Janis Dionne McDavid

Ms. Janis started writing songs 15 years ago and is proud to be putting out her first album Ms. Janis' Music 4 Me! Volume #1. Her goal is to write children’s songs that parents and teachers also love. As a child growing up in Greenville, S.C. Ms. Janis was extremely shy. “I remember singing in the choir at the age of 7—which is a very Southern Baptist thing to do—but it wasn’t until I was 12 and I started attending the local performing arts school that I started to sing BOLDLY.” Ms. Janis also fell in love with children’s television shows in the 1970s, because they did a great job of entertaining the kids, but they also taught valuable lessons. She says of her work, “My songs are educational. Each one is teaching the children a skill that is going to help them throughout the rest of their lives.”

How do you describe your music to people, Ms. Janis?
My bigest influences are Tina Turner and Cookie Monster.  I look up to children's performers like Laurie Berkner and Carole Peterson.  I educate through music, and I make it very hip and modern.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I began writing songs in 1999.  I started writing children's songs in 2005.  I am an eductaor who works with children mostly between the ages of 2 and 6.  There is a lot of singing going on with children that age.  When you are teaching toddlers, you might even sing about going to the bathroom, so it just came naturally for me in this environment to write children's songs.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Looking into a child's smiling eyes.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
having time to do it all.  I aspire to do so many things for children in my work, and it's hard for me to just stop and put everything down.  however, I have to because cooking dinner, and working out, and socializing is very important to me as well.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A superstar of course!  Along with being a lawyer, doctor, Nun, etc.  I was a kid that dreamed and imagined a lot.  One thing I didn't think I ever wanted to be was a teacher, and I have become a very good one, and feel very blessed about that.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Writing music in New York and especially Brooklyn has given me the strength to accomplish many things.  There is such a driving energy in this place that makes you want to do great things.  Even if you might not be doing well in some aspect of your life, you can step outside on the curb, and take in everything that's going on around you and take that energy and go with it, and let it drive you.  I was totally inspired by the children that I see every day in the classroom, at birthday parties and events, and even just passing by in the street.  Children absolutely lighten up my life.  You can hear that in my music.

What other artists out there do you love?
I love Ella Jenkins, Dave Jay, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Shrek!

What does your future hold?
I'm shooting a series of videos to go along with my CD in this month.  I see myself performing more live events at festivals, and private concerts at schools.  I also see myself licensing my music for t.v and film.  I would love to be involved with Nick Jr., and PBS.