Jovan Landry hates the idea that artists are often forced into one category. As someone who is equal parts filmmaker, photographer, and emcee, she definitely does not fit neatly into one box.
When she was recently described as an “interdisciplinary artist,” she thought the term was a perfect fit.
“I really try to emphasize that a lot at first,” says Landry. “It’s who I am.”
This idea of working across different platforms is what inspires Landry’s newest project, Synergy, a hip-hop album created exclusively by women.
“There is collaboration out there, but it’s not like an album that’s produced entirely by women,” Landry explains. “There’s always some male influence, especially behind the scenes. That’s what will make this project stand out.”
Synergy will be Landry’s fifth album. In addition to her music, Landry has also done short films and music videos, in addition to concert shoots.
“I used to be really shy,” Landry says. “My art has given me a voice.”
For the project, Landry has already lined up an engineer, graphic designer, camera operator, and about 15 hip-hop performers. Now her main focus is finding the right producer.
Before winning at WeWork’s Creator Awards in Detroit — and taking home a $36,000 prize — Landry had debated funding the venture herself.
“At first I was thinking about doing this project out of pocket,” she says. “But now I can make it bigger and be able to do a tour and proper merchandise.”
Landry says she found out about the awards from a Chicago-based group for female entrepreneurs. That was two days before the deadline, but she finished her application and got it in under the wire.
That weekend she got word that she was a finalist. Two weeks later, she was standing with the other nine entrepreneurs in her category.
“When we got on stage, we were like, ‘Oh my god, this is actually happening. It’s not just an idea anymore. This is real!’”