Nigerian-American R&B duo VanJess emerged on the scene in 2018 with their divine debut album, Silk Canvas. They returned in 2021 with their Homegrown EP, which contained hit tracks like “Slow Down” and the Kaytranada collab “Dysfunctional.” Today (March 16), the real-life sisters shared an update on social media on the state of VanJess moving forward. Their Instagram page has been completely wiped except for the announcement post, consisting of simple text and a short video of them singing Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” from their early days covering songs on YouTube. The letter was written exclusively by Jess Nwokike.
“I see you and know how much you’ve been wanting to hear new music and see more from the both of us,” she started off acknowledging. “The truth is, about eight months ago my sister decided to step away from VanJess. I fully support and respect my sister in pursuing what makes her happiest.”
“I know this news is disappointing to you all, but want to thank you for your love and support over the years from watching us record covers in our bathroom to making our wildest dreams come true,” she shared with potentially crestfallen fans. But, she went on to explain what the future of VanJess — specifically Jess — will look like.
“All that being said, this has given me the opportunity to start creating music of my own,” the singer and songwriter revealed. “I’ve spent the last few months finishing a project I’m beyond excited for you to hear. With my sister’s blessing, I will continue to post here and hope you all stay for the ‘ride’: Tomorrow is the start of something new.”
Her distinguishing of the word “ride” could potentially be a hint as to what her new music will be titled or sound like. She signed the letter “Amaka,” an Igbo word roughly meaning “beautiful,” potentially signaling a new stage name that she’ll be taking on in her solo career.
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The “Curious” artists spoke to Pan-African publication AMAKA in December 2022 about the in-betweenness of their lives as Nigerian immigrants and how they manage to stay true to themselves in the public eye. “If we get clouded by societal views, then we can never really be our truly authentic selves,” departing singer Ivana Nwokike said honestly. “We’re never gonna be anything we’re not and it doesn’t matter what anyone says. We’re doing this because this is what we believe in. This is what we were given by God to give you. So if it resonates with you, then it is for you, and if not, then it’s not for you.”
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