Ivana and Jessica Nwokike make up the dynamic duo that is arguably one of the most talented R&B groups in existence. The Nigerian sisters merged their names into VanJess, mirroring the perfect blend that is created in their harmonies. Ivana’s old school gospel-tinged sound and Jessica’s modern, soulful sound effortlessly become one.
Known for their YouTube covers, VanJess has done renditions of songs from the biggest names in today’s music. It is a skill to cover another person’s song successfully, but an even greater achievement to make it your own. They also have a slew of personal songs that are diverse in style and composition. “Drum Roll” is an upbeat, Afro-Caribbean inspired tune while “00 Till Escape” is a slow, trippy song reminiscent of ‘90s R&B. Ivana and Jessica do not rely on Auto-Tune to enhance their voices. Ivana beatboxes or plays the piano, sometimes with the accompaniment of her guitar-strumming friends. Then, she and her sister create a sound that is undeniably trademark.
Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria then moving to Southern California in search of a better life and fame, the two sisters have been close since birth. However, well-known producer, songwriter and rock artist Linda Perry uses her expertise on the VH1 show Make It or Break It to help the two become more independent of each other. She shatters their signature oneness and gives their voices the chance to shine individually.
Although talented, VanJess have yet to surface into mainstream success. Fans wait confidently for the dynamic duo to receive their well-earned recognition. Until then, YouTube’s replay button satisfies their VanJess cravings.