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 lineups with some of the best in the business including the likes of Ms. Lauryn Hill, yasiin bey, Meshell Ndegeocello Capelton, Damian, Stephen and Ziggy Marley, Gil Scott Heron, Wyclef Jean, 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, Cornell West, Van Jones, 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 the NFL World Bowl and The NFL Hall of Fame.
Jennifer is a dedicated food justice advocate. Over the last decade, she has become a Green For All Fellow, a BoldFood Fellow, an Artist in Residence at Food First, the First Artist in Residence at Langston Hughes Center for Performing Arts Institute, and a Montalvo Performing Arts Guest Fellow.
In February of 2016, Jennifer began a journey called The F.U.N. Manifesto. It was initially meant to be a video blog asking people about their ideas of freedom while celebrating her birthday in South Africa. 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. The F.U.N. Manifesto is now the name of her company and ethos.
While in most circles Jennifer is best known as a musician and activist, in the last 5 years since returning from South Africa, Jennifer has explored more creative ways of being through performance installations and visual arts. In the summer of 2018, Jennifer presented Liv: A Ritual for Humanity at Montalvo’s Art on The Grounds where she simulated a citizen’s and ancestor’s arrest of a police officer. In the fall of 2019, she wrote poetry, prose, and songs for reD:zONE a ritual and choreopoem. A stage performance on transmuting sexual trauma into the awareness of one's own divine power and joy. This powerful stageplay was produced by Kendra Barnes of K-Star Productions at Oakland’s historic Malonga Casquelourd Center. In the winter of 2020, Jenn presented Good Medicine, a digital art series about the power of words and symmetry.
Currently, Jenn is focused on the release of two new bodies of music: GODSPEAK which is an album of mantras that she has translated into Swahili, and Jennifer Johns LIVE at The New Parish an album she recorded directly after quarantine in her hometown of Oakland CA. In addition, Ms. Johns is growing and connecting her community through The F.U.N. Manifesto "a lifestyle and sustainable eco-system powered by art and culture."
"It is not every day that the artist achieves the ability to stir the heart and mind through sound and vibration. My heart has not yet stopped stirring since I have heard Jennifer Johns"
From deep within her spirit, Jennifer Johns radiates the energy of her ancestors through her voice. To be enfolded in her passionate singing is to be in the presence of a transformational, healing agent.
~Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith
"No matter where you are in the room when Jennifer starts to sing, you are physically and spiritually beckoned to bear witness and are thankful for the calling."
~ Sterling James, KBLX
"Jennifer Johns' voice calms me, eases me when I am in pain, and inspires me when I need strength."
Jennifer Johns is a new breed of artists who is boldly following in the steps of past greats like Sonia Sanchez, Harry Belafonte, and Nina Simone in the sense that she is damn good at her craft and sets a standard that's hard for many to beat, but at the same time has an uncompromising, dogged commitment to using her talents to uplift the people.
~ Davey D