Meet Ja’Sonia, winner of our SAINt JHN mentor session
Last year, SoundCloud and Xfinity Mobile teamed up to present Your Music, Your Way, a contest that showcased genre-defying tracks submitted by creators who follow their own rules. The track that captured our attention was “Spending Time” by Ja’Sonia Hinton, a.k.a. Ja’Sonia, whose soulful vocals, catchy percussion and synthy production led her to win a virtual mentor session with SAINt JHN.
We caught up Ja’Sonia over email about her influences, music-making process and her favorite industry advice from SAINt JHN.
How’d you get started making music?
I started making music when I knew that I had a voice. I come from a family of singers so I guess you can say it’s always been there. I wrote my very first song when I was in the third grade. I grew up in a Christian household so my inspiration for my lyrics at the time were inspired by what I was surrounded by and what I heard about every day — God. What really got me started making music was when I had my very first solo at the age of nine in church. That’s when I really knew I had a gift!
What inspired your winning song “Spending Time” and what was your creative process?
What inspired “Spending Time’’ is actually really embarrassing, lol. It’s inspired by a guy that I was interested in at the time! I was in my feelings and I was talking my shit, basically letting him know without really letting him know that I was really feeling him, a.k.a. shooting my shot in the best way that I knew how and that is writing a song about it, lol.
What is your recording set-up like?
My recording set-up is very calm and personal! I don’t like it when there are a lot of people in my sessions because I CANNOT think and it’s just too much for me. That’s why I love to record by myself. Candles, ginger/mint tea, incense, dimmed lights, my notepad — and we are good to go!
Who are the artists that inspire you?
Billie Holiday, Sade, India.Arie, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bob Marley, Kelis, Brandy, Andre 3000, Chronixx, Nas, just to name a few. Trust me, I have a lot more!
How do you make music your own way?
I make music my own way because it directly comes from my heart and spirit. Whatever feeling or emotion I’m going through, I write it down. That’s how most of my songs come alive — simply from writing how I feel and the rest comes organically!
What are the elements that make your music distinctly yours?
I think it’s the way I approach my verses, my environment, my emotions throughout the day and just the overall vibe. My music and my voice are pretty different so it doesn’t sound like anything you hear on the radio. That’s what I love most about my vibe.
How was your session with SAINt JHN?
My session with SAINt JHN was absolutely AMAZING! I really can’t explain into words how much of an impact he’s made on my life on my life. From his presence, how he carried himself, to his genius advice that he’s given me, his encouragement, that whole Zoom call had me speechless. He was the highlight. Period. He’s a vessel and for him to extend himself to me in that way has truly given me life! Thank you for this opportunity! I will cherish that day for the rest of my life.
Did you receive good advice from SAINt JHN?
Yes! “Learn, adapt, keep moving forward.’’ It’s self-explanatory and something to keep in mind within this industry and in general.
What’s next for you in terms of both life and your music career?
I’m gonna continue to share my music as much as I can and continue living my life! This is not the last time everyone is gonna hear from me because it’s only up from here! God has given me a gift and I plan on using it! I am HERE! More abundance, more love, and more life!!!!! ASE!