Kelowna singer/songwriter/voiceover actor sits down with Kelowna.com for an exclusive interview
By Mark Stone
Kelowna-based singer/songwriter/voiceover actor Janyse Jaud has been living the well-deserved life of a Hollywood star these days. In front of some of Hollywood’s most famous music industry professionals, Janyse (her stage name) accepted her award for her latest pop single This Day Is Mine (Remix) at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Janyse is still beaming from her recent trip to Los Angeles for the Awards, which honours both independent and professional musicians.
“I was just in L.A. for the awards and I was nominated in the jazz category. There were people there from England, Dubai… It was a real mix of independent and high profile people. It was a great opportunity for networking… I have three companies interested in my music now, and there’s an L.A. songwriter who I’m collaborating with right now (though I can’t say who). I was even able to get into the top voiceover agency in L.A. while I was there. I spent five days there and it was an amazing time.”
Strangely enough, her music award was for a remix of a song that was written for children.
“I won the award for This Day is Mine, the pop tune that was remixed. The original song is actually on my children’s album,” she says.
Janyse is proud to create music that not only makes people feel happy, but inspires and motivates as well.
“I combined my cartoon voices with my original music to help kids with their confidence. I decided to have it remixed to have it appeal to both kids and adults. It’s all about inspiration and motivation. I had so many parents tell me that they liked the songs and it made their kids feel good. I took it to these producers in Vancouver and told them what sound I wanted to have; something that Abba would have created. I wanted to stay along the same lines but more of a dance club beat.”
Perhaps due to the motivational nature of her children’s CD, both of Janyse’s CDs found their way into the gift bags for both the Grammys and the Oscars last year, an accomplishment she downplays but is still proud of.
“Thousands of companies want to be chosen for the gift bags each year [in reality it’s probably tens of thousands]. I believe they were chosen because the children’s CD develops self esteem in a fun way.”
When the multi-talented artist isn’t here composing new material for a new selection of songs, she’s in Vancouver lending her voice to projects for clients like Disney, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Fox, Marvel, and MGM. Her voiceover work for a Discovery Channel documentary even led to an Emmy award. Not a bad resume for someone who still lives and works in Kelowna.
The foundation for Janyse’s extensive career was set at an early age, but she didn’t know where it would all lead.
“I started writing music when I was nine, got into band, and things snowballed from there. I knew what I wanted to do when I was four. I didn’t know that you could make a job from being a voiceover actor. As a kid I thought those characters were real.”
Her impressive list of cartoon voiceover work began with Conan The Adventurer. “It was my first job, and I played the heroine. When I do the gigs I usually go to Vancouver. Sometimes I can even do it here, recording it in my home studio and send it out to them. But usually they want you there.”
Choosing between her two loves – voiceover acting and music – is a choice she feels she doesn’t have to make.
“I love both. When you’re in a studio doing voiceover work you get to play with these characters; one day you’re a villain, next day you’re a little girl, next day you’re a pony. It’s a very fun job. Songwriting and singing is just as rewarding so there’s no clear winner.”
When you hear actors who are famous for their voiceover work (like the voice cast of the Simpsons) claim that it’s the easiest job ever, you wonder if it’s really that easy.
“Is it easy or hard? It depends. Some actors come in and don’t know how to lift the words off the page properly,” she explains. “There is a craft to it. In voice over acting you get to become that character. When I’m Lady Death Strike in the Hulk, I take on that persona – the strength and the power. In My Little Pony it’s that cute innocent spirit of when you were four or five years old.
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