San Diego Symphony's second night of the Masterworks season showcased the power of place and personality
Garrett Harris noon, Oct. 13
Sound description: V describes her music as “inspiring, bright, soulful, comforting, rhythmic, emotional, real, and sincere.”
RIYL: Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill, Pearl Ayon, Mary J. Blige
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Inception: San Diego, 2005
Influences: Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Pepe Aguilar, Fausto Villanueva, Chanté Moore
“I’ve always enjoyed music and singing,” says singer/songwriter Jodi Villanueva, aka Jodi V, “but I grew up in a religious household, so singing anywhere else but at church was not an option.” Her first public performance was at age seven with her rendition of “These Words I Sing for You,” a bilingual song composed by her father for her mom. She sang it for a dozen friends and family members on her neighbor’s porch.
After a stint singing gospel with National City's New Covenant Church, she joined Amplify, a Christian rock band. “At the age of 18,” says the 2004 Point Loma High graduate, “I was given a bit more freedom, so I took advantage by collaborating with local hip-hop artists and producers that I met through mutual friends.”
While singing hooks for rappers and producers in exchange for studio time, Jodi posted her own four-song demo on MySpace. One of the rap groups she performed with also has a MySpace page, which they used to send a “friend request” to Rotation Music, a record label based for over 20 years in Laguna Beach. Label heads weren’t impressed by the hip-hoppers, but they did like the photo of Jodi V they saw on the rappers’ MySpace.
“I was approached through MySpace by [label owner] Allan Gomez,” says Jodi. “He offered to help me release my first album.” Distributed by label heavyweight Universal, Jodi V’s provocatively titled debut
Seed of Love was released in Autumn 2008, on indie label Rotation Music. Producers on the album include Etienne Fingazz (Lean Like a Cholo), David Salas, Omar Gonzalez, and Shawn Bossick.
“My goal is to bring a new meaning to R&B, soul, and hip-hop,” she says. “I’m a Latina with a lot of soul...I’m doing my best to keep this album as real as possible, with topics like ‘Breaking Down’ and ‘Crazy Bitch’ for all the ladies.”