New Zealand isn’t home to just pop wunderkind Lorde. It’s the native land of your headphones’ next addiction, Janine & The Mixtape. Thanks to her trippy EP, Dark Mind, the New York transplant (real name Janine Foster) has snagged credits for VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (her song “Hold Me” soundtracked Bambi’s tragic miscarriage with boyfriend Lil’ Scrappy’s baby) and Black Ink.
Before reality shows and Netflix became a thing, Janine found her muse in street hip-hop mixtape franchise, And 1, which eventually birthed her stage name. “It was a combination of this tough but cute and cheesy girl who likes basketball,” she said.
Still, her lyrical offerings have been less than lighthearted. Her Dark Mind EP was a product of battling depression and suicidal thoughts for a decade. “It really was a transition from [having a] dark mind to a more positive frame of mind,” she says, referencing one of the more quotable lyrics from her project, “This truth ain’t pretty but neither is self pity.”
Vixens, click next to get familiar with Janine & The Mixtape and why she is vixen verified.
Birth Name: Janine Foster
Born In: New Zealand
Twitter Handle: @Janine_Mixtape
Link to her EP: https://soundcloud.com/janineandthemixtape
1. Her tone is magnetic. Since performing at open mics in New Zealand with a guitar at age 14, Janine’s voice is soothing but not a snooze. Sample it on “Let It Run” and “Hold Me.” She also delivers a stellar version of Fabolous’ “U Be Killin’ Em” on her Soundcloud called “Bang Bang,” before that Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj thing happened.
2. Excuses don’t exist in her world. After taking on a bachelor’s degree in music, she took up a job at a t-shirt shop then a temp administrative position to help fund her visa and one-way ticket to New York. “It kind of dawned on me like, ‘Damn, I have no excuse to be a struggling broke musician.’ She then began booking her own shows at venues like Pianos, Upstairs and SOB’s in NYC, thanks to Google.
3. She finds inspiration in everything. While her Dark Mind EP is full of pensive tunes, she has penned songs about everything, including grasshoppers since she was five years old. Her list of inspirations is also a mixed bag, including the likes of Aaliyah, NWA, Ja Rule Bon Iver and The Spice Girls.
4. Her positivity is contagious. Despite 10 years of teenagedom in angst, she embraces happiness like a wide-grinned emoji. “[The EP’s] taking something really horrible and negative and making something positive and beautiful.”
5. Her street style is comfy trill. The red-lipped crooner is a fan of sneakers and theatric make-up but she prefers her look the Drake way: sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on.
6. Her favorite hangout spot isn’t the club. When not in the booth, she’s balling. “The musical answer is the studio but outside of music is the basketball court. I love to just shoot hoops to clear my mind or the beach. Anything outdoorsy.”