new single March 2023

Ancestor song pre-release crowdfunder sale

After 7 years, I finally did it and recorded my new album Ancestor Song! 

This album is my masterpiece. Mistresspiece. Gorgeouspiece. Best thing I’ve ever made. 

Everyone who donates any amount will receive a copy of the digital album via email. Everyone who donates $30 or more will receive a copy of the CD in the mail. **You must go to this separate FORM so I can collect your email/address because GoFundMe doesn't give me your personal info*** and please do give me your email because I want everyone to listen to the album :) 

Your support will help me break even on this ginormous album project ^_^ 

I became an artist in Kitchener-Waterloo. The KW community supported me. I wrote these songs harnessing the joy and struggle that I experienced. In moving back to my borntown of Toronto/Tkaronto, I’ve had time and space to create, connect with new audiences, find larger artistic infrastructure--do less resisting oppression and do more finding freedom.   

I am an Independent Artist and I need your support~! 

Recording is expensive in these times of inflation and recession. The Pandemic decimated my arts practice and it's been very tough to make the same living I did pre-lockdown. Touring has so much more risk involved and even new opportunities are limited because presenters are still catching up bringing in the artists they had to cancel before. 

The Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts funded three quarters of this project. More than half of the money has gone to paying musicians and music producers, hooray! A quarter to studio rental, and the last quarter to duplication, marketing and a part of my artist fee. Our arts infrastructure is currently not built to cultivate independent artist careers, like mine. That’s where you come in! The goal was always to have you, the listener, the music-lover, support and fund the last quarter of this project by buying the completed album.  

Everybody knows I hate Spotify and streaming services, because it exploits the labour of the workers (the musicians) to create profit for the owners by paying miniscule royalties. But I have finally decided to submit to this system and put my music up. The album launches on streaming worldwide on May 1, 2023. But the only way I can make some sales is with this soft launch of the album. This is my way to Folk the System. 

I need your support to keep my art going. I make my art for my community. You are my audience. I hope you want to hear my new songs, sparkling and in stereo!  

-Other Ways You Can Help-   

Please share with your friends.   

Follow me on Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ETC. Granting bodies and festivals care about these things.   

Alternately, if you don't have a Credit Card or want to use the GoFundMe platform I will humbly and happily receive donations via e-transfer to janjolee(a) =)   

Thank you for helping me and I hope you enjoy the songs!   


new single

New Single "HERE I AM"

Taking up Space / when you've been taught your whole life / to be small / and quiet

Janice Jo Lee’s art as a musician, poet, and playwright has always been as one with her activism, immersed in issues of gender empowerment, community, climate change, the environment, and antiracism. She offers “Here I Am,” a funky, empowering anthem, as the first advance single from her long anticipated song cycle album titled Ancestor Song, set for 2023 release. 

The songs are folk in tradition, concerned with contemporary issues of the people and land. The melodies are rousingly thematic and supported by expansive jazz harmonies.

“I wanted to write a declaration song to open my live show,” she recalls. “I actually wrote ‘Here I Am’ the night before the album release for my last record Sing Hey. I wanted to start the show by clapping and getting everyone’s attention. Initially it was a repeat-after-me, which is a very folk song form. The intention was to bring everyone together through rhythm.

“The song features vocal unison, spoken word, and shout-singing to invoke the feeling of being at a demonstration, taking up public space, a sense of defiance.

“I played trumpet in grade school and we always had the melody. This song functions as the opening tune on the album, so the trumpet is a herald, make way, make room, it’s about to go down. The outro features water cup percussion which were literally mugs from the studio kitchen. We’re just having fun, grabbing makeshift instruments and hitting the streets.

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Sing Hey

Janice Jo Lee

These are survival songs. Affirmations of sadness, celebrations of love, songs to sing to get free.
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