Ine’a J Is Chicago’s “Pen Fairy”
Written by Vocalo Radio on October 27, 2023
Ine’a J “The Pen Fairy” is a triple threat – singer, “corporate baddie” and designer. She stopped into the Vocalo studio to talk about her new track “Wait 4 U,” musical background and business endeavors.
Hailing from Chicago, R&B and soul artist Ine’a J released her debut EP Planet J in 2022 — followed up by her latest EP The Colors on Oct. 21 of this year. Before the new EP’s release, her single “Wait 4 U” was featured on Vocalo’s “In Rotation” playlist for September and highlighted as one of Bekoe’s top five tracks.
“Wait 4 U” was self-recorded and self-engineered in her home studio. It describes the journey of young lovers who often force themselves into a relationship quickly, and reminds listeners to wait in anticipation for the person truly meant for them.
Coming from a family full of musicians, there was no doubt Ine’a J would become an artist herself. Though shy by nature, Ine’a decided it was time to push past and pursue music as a career, and in 2018 she first started recording.
“It took me a long time to really break out of that shell and finally come into a place where it’s like, ‘Okay, it’s time for you to show the world,’” she remarked. “I used to be so scared of recording.”
Both family and church influences, along with classical training, played huge parts in her development as an artist and the technicalities of her music. With her dad being both an engineer and producer, she had access to an in-home studio to record. Her early studio sessions were often joined by her family — most notably, her aunt who later passed away of cancer, and who Ine’a credits as one of her biggest motivators. Ine’a recalls her aunt had a tattoo of a fairy on her ankle, which she pays homage to in her alias as “The Pen Fairy.”
“I say two things I love when I talk about ‘The Pen Fairy.’ I love music, so the ‘pen’ part, I love my auntie, the ‘fairy’ part, and I get to put all of it together,” she explained. “It’s like being able to spread a little magic and fairy dust everywhere.”
The artist first started recording while enrolled at the University of Missouri studying marketing. In 2021, “The Pen Fairy” released her first single “4EVA,” which she engineered by herself during her time in school for her Masters of Business Administration at Loyola University Chicago.
Now as a graduate, she refers to herself as a “corporate baddie” by day and an aspiring artist and businesswoman any other time. Ine’a has an all-encompassing brand combining all she does called The Repertoire, allowing her to put her marketing and business degrees to work.
“It’s a platform for me to express all my creativity of things that I do,” she noted. “It is a platform for me to expand my music, modeling and clothing line, which is where it transpired from.”
The Colors EP was released after she stopped by the Vocalo studios, now available on all streaming platforms.
Follow Ine’a J on Instagram and stream The Colors on all platforms.
Interview and audio production by Bekoe
Written introduction by Blake Hall
In-studio photography by Morgan Ciocca
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