GLM: Growing up in a musical family, how did that prepare you for the business of being an independent artist?
Jurni: Actually, there was no preparation. I was a good kid. I generally did what I was told, didn’t run away from home, but I did have a rebellious streak. Mine came out as “I don’t want to do music, I want to do my own thing.” My parents respected that. So I graduated high school, went to college, received TWO degrees and went to work (in my field which most college students don’t do. lol). I worked for 4 years in my field but music just kept calling to me. I would sing all the time. People would ask me, “Why do you work here? Why aren’t you doing something with your music?” So, I decided to do something. And here I am.
GLM: With your style and sound, why is it important you for you to be known as an artist who is openly lesbian?
Jurni: In the lesbian world, I am the “invisible” femme. Because I don’t “look” gay, I’m invisible to both the heterosexual and homosexual communities UNLESS I speak up. My music is my way of speaking up. Also, it’s my way of reaching out to others in the homosexual community who are not comfortable with their sexuality and letting them know that you can follow your dreams and do whatever you want, regardless of ANY background (be it African American, female, from the hood, straight, gay, etc). My music also deals with a lot of “regular” scenarios so that heterosexual people realize that we go through the same things regardless of our sexual preferences.
GLM: What is the inspiration behind the HIV/AIDS Anthem?
Jurni: Kevin Dupree of He(ART) & Soul in Houston, TX asked me to perform in an event that was themed “Artist for the Fight Against AIDS.” I didn’t know a THING about HIV/AIDS. All I knew was I had been tested and I was negative. So I started to research things about this epidemic. The thing that kept coming up was “get tested” “know your status” etc. But I noticed that there was NOTHING about people who were positive. I wrote my anthem to erase stigmas behind the epidemic so that people would know that no matter what their results were, positive or not positive, it does not define who they are.
GLM: Outside of your music, what artists/groups/projects are really grabbing your ear right now?
Jurni: Right now, I’ve been checking out a lot of indie artists on www.reverbnation.com. There is a lot of undiscovered talent out there. I don’t listen to FM radio much (I’m an internet radio kind of gal!). The mainstream artist I listen to are Nneka, Ayo, Adele and other “folky” soul type artists.
GLM: What can fans expect from Jurni Rayne in the next twelve months?
Jurni: In the next twelve months, I plan to be mostly finished with my second project. I am finishing up the first project now , Jurni Rayne: Finding My Way. I have released my first single “You Lied” on iTunes with a second single AND music video to soon follow! I plan to have more tour dates, including but not limited to YOUR local Black Prides!
Hear Jurni Rayne live this Saturday night at the Victory Grill, along with artists, the Qure, Smut Stud, and headliner/host, Tim’m T. West. The Victory Grill is located at 1104 E. 11th Street in Austin, Texas. The show is free before 8:30pm; $5 after. For more information, call 512-472-2001 or email allgo[at]allgo.org