Where exactly in Canada are you from?
I'm actually from a bad neighborhood in Canada, which is "Jane and Finch" it's Northside Toronto and yeah, I was born here in Toronto.
How long have you been doing music?
I started doing music since I was 3, my dad has been in prison since I was a little girl and he wrote my music since I was 3 years old. I ended up actually going to prison for awhile, and then I actually started taking it very seriously. The guards used to walk by at night and they use to hear me singing and rapping and they told me that I should proceed in a career in music. In 2003, I started taking it seriously with the rapping, but then I switched my image and went more towards the R&B side.
Most of the artists that I came across where rappers or hip-hop artists. So, you started off rapping?
Oh yeah, if you look at the Jane from Finch's videos you'll see that I was very hardcore. That's why people can't believe that I'm actually the woman that I am now because I never betrayed myself. I've always been a bad gyal, always been in army gear, big chain, long nails. I just totally changed up my entire image.
So I'm assuming that you first realized that music was your calling from a young age?
You know, I started out dancing professionally when I was 9 years old. I think that is where my first love for music came about. Any dance move you gave me [to do] I could do, I memorized Thriller when I was 5. I started doing DJing when I was younger and then I started to grow up and dance again. I always danced, but I didn't think that I was feminine enough to sing and make people listen to me, I always felt so hard, that's why I stuck with rap. Now, I feel like I'm actually a lady and I can express myself softly through my music.
You're very artistic you dance, you rap, you sing, you're very versatile.
Can you tell me who inspires you musically?
*laughs* Who inspires me? Well, I guess I have a weird inspiration list because the artists that inspire me are Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige, Bob Marley, Faith Evans, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Brandy, Lil Kim, and 50 Cent.
Can you describe your style of music? Currently, you have two singles out. Tell me about “Grown”.
I get that question a lot. My style of music is message music. People will say "What kind of music do you do? Do you do reggae, do you do R&B?” I think it goes deeper than that so my music will always will have a message in it.I do. I have a team that I record with Sound Smith Productions, that’s like our incubator. I write the songs or we create them together. I titled the album “Grown”, because I am very honored to have the opportunity to show the world, who I am and what I've been through and what I never stopped at. I kept going and that's what I want us young women to do. So, that's what my music is sending that message, you know.
That is a vivid description! That's the first time I've heard it said that way.
Yes, that's how I describe my music. It's always going to leave a message with you. It's message music. For instance, "Everything" is a song where I'm overcoming so many battles my brother was murdered five years ago and I paused [on my music], but I kept believing in myself and I never gave up on myself that's what "Everything" is talking about. I’ve always wanted to be Free, I've never felt loose before [in my music]. I'm in a whole different era of my life and it's like I want to feel FREE! I've never been feminine. I was never the female that could let loose and that's what I'm talking about in the song. Again when you look back at my videos “Jane From Finch's” videos and you see it's nothing like what you're about to see now in my images. So, I think that my music will always leave a message with somebody. You're going to [be left with a message when you watch my videos].
Can you name any artists out of Toronto or out of Canada that you really like?
You know when everybody is trying to come out of the same city it becomes sort of like a rivalry. So, it's cool that there are people that you see working and you all support one another and respect each other’s grind.
Drake is doing really good, obviously, he opened doors for Canadians. Torey Lanez is another [contemporary] artist that I respect. Drake’s artist Baka Not Nice is another heavy hitter, he is doing really well right now. I was in New York and that's all they were playing [Baka]. I was a proud fellow Canadian. Baka had a similar background to me. He changed up his direction in music. The Weeknd obviously, I like his music as well. Alessia Cara is another artist that I really like from Canada. Julie Black is another artist that I like and she’s from Jane and Finch where I’m from. She worked her butt off, she's a really good artist and she's doing well right now. Those are people that I respect in the game that are doing their thing.
What events can we expect to see come out of the Canadian scene?
Music week is a good time [for the Canadian Music Scene]. It's an Informative week of different types of seminars and workshops to connect with different music creators. During Music Week the latest music software is revealed. Music artists gain the opportunity to get great advice on how to make it in the music industry. Manifesto is another big event with workshops and seminars with big named directors, producers and artists such as Sean Mendez.
Also, the concerts such as OVO Fest, Veld Festival and the Jazz Festival are great summer events to go musically.
A large percentage of the music industry is business and even with what we are doing with our IdOMUSIC North brand whether it be through panels or werkshops we empower and educate the artist. So, it's so awesome that other cities are creating that platform to give back to the artist.
Can you tell us how we can follow your movement and your brand through social media?
You can find me at Latoya Jane on Facebook. I'm on Instagram and I'm on Twitter. I have my own website which just launched since I just dropped the album. My website is www.latoyajane.com. I had an amazing album release party. It's all about perfect timing, I'm even honored even just to do this interview. I've been volunteering at the local High Schools lately.
When you come to Atlanta we look forward to werking with you in the studio!
We appreciate your time and good luck with everything!
IdOMUSIC North Correspondant - Courtney Mattingly