We had the good fortune of connecting with Ebony Jenae and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ebony, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I used to be that person that always played it safe. Financially, I made stability and security my top priorities and I was miserable as a result. Why? Because in most cases, playing things safe in order to achieve a sense of stability and security requires some sort of mundane routine, such as a 9-5, and forces you to settle for the bare minimum. In college, I worked 3 jobs while going to school full time. I was on autopilot. School, work, sleep, repeat. Yes; all of my bills were paid and I wasn’t worried about surviving, but I was exhausted. In reality, I was clocking in to multiple jobs that I hated to maintain a lifestyle I never had a chance to enjoy because the majority of my time was spent at work. In my personal experience, playing it safe always gave me just enough. I never had an abundance of anything. I used to play it safe when it came to my craft as an artist. I would only sing songs I knew I could cover well with little to no effort. I would do a few riffs here and there, but rarely ever attempted to do any runs. I’d choose songs that didn’t require much breath support or ear training. I refused to audition for any solos and I certainly wasn’t doing any live solo performances. In acting, I never auditioned for lead roles or stepped up during class exercises. This was all in an attempt to avoid judgement and criticism. In actuality, playing it safe only crippled me as a vocalist and overall creative. It wasn’t until I started taking risks in those areas that I actually started to grow. I decided to bet on myself and stop settling for just enough. Boy was it worth it! I haven’t clocked into a job since January of 2018 and I am still financially sound. I have challenged myself in ways I never would have imagined in my acting and music career and I am a much better entertainer because of it. The birth of Jenae’s Jingles was a risk within itself. I had to account for studio time and paying my producers and engineers, in addition to my own time I spend writing and creating the jingle. It can be very costly, but I gained enough confidence in my knowledge, skill, and ability to produce a quality product, that I don’t have an issue charging what I am worth. That’s why Jenae’s Jingles has been so profitable. It was just my attempt to find another way to monetize my gifts and talents and I’ve been blessed beyond my expectations because I decided to take the risk. Taking risks can be extremely scary, but the reward is more than satisfying. I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and rest in the fact that complacency does not leave any room for growth.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a singer, songwriter, actress, and soon to be published author. I’ve been singing since I was 4 years old and I started acting professionally my freshman year of college. My journey has been far from easy. Overcoming self doubt and self hatred, financial hardships, childhood traumas, etc. I always felt like something was pulling me back every time I tried to take a step forward. As cliché as it may sound, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to never give up. The only way you’re going to fail is if you quit. It’s just that simple. I had plenty of low days when I wanted to go back to what made me feel comfortable but I pushed through and it all paid off in the end. Another really important lesson I learned was to be my authentic self. I’ve found that you don’t achieve the same type of success when you’re trying to be what other people want you to be. When I stripped away my representative and accepted myself for who I was; I was able to create from a space of true authenticity. It shows up in your art when you let your essence take over. It’s truly freeing. What I want the world to know about me is that I am a veracious artist. Everything I put out to the world comes from a place of truth. It took me a long time to love me for me. In fact, it’s still a daily battle I face; constantly affirming myself so that I never lose sight of my value. Because I put so much work into understanding and accepting who I am as a person, I’m able to give the world the best raw version of myself as an artist. My art is never manipulated in order to people please. It is always a raw reflection of me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If they’re into nature I would take them Cascades Springs to relax by the waterfall and take some great pictures. Or Stone Mountain to hike and scratch something off of their bucket list! I’d go to Starlight Drive-in Movie Theater because we don’t have those in Chicago. Some other casual fun places I’d go would be the Georgia Aquarium, Botanical Garden, and Trap Museum. To eat, we would go to Old Lady Gang, Milk and Honey, Hattie B’s, and Anna’s BBQ,

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout Cailan Sandusky for recommending me for this interview and for trying to spread opportunities for other creatives!

Website: www.ebonyjenae.com
Instagram: ebonyjenae_
Twitter: essenceofebby_
Facebook: Ebony Jenae
Youtube: Ebonyjenae

Image Credits
Ida John ShotsbyBC
Matt Grimes

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