JenRo is an out, proud female rapper.
If that sounds like that might be unusual and downright tough in the rough and tumble world of the rap music business, it is. But donâ€™t tell her that. JenRo is just doing what comes naturally, making music, something she has done her entire life.
JenROâ€™s first time rapping on stage was at the age of 10 years old. Sheâ€™s never stopped.
Today, JenRO has released four independent albums under her own successful indie label RO Records. She has toured numerous cities across the country with a dedicated and growing fan base that follow her every beat. Her music videos have been featured on the lgbt-focused network, LOGO, along with a documentary she is featured in, â€œPick up the Mic.â€
But The Astoria Queer Film Weekend will be one of the only places to see her new music video, â€œCloset.â€ The music video details the struggles JenRo faced after she came out as a lesbian and what many might see as a very young age. HipFish spoke to JenRo about her latest project and here is what she had to say:
JenRo, where did you grow up?
I was born and raised on the West Coast in the Bay Area of California.
When did you come out?
When I was 13, in 7th grade.Â Pretty damn young, but I was proud and it made me who I am.
When did you get involved with music?
IÂ grew up around music all my life.Â My dad was a DJ and my older sister is a musician. I started playing drums for jazz band in 6th grade until high school. Got my first beat machine when i was 15 and been writing music at young age.Â Iâ€™ve been involved in music dam near all my life.
Did you ever get bullied as a kid?
I never really got bullied, but I was more like the bully.Â I had a lot of anger when I was young and just wanted to punk everyone, including the boys.Â It was fun to me back then, but I look back and found better ways to take out aggression,
Do you find it difficult to be a queer musician?
Not really, becauseÂ I accept myself for whom I am. Thatâ€™s where it has to start:Â within yourself. God gave me this gift to share with the world.
Why did you make â€œClosetâ€?
I made it to share with everyone my experience on coming out and to let people out there who havenâ€™t came out, that they are not alone.
How personal is this music video to you?
Closet is very personal; coming out is a big deal when youâ€™re young and finding yourself. So I wrote this with my heart and people have told me that I have changed their life.
What are your hopes for â€œClosetâ€?
I want it to influence those who may feel alone in this world. I want them to know that I went through a similar situation growing up.
Would you like to make more films/videos that deal with subject matter such as bullying?
Most definitely. I have done some other bullying PSA with youth and plan to do more,
What is the message that you would like young kids to learn from your video?
Donâ€™t be afraid to be who you are.Â Donâ€™t be afraid to be different and learn to love yourself no matter what.