Over the last decade, we’ve seen a huge proliferation in talented EDM artists making waves in the scene. Among these artists is a new generation of females that are breaking barriers and shattering preconceptions about what makes a music producer. One producer in particular — known as JVNA — has really made a name for herself in recent years.
Since highlighting her in my article 10 Female EDM Producers You Need To Know, JVNA — whose real name is Jana Ma — has exploded into popularity with a colorful catalog of innovative songs and a charming persona, both on-stage and online. It seems the time is right to dig deeper into JVNA’s career and learn more about one of EDM’s new rising stars.
What we know of JVNA’s early life is that when she was six-years-old, her mother moved them from Taiwan to the U.S. to start a new life. While living in California, JVNA’s mother enrolled her in a multitude of music classes which lead her to develop a deep passion for music. Some of the classes included cello, violin, singing, piano, jazz, and pop. All of this information was provided by JVNA in a post she was featured in on her college website.
As for college, JVNA posted over social media in June of 2019 that she had finally graduated from a four-year program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Assuming her school trajectory followed that of most other Americans, this would make JVNA’s age (at the time of writing) somewhere between 21 and 23.
College is where JVNA blossomed as a musician. During her time at SFCM, she became the winner of the KDFC radio station’s Sound Logo competition in 2016. More information about JVNA’s role in this competition can be read about on SFCM’s highlight post. SFCM also uploaded a video on YouTube of JVNA speaking briefly about her win.
After winning this competition, JVNA’s musical path was set. Her $1,000 prize from the competition afforded her the equipment, credibility, and confidence needed to begin a professional music career. She’d go on to work for an audio equipment store called sE Electronics and record a series of tracks on Soundcloud. These early, pre-JVNA tracks can still be found on her old Soundcloud profile below:
As early as 2016, JVNA starting streaming on Twitch where she’d record herself DJing, gaming, and interacting with her day-one fans. Some of these streams were recorded and uploaded onto YouTube. To this day (and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic), JVNA is still one of the more frequent Twitch streamers in the EDM scene.
Unfortunately, JVNA’s career isn’t without a little controversy. In mid-2019, JVNA and another streamer — known as iGumdrop — were doing an IRL stream in the city. They walked passed an African-American man speaking to someone aggressively on the phone. Something he said spooked the streamers, causing them to start running as JVNA repeatedly yelled, “hold your purse!” while laughing. Take a look at the video below and draw your own conclusions.
Regardless of what was really going through the heads of JVNA and iGumdrop during this event, both streamers took to social media to issue apology videos. Below is JVNA’s apology, and iGumdrop’s can be found here.
Many people still criticize JVNA over the original event and the apology video, noting the seeming insensitivity and insincerity of the videos. Luckily for JVNA, this controversy hardly slowed her trajectory. After a few weeks of silence, she eventually got back to the grind.
Controversy aside, there’s no question that JVNA is a talented musical force who will continue to make creative strides in her career.
The year 2016 saw the release of her first EP titled Ethereality, a three-track project that showcased some of her early electronic sounds. The next couple of years would see just a handful of singles, mostly in the form of covers and remixes. It wasn’t until 2018 that JVNA surprised fans with her breakout song ‘I’m With You.’ This was also her first music video release. ‘I’m With You’ was written in remembrance of her father who passed away two years prior to the song’s release.
Subsequent releases from JVNA saw increased utilization of her own vocals. Furthermore, her aesthetic and artistic persona became more fleshed out. Vibrant, neon colors and fantasy-like caricatures of herself started appearing on her cover art. Also, a more distinct musical style started emerging through her sounds. To quote from my aforementioned post about female EDM producers:
JVNA’s musical style can be described as melodic and bassy with influences from the likes of Illenium, Seven Lions and Porter Robinson. She feeds into your nostalgia with serene remixes of video game tracks such as for Kingdom Hearts and Nier: Automata. As seen from her live mixes, JVNA tends to favor building you up with emotional lyrics over melodic tracks before switching it up into grimy, glitchy trap and dubstep jams.
Most importantly, JVNA has been releasing a steady stream of originals on which she offers her own refined and distinct vocals. She enjoys making covers of popular tracks, such as her beautiful rendition of ‘Crashing’ by Illenium. And to further showcase her artistic ambitions, she has released music videos for several of her originals and covers.
As her popularity increases, JVNA’s list of collaborators and guest appearances is becoming a little more high-profile. Bass music producer Luca Lush collaborated on the track ‘Reign (Will I Still Be the Same?)’ in late 2019. Moreover, popular producers Vincent and Quix have appeared on her Twitch livestreams.
So far, 2020 has seen one song release from JVNA called ‘Gurenge,’ which is actually a cover of a song from the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu noYaiba anime series. Also, she released a remix compilation album called JVNA Remixed: Vol 1. Remixers include up-and-coming bass producer LICK, as well as Pauline Herr, Kotori, Knock2, and The Lost Boys.
What does the future hold for JVNA? Already she has embarked on multiple headlining tours. Her Catch Me tour occurred last year, and her City of Dreams tour is currently underway. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Dreams tour was replaced by several Twitch livestream events.
In fact, JVNA often leverages her savviness with livestreams to throw entirely virtual events. On March 22nd, 2020, she hosted Cardinal Fest, a virtual festival that raised over $19,000 to go toward Covid-19 disaster relief efforts. Going forward, JVNA will also appear at Insomniac’s Virtual Rave-a-thon festival and Brownies & Lemonade’s Digital Mirage online music festival.
Now that she’s honing in on a signature sound, we’ll most likely start seeing an acceleration of song releases from JVNA as well. Hopefully, that means more EPs and albums in the works too!
For now, be sure to keep tabs on JVNA’s career via social media: