Check out our interview with singer, songwriter and actress Joséphine Tehrani. Born-and-raised in Tucson, Arizona, the Persian-American was bit by the music bug at the age of six, when her mother came home with a karaoke machine with five songs on it: Cher’s “Believe,” Jennifer Lopez’s iconic “Jenny from the Block,” Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Dixie Chicks’ “Landslide” cover, and Britney Spears’ “Oops! I Did it Again.”
Influenced by the early greats of American Jazz and Soul (Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse, Dinah Washington) and Middle Eastern legends (Moein, Omid, Ebi), her passion to bridge the two musical worlds is evident on this offering and her latest album, “Pretty Crazy.”
Follow Joséphine @josephinetehrani
Hi Joséphine, please tell us a little about you?
My name is Joséphine Tehrani – I am a Persian-American songstress & actress born and raised in Tucson, Arizona now residing in Los Angeles. I love nature, chocolate, reading, jazz, coffee and comedy. I’m an advocate for empowered vulnerability, the power of the feminine and being Pretty Crazy.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Authentic, passionate, crazy
How did you get started in the business?
I got started as an actress actually. Music was always something I wanted to do but my dad owned nightclubs and he never wanted me to be in the industry, so I opted for acting instead. But even as a little girl I was always using writing and singing as my main forms of expression. When I moved to LA – I found my way into songwriting and singing and the rest was history.
How has this changed your life?
I’ve become more myself. I always say – the more the sing, the more me I am 🙂
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
Funny enough throughout college I worked in the industry a bit at some record labels etc and at the same time I was dating someone that was signed to one of the big labels. It reminded me two things – I am a creative and I can do this.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Jazz power pop
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Cliche to say but music chose me. I’ve lived a lot of lives. I have a degree from UCLA (studied communication – I thought I was going to become a psychologist) I’ve worked 9-5s in various industries- sales, music, finance, film production, medicine, you name it. I have always returned to music. I’m an Aries and I am exceptional at starting things, but not finishing them. I have quit most things. But one thing I have never quit on is music.
I’m Persian and growing up Persian music would always be playing in the house. My mom was always singing – people say I got my voice from her – so she was always a big influence for me and still is. In some part, I sing for her.. Persian greats like Moein, Omid, Hayedeh are some of my main influences as well. I’m also heavily influenced by jazz greats like Dinah Washington, Etta James, Frank Sinatra and Amy Winehouse. I’ve always felt like an old soul — I’m surely a reincarnated jazz singer rom the 20s 😛 Music has always been a way for me to express myself and process my thoughts and emotions. By doing so it’s extended itself into connecting with others and telling our collective stories and I love that.
Do you play any instrument?
I play piano!
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes but then I just remind myself that nervousness is excitement flipped!
Tell us about your singles “BabyGirl,” and “Pretty Crazy?”
Babygirl came about after I was seeing this guy and he told me that he wanted to see either people…but also me. And I was like well.. hope you can find someone who will love you better than I do. If I’m not the first choice then I’m not an option. We’re not going backwards. Goodbye!
Pretty Crazy came from my experience going on antidepressants. I was really not a good place. And they did not make me feel better. They made me numb, cut off from myself, my sensuality,…..not fun. So I was like— I’d rather be crazy. It made me my appreciate my quirkiness, my impulsivity, my boldness. I’m Crazy? Great. So what. Sue me. There’s no genius without a little crazy 😉 The first line of the song is “I’ve felt it all and also felt nothing and let me tell you I’d take something” because I would. I’d rather feel my emotions – the pain, the the sadness, than nothing at all. My ability to feel so deeply – IS my gift, NOT my weakness. It’s the reason I can write and sing the way I do – the reason I can connect with my fans. On the same note- by being everyone else is how you really become yourself. It’s easy to say “be yourself” you know. But by being everyone else, and experimenting and trying things that’s how you KNOW what is not for you. Been there, done that. But I feel in our society we have this backwards, rushed mentality that we should have our lives figured out by 25 and that’s just not it.
What’s the story behind the song?
I’m crazy I’m beautiful. I am confident. I am who I am. Love it or leave it. I will always love me. There’s a line in Pretty Crazy – “I won’t say I’m not perfect, these imperfections make me worth it. I fell in love with who I am.” That’s what the entire album is about.
And about the success of your album “Love Trap: The Story?
Love Trap success was all really surprising and unexpected. That entire EP was actually my first ever recording experience. I had just decided a couple months prior that I wanted to start making music and that’s what I did. I manifested it. I met (my first producer) Paul Water and we just started writing and working. If anyone can take anything from me – it’s just do it. Don’t wait for permission. Only you can give it to yourself. Now. Go.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When people tell me my songs made them cry! Me too girl, me too. Being able to connect with people on that level is truly everything.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
There is no failure. G-d doesn’t give you dreams that are unattainable for you. If you feel it in your heart, it’s yours already. Keep going. Progress over perfection. The progress is the reward.
How would your best friend describe you?
Pretty crazy 😉
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
The Power of the Feminine – I’m big on empowering women through our femininity. Our sensuality, sensitivity, vulnerability, intuitiveness – they are our strengths, not weaknesses. I want more women to know that and own that.
What’s next for Joséphine in the last months of 2021 and for 2022?
I’m currently working on creating a music video for the Pretty Crazy album, some acoustic renditions and producing new music. I’ve been writing a lot and I’m so excited to share it with you guys. Hopefully going back to Tel Aviv to make some more music with the “Pretty Crazy” producer! Also TOUR SOON.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love me a good salad
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness I balance. It’s living in the present, counting my blessings and having gratitude.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Amy Winehouse – I’d want her to know how much she’s done and I understand her pain.
Best advice ever given?
Let people tell you no. Just don’t ever say no to yourself.
Do you support any charity?
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I’d love to be touring and maybe be married have a couple of kids. A couple of Grammys and world tours under my belt. I’m big on family life balance. Would love to inspire others that both are possible.
Favorite song? Why?
I miss you blink 182 -I love sad songs that I can cry to!
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s a great way to connect with others and can be a great platform for self-expression but should never be used as a way to compare yourself to others. Your path is your own, please remember that.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Secret
Quote: “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself” -Thich That Hanh
Movie: The Notebook
Tv Series: Gossip Girl (the original)
Favorite Food: Fresh Brothers cauliflower pizza with mushrooms
Travel Destination: Tel Aviv
Sports Team: Lakers