Q: This is such an incredibly powerful ballad. We see you have some big names behind the track, such as Terrence Rolle (collaborator of Pharrell’s Happy) and Grammy-nominated mastering engineer, Dave Kutch. What was your creative process in making “Brain On Fire”?
JOVANNA: The lyrics to Brain on Fire was created over a period of time in my bedroom. Once I wrote the lyrics, I was very fortunate to meet Terrence who understood what I had in mind for the musical arrangement, my vision for the song. Having the song mastered by Dave Kutch was just icing on the cake.
Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the single?
JOVANNA: Yes. Brain on Fire came from a very dark place in my life. I wrote the song during a time that I struggled with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorder. At that time, I really didn’t know what was going on with me. I had these repetitive and irrational thoughts that just wouldn’t go away. I just couldn’t think straight. Eventually, I got help, but it was very difficult for me. I was worried about the stigma. You know what would people think of me. But I realize now that talking about it has been part of my healing process. I hope the song will inspire others going through a tough time because it is okay to talk about mental health issues and get help. Q: How has studying at Berklee School of Music affected your music career? I’m so glad you asked me this question! Studying at Berklee has been great. I am studying songwriting and music business and it really has helped me for the better! I’m learning so much that I didn’t know it would be essential for me to know as an artist.
Q: Your vocals are phenomenal! Who are your biggest influences?
JOVANNA: Oh, why thank you! My biggest influences are Demi Lovato (I am a huge Lovatic), Janis Joplin, Etta James, James Arthur, and Prince. I absolutely love their music and their artistry has molded me into the singer I am today.
Q: How has growing up in South Florida affected your music?
JOVANNA: South Florida is a very diverse place with people of different backgrounds. Therefore, I have been fortunate to experience in music the same type of diversity and richness in culture. By being exposed to diverse sounds, I am always open to experimenting with sounds.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from singing the national anthem for the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins and the Florida Panthers?
JOVANNA: The biggest takeaway was me confirming that I love to perform in front of large audiences. I was 16 when I first performed the anthem for the Miami Heat at the American Airlines arena. It was packed that night. Singing before a huge audience was such a rush. I realized then that I wanted to be a performer.
Q: What is coming up next for you? Soon I am planning to put out an
JOVANNA: E.P. in late summer, probably early fall.
Q: What would you like to tell your supporters out there?
JOVANNA: I am really thankful for my fans. They’re awesome and supportive. I hope they continue to follow me on this journey, which is just beginning.