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Taiwanese American DJ and producer JVNA will perform at Annabel’s Music Hall

JVNA
JVNA will play Annabel's Music Hall in Toronto on February 23.

Like many kids of Asian immigrants, Jana Ma enrolled in classical piano lessons at a very young age. Back in those days, her Taiwanese-born parents had no idea that this would set her on a path to become the hotshot DJ and producer JVNA.

Described as an “electronic pop and melodic bass maven” by Forbes, the LA-based JVNA kicked off her North American tour on Friday (January 26) at Vancouver’s Harbour Convention Centre. She will play Annabel’s Music Hall in Toronto on February 23.

She created her name, JVNA, by replacing the “a” with a “V” in Jana.

The multi-instrumentalist JVNA listened to Mandarin-language music as a kid, including many songs by Mandopop icon Jay Chou. She later studied composition and film and video-game scoring at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

In 2022, JVNA told Forbes contributor Lisa Kocay that this schooling explains why her music is “so very cinematic”.

Last year, JVNA released her newest album, Play With You. The clever and lush title track is “inspired by a vision of a cute anime demon that seduces her enemies and destroys them at the end”.

Watch JVNA’s video for “Play With You”.

Another track on Play With You, “Shrine”, is an upbeat-sounding EDM number urging a lover not to set her free. It includes these lyrics: “I would rather keep my head high / even if it’s a lie / It’s a lot a lot a lot / to tear down my pride / I don’t want you ever ever ever leaving my shrine.”

Meanwhile, JVNA describes “Bullseye”, which she released in 2021, as her “first Psy-Trance inspired song”.

Watch JVNA’s video for “Bullseye”.

JVNA visualizes ambition in form of an arrow

In a 2021 interview with the Nocturnal Times, JVNA revealed that “Bullseye” was one of her favourite songs from full-length album, Hope in Chaos.

“The drop was inspired by the sound of pulling back an arrow from a bow,” she told interviewer Thorsten Benders. “I visually pictured ambition in the form of an arrow shooting from the bow and aiming for the archer’s target on their dreams in life.”

Watch the promo for JVNA’s North American tour.

For tickets to JVNA’s show on February 23 at Annabel’s, visit her website. Learn more about the communities that make up Canada on the Toronto Spark website.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Toronto Spark editor Charlie Smith has worked as a journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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