Join Kelly Sicat, Director of the Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), in conversation with vocalist, activist, and LAP Guest Fellow Jennifer Johns as they discuss self-care, joy, vision, interdependence and freedom, and the evolution of her Free U Now Manifesto.
Jennifer Johns is a powerhouse, vocalist, songwriter, producer, activist, and entrepreneur who creates sounds, experiences, and products that are sure to stir your soul, inspire your mind and move your body.
Ms. Johns has taken her brand of “afro-diasporic world music” all over the globe, rocking stages from Denver to Dusseldorf, Los Angeles to London, Kuala Lumpur to Kampala. Jennifer has shared line ups with some of the best in the business including the likes of Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Capelton, Ziggy Marley, Gil Scott Heron, Wyclef, Les Nubian, De La Soul, and Common to name just a few.
Jennifer’s journey as a recording artist began in 2004 with the underground success of her first album, HeavyElectroMagneticSoularPoeticJungleHop. Songs like the title track “Heavy” with its accompanying artfully futuristic video, broke through the national and international underground soul and hip hop scene making Jennifer a notable force in her field.
In 2008, Jennifer shifted her attention from the entertainment industry to leveraging her art for social movements. Immediately she began to find herself sharing stages with thought leaders like Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith, Van Jones, Phaedra Ellis-Lampkins, Malkiya Cyril, Dr. Shawn Ginwright and more. Her brand of soul-inspiring sounds has landed her gigs at The Kennedy Center, The Apollo, and on stage for both NFL World Bowl and The NFL Hall of Fame.
Over the last 8 years, Jennifer has also become a Green For All Fellow, a BoldFood Fellow, Artist in Residence at Food First, the First Artist in Residence at Langston Hughes Center for Performing Arts Institute, and an LAP Guest Artist.
In February of 2016, Jennifer began a journey called The F.U.N. Manifesto to ask people about their ideas of freedom. What was meant to be a three-week trip became a 10-month odyssey that ultimately produced Jennifer’s first official release in nearly 10 years, AZANIA.