Sat, 8 September 2007
Some individuals may recognize early in life their dreams yet only a few dedicate themselves to the actual realization of those same dreams. And then there’s Jua. "Jua" Swahili for the "Sun", was born in Chicago, Illinois; home of the "Musical Melting Pot". He discovered at a young age that the sound of his voice blended with various types of music, moved others to take notice. Encouraged to share this talent, Jua began performing in fourth grade in the Oakton Elementary School Chorus in Evanston, IL. By the time his family moved to Alabama in 1989, Jua had developed an undeniable love for singing. He continued performing as a soloist with choruses and church choirs, in school musicals, community pageants, fashion shows and weddings throughout high school. During his junior year in 1996, Jua was selected to perform with the Alabama All-State Boys Choir. That same year, he was awarded not only the "Best Choral Member" award by the Alabama Boys State Chorus but received a full four year vocal scholarship to Monticello University in Monticello, Alabama. Before moving to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Emory University, Jua participated in the annual highly regarded All-Atlanta Chorus Gospel Christmas performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. While in college, Jua continued singing in talent shows and athletic events including the 1998 AT&T Professional Tennis Championship where he accepted the invitation to sing the National Anthem. Revisiting his gospel background, Jua was a member of the Emory University Voices of Inner Strength Gospel Choir from 1997-2000. The year 2000 found Jua in London, England studying abroad. Attempting to take full advantage of his visit, Jua continued to hone his craft at Open-Mic night performances at local London clubs and venues. Returning to the States to graduate from Emory, Jua has since directed all of his energy to his love of music. Since moving to the D.C. area in 2002, Jua’s musical projects have included singing with a local R&B group and being featured on an upcoming compilation album that fuses neo-soul, jazz and funk. In addition, Jua performs with the legendary Blackbyrds as a featured background vocalist. His latest and proudest undertaking is the putting together of his own CD entitled "Anticipation" which not only showcases his vocal talents but his lyric writing skills as well. Jua brings a vocal sound reminiscent of soul and R&B singers such as Donny Hathaway, Will Downing, Luther Vandross; also major vocal influences on his style, along with Nancy Wilson, Chaka Khan and Nat King Cole. Jua’s rich voice resonates with a combination of depth and fresh emotion that is uniquely Jua.