many people get caught up in the notoriety of things and they forget that God has a plan and a purpose for their life.
MC: What was the entire The X Factor experience like?
JR: The X Factor experience was something out of Alice In Wonderland. I felt like I had fallen into the rabbit hole and it was like The Matrix meets Alice in Wonderland. My heart really breaks for the young people who have only this platform to showcase their talents. It’s just a different era, I would never want my children to go the television talent competition route. I’m a grown woman, so I understood why they asked me to be on that show; I understood the story they wanted to tell. I knew God was going to use that platform as a simple elevation into my transformation so that I could be a blessing to the masses. The best part was that I enjoyed sharing wisdom and encouraging words to the young contestants on the show. I thought there was some really amazing talent and I was really honored to be on the show with such a high level of vocal talent. They were some amazing singers, but there were very few stars you know those that have a true “X-Factor”.
MC: Your new single “Freedom” is with the legend that is David Morales. Tell me about this masterful new song!
JR: Oh “Freedom”.. I wrote it on my piano in my home in Naples, Florida. I had been going through a major lawsuit with my broken leg and there was just so much injustice happening and just so many horrible things happening in the world. It was just one thing after the other; the political scene, the mud slinging, the commentaries, and the President. It was just a time in life that I just felt like we needed “freedom”! I had just had enough; I said, if I have to lay my life down for freedom, then that’s the intention behind the song. That you’ve got to stand up and do something. We all have a voice and we all can make our voice be heard. You have to be fearless and have courage that’s what it takes to get freedom. People died for me to be free, my ancestors fought and marched; I will be damned if I go back to some world where I’m not allowed to to eat in a certain restaurant or I’m not allowed to go into another country, that’s crazy.
MC: Some of your music is so connected overseas and your fan base in places like Italy is monumental and they show so much love; What is it like performing to crowds like that?
JR: Having fans in different countries is an extraordinary feeling it makes me feel like this is a universal gift that God gave me to be able to touch the masses in any language. When I look out into a sea of people in Italy, it’s about love and that connection we have and I absolutely love it; I just love it.
MC: You have worked with some masterful men in music and I would love to hear about them; let me give you a couple names, I want you to tell me what these people have meant to you and some thoughts; first up; David Morales
JR: David Morales is a musical soulmate, a musical angel. I feel like God chose him to find me in the wilderness of life and he took my hand and brought me back into my artistry, into myself. I am forever grateful; he’s my brother, he’s my family, he’s my producer and he means the world to me. He’s a legend, a genius, and I’m grateful.
MC: David Henney.
JR: David Henney he is a music industry angel. He’s a cheerleader, he made me feel like I could soar and touch the moon. His love and his support as I was beginning my career was immaculate. He’s one of those men that when “Dreamer” was released, his excitement and support meant the world to me, it meant everything.
MC: Chris Padilla.
JR: Chris is my angel and I was his angel. We fell in love in the most unique special way through our heartache and hardships we found a bond during the most heartbreaking time. We just loved each other and at the time, had never met. We would just write each other on Facebook messenger and then I remember his cancer began and I said “OK I’m gonna come and visit you and we’re going to watch the sunset”. I broke my leg and ankle after I got home from California, and when I didn’t see him commenting on my post I was so worried; where is my friend? I finally got in touch with him and I spent the last fifty five days of his life caring for him and loving him like a wife cares for her husband. I just knew I had to be there for him; he was there for me when I my little brother died. Even though we had never met physically up until then, I knew how much he loved my music and I felt it was my duty to be there for him.
MC: What is left for you to see in this world?
JR: I want to see Mount Everest. I want to see go to Nepal & spend time with the monks I want to go to spiritual places around the world. That’s what I want to see and of course, I want to see heaven one day.
MC: What gives you pride?
JR: What gives me pride is seeing the smiles on my daughter’s faces every day. Hearing their laughter in our home every day when I look out to see my LGBTQ fans and they’re smiling. Just knowing that God chose me to be a voice for the LGBTQ community. I know God loves us all; I just know it does not matter who you identify with or who you choose to love; God still loves us.
All Art Courtesy of Janice Robinson (Facebook)
Check out Janice Robinson @ http:// https://janicerobinsonsings.dudaone.com/