Interscope’s latest artist has a sultry voice and vibrant blue hair. Jaira Burns has been gaining attention for her breakout single Ugly, which currently has over 5 million views on Youtube.
The Pittsburg native just completed a 9 city tour throughout North America but took time to speak exclusively with The Knockturnal about how she broke into the industry playing Rihanna’s music, her look and her favorite city to tour.
The Knockturnal: After listening to Slow Burn and Ugly, I feel like your music has a little Caribbean influence, can you talk about that?
Jaira: Yeah totally, some of it is reggae influenced but I pretty much like incorporate all genres into all my songs.
The Knockturnal: What inspired Ugly?
Jaira: I didn’t write that but I picked it because it resonated with some of my experiences with guys.
The Knockturnal: How did growing up in Pittsburg inspire your music?
Jaira: Well it really all started because of my mom she would listen to a lot of different music while driving in the car or cleaning the house so she definitely inspired me.
The Knockturnal: What did you have to learn to start doing music?
Jaira: Not much vocally because I did it for first as fun and it was an escape for me. But I felt like I had to learn how to play the guitar. I wanted to learn guitar really bad so I made it a point to step out and do that.
The Knockturnal: Guitar is not an easy instrument; how did you pick that up?
Jaira: There was a man whose house my mom cleaned for a living and he taught me how to play. I saved up the $60 I needed to buy a guitar and I would go to his house twice a week and he would teach me for about 6-8 hours.
The Knockturnal: How old were you? You have to be very disciplined to learn something like that.
Jaira: Yeah, I started playing when I was 10.
The Knockturnal: How did you get your foot in the door with music?
Jaira: Well when I was 13 my mom knew this lawyer who is my executive producer now, but I played Man Down by Rihanna for him . And weeks later we got into the studio together and recorded my first single which was called SMH.
The Knockturnal: Talk about your look, I love your blue hair.
Jaira: Well when I was younger my mom wouldn’t let me do anything to my hair. I couldn’t cut it or dye it. But my favorite color has always been blue, so I knew eventually I would want blue hair. But when I got to California people were like oh I can do that for you, so I just did it.
The Knockturnal: What do you want your fans to know about you through your music?
Jaira: I really want my fans to know at the end of the day I’m doing what I love to do as should they and if you dedicate your life to something, make it a priority, work for it every single day, rely on God and everything will be straight.
The Knockturnal: So you are on tour right now, what has that been like for you?
Jaira: I’m on the tail end of it and it has been amazing, insane and amazing.
The Knockturnal: In what city do you think you had your most memorable moment?
Jaira: That’s hard for me because every city I have been to has its own vibe and feeling. But one of my favorites was San Francisco, it was a full house everywhere.