Alternative R&B/soul singer Britney Jane has spent most of the past few years backing up fellow Denver singers Lee Clark Allen and Kayla Marque. Until recently, she had yet to focus on writing her own songs and telling the world her story. With the world in a state of flux, now seemed like a good time to make a change.
"With everything going on with COVID and stuff, I was like, 'You know, this is a perfect opportunity,'" Jane says. "Each year, I'm always writing my goals down, and focusing on my music was something I always wrote down. I was like, 'This is my time to do it.'"
Jane recently released her first single, "Blossom," a song that sprang from her frustrations with a toxic relationship that is now, thankfully, in her past. While the lyrics don't directly address the problems of not being respected, appreciated or valued as a Black woman, the chorus, "I'm a flower/I've got the power/I look good/I'm about to blossom," carries that message.
"Sometimes when we are in relationships, we tend to give all of ourselves to the point where we stop giving to our own selves," Jane says. "Especially within the Black community, there is a lack of appreciation for Black women. We're known as angry, and always in our feelings and always having an attitude."
She adds that while all those qualities might be true, you can't say that a Black woman's love is not the best love to experience. The message of "Blossom" is a reminder to Black women and women in general that they have the power to shape their destinies.
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"We're beautiful how we are," she says. "We are blossoming into something that's going to be so great once we have that acceptance and realize that a troubled relationship or that negative person in your life no longer needs to be there and letting them go."
The song offers airy, lilting synth lines over a classic boom-bap drum track. Her voice carries a hint of empowered sadness that evokes Mary J. Blige, and the track recalls ’90s R&B/hip-hop crossover songs in the best way. Denver rapper Donny Blot (pronounced "Blow") contributes a verse and backing vocals that also hark back to golden-era hip-hop.
Jane is originally from Roanoke, Virginia, and came out to Colorado about six years ago with not much more than her Jeep and dog. It's been a fruitful place as she has worked with Allen and Marque, as well as Kid Astronaut, Swank Sinatra and Blot.
She lost her father about fourteen years ago, another event that has shaped her life profoundly. For several years, she struggled to make peace with the loss. Her parents, whom she describes as older, influenced her taste in music, turning her on to Motown and icons like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. The latter is a huge influence.
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"Hearing the pain and struggle in her voice is so important to capture in my music," she says. "I want to capture that emotion, the rawness within my voice."
"Blossom" is just the first single off a planned four-song EP, In My Feelings, that is not yet finished. The future is tough to predict right now, but Jane says she is excited that her moment has finally revealed itself.
"It's important for me to share my story so that I can be an example to others," she says. "We tend to hide things we've experienced, and we feel like we have to go through things alone. ... You aren't in this alone. I've gone through the same thing."
"Blossom" is available on Spotify.