Meet 14-year-old Jena Rose Raphael, singer and songwriter with a purpose. Her contagious pop sound speaks what she, her friends and her peers are feeling and it has caught the attention of some big names in the music biz! Her debut song and video, “Take A Breath” is a perfect place to start to get a feeling for what Jena is made of, but it’s not to be outdone by her most recent honor. Jena, who recently signed on as the United Nations official Good Will Youth Ambassador for Model UN, was also hand-picked to write, compose and perform the official Model UN theme song! Read on to find out what fuels Jena’s positivity and the encouragement behind all of her songs.
Would you say that your age has an effect on the lyrics in your music?
Yes. I think people don’t realize that 13-, 14-, 15-year-old teens go through just as many hard times as adults do, so I was trying to relay that message. I’m just trying to be a voice to this age group with my music and my lyrics.
What was it that made you want to get involved with music at such a young age? Did you always know you wanted to be a performer?
I actually never thought about it until I was like eight years old. My friend asked me if I wanted to do some lessons with her so I was like, “Sure, I’ll try it out!” I loved it and kept doing it and it’s that passion that got me out of my shell. I absolutely love it; there is not a thing that I would rather do.
What was the hardest part of recording “Take A Breath?”
It was in the summer and it was extremely hot and the air conditioning was not working while we were recording! So you can hear my breathing at the beginning and the end, and that was actually natural because it was so hot.
Do you remember what it was like hearing your song for the first time?
I was with my producer, my manager and my mom, and they are all my number one supporters so it was awesome having them there for the first time. It was just a really cool feeling!
Which other musicians inspire you?
I love Lana Del Ray, Sia—I look up to her so much and I feel like she has accomplished so much in her career… her songwriting and her artistry as a musician.
Get to know Jena:
Now playing: Kendrick Lamar— I listen to him every morning when I’m doing my makeup
Dream venue to perform: American Airlines Center in my hometown, Dallas
Beauty must-have: Mascara
Celeb crush: Dylan O’Brien
Biggest Fear: Bugs, I always end up hiring a local exterminator to get rid of them, I can’t stand them!