Vibing ’90s Style With R&B Duo VanJess

Ivana and Jessica, also known as VanJess, take listeners on a trip back to the '90s with their unique voices. The Nigerian sisters began their singing careers by covering popular songs on their YouTube channel and slowly began releasing music of their own, including their 2016 hit "Adore" and their debut EP 00 Til Escape, which hit iTunes top ten charts in 2015. They have an upcoming project in the works, which they share more details about in our full interview with them. Check it out below!

How has the journey been since the beginning of your YouTube days?
Jess: It's been full of life lessons we were forced to learn and meant to learn. We've really grown as artists and as people. There's a certain level of street smarts that you get from actual experience in this business vs. just posting yourself singing on the internet and we are thankful for it.

Who are your musical influences?
Jess: It varies. We listen to so much music.

Ivana: Some undeniable ones are Michael and Janet Jackson, Brandy, Toni Braxton, TLC, and Total.

If you could choose anyone to work with, who would it be and why?
Jess: We'd love to work with Frank Ocean. He's just a genius. He’s so inventive and undeniably himself. He's someone that challenges artists.

You are all about '90s vibes, as shown in your latest video for “Touch The Floor.” can you share how you were able to find each of your sounds/styles?
Jess: I think just by pure experience and learning to be confident in your own voice--both strengths and weaknesses. We really just figured out how to channel ourselves in the most honest and true way. We do have very different voices, but we feel there's a magic when we come together.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
Ivana: We do. We've been working on a full project for the past year and it's coming soon, it's 90% done. We're really proud of it and can't wait for everyone to hear.

“We do have very different voices, but we feel there's a magic when we come together."

Finish the sentence...
One thing I can't live without is...
Jess: Ice.
Ivana: Lip liner.

If I could be born again in a different era, it would be…
Jess: Probably the '80s, so I could have been older in the '90s.
Ivana: The year 3000.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for…
Ivana: Music and our parents.
Jess: Same. Music, mom, and dad.

When people listen to our music, I want them to feel…
: I want them to feel something. Whether they feel like crying or smiling or dancing.
Ivana: I want them to feel good.

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Jess: To us, MISSBISH represents women who are unapologetically themselves, know who they are, and seek to innovate and/or inspire.

Who are your MISSBISHes and why are they so inspirational to you?
Jess: Definitely Rihanna. She's just a queen in every sense of the word. She’s not scared to take risks, doesn't GAF about opinions and does her own thing.
Ivana: I would say Rihanna as well. She carries herself with confidence and makes big moves but quietly.

Photos by: Christina Choi