Janice Jo Lee is a dynamic artist, born in Toronto to a Korean immigrant family. By the time she graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in English Literature, she was a songwriter performing locally with The Radical Choir.
It’s been almost seven years since Janice’s last album, Sing Hey. In that time she’s been through total and utter burnout and spiritual destruction, through rest and healing, to where she is now – feeling well and whole and full of love.
The last album was made with the dregs of her energy and no resources. In contrast, the upcoming album, Ancestor Song (2023), is Janice’s musical vision completely realized, fully supported on the engineering and producing end by fellow Kitchener-Waterloo musician, JoJo Worthington.
“Here I Am” is the first single from Ancestor Song. It’s a declaration song that she envisions as an opener to her live show. It was actually written the night before the album release for Sing Hey. She wanted to start the show by clapping and getting everyone’s attention and bringing everyone together through rhythm.
“When I came up as a singer-songwriter in Kitchener-Waterloo, there were a handful of other women and femme musicians of colour in my community,” says Janice. “It was my dream to have them all back me up on this track like a girl gang. To bring us all together and say: move over, we are here. So I’m thrilled that we have Alysha Brilla, Elsa Jayne, Joni NehRita, Camila Diaz-Varela and Charlena Russell on this tune. These are individuals who have each inspired me and have witnessed my journey as a human being, so it’s a very big deal for me to have all our voices on this song together.”