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Artist Spotlight: Valerie June
This is the eighth post in a series of articles highlighting the artists performing at The 2018 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Check out the rest here

-Lauren Brown, Roots N Blues Intern

Valerie June is a breath of fresh air — a much needed break from the production-heavy popular music of today. With June, it’s obvious that her music is its own entity; it wasn’t forced into production, but rather just came seamlessly into being. Her music is the result of a free-flowing creative process, which she keeps carefully shielded from the influence of politics and industry norms. June lets her mind take her when it comes to her craft. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she said: “The voices come to me, like when a composer writes a symphony. They sing to me, and I sing to you what I hear. Sometimes they’re an old man, sometimes a woman, a child – and I try to mimic them because I feel like that’s my job.”

June was born in Jackson, Tennessee and later relocated to Memphis as a teenager. This relocation eventually helped further her interest in music, but it was her father’s career as a music promoter that specifically peaked her interest. If it weren’t for the the exposure from her father, June would not have gone down her own musical path; his dream inspired her own.

The style of Valerie June is an effortless one — it’s a mixture of blues, gospel, folk and a bit of soul flowing together organically. She strays away from outside influences and other confining labels because of their ability to change the perception and shape of her music. “Imagine” by John Lennon was the first record June remembers purchasing, which is emblematic of her perception of life and the way she creates music; she always attempts to keep her work honest and free.

In 2011, June was signed to the Billions Corporation, leading to her premiere album, Pushin’ Against a Stone, which was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and released in 2013. The artist’s sophomore album, The Order of Stone, followed in 2017 and reached #5 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart soon after its debut. June’s success is climbing; she is currently on a US tour but has been able to showcase her skill in over twelve different countries and four continents. We can’t wait to welcome her to our music festival stage!