An Interview With Vocal Coach Jan Smith

“The music business is the music business, not music cause your momma loves you.”

Who is Jan Smith?

While you may not recognize her name, there’s no doubt you’ll recognize the names of her clients.

According to her website, “Rob Thomas calls her ‘the bomb.’ Usher calls her ‘Mama.’ Scooter Braun calls her ‘the secret sauce.’ And smart singers, producers, and label executives everywhere call her when they need a vocal coach/vocal producer par excellence.”

And until recently, we simply knew her as Justin Bieber’s vocal coach. But then we got the amazing opportunity to interview Mama J and ask her a few questions about herself, vocal coaching, the music industry, and more.

Take a minute and get to know the woman behind some of the most amazing voices in the business.

Who is Jan Smith?


What’s wrong with the music industry right now?


What advice would you give to artists trying to make it in the music industry?

Find Jan Smith on Twitter at @ATLVox and on Facebook at

  • dd.

    this is great!

  • ADThomason

    Amazing!!! This should have a ton of traffic, very insightful.

  • Daniel McClendon

    I love her honesty about the music industry.

    “The music business is the music business, not music cause your momma loves you.”

    A lot of young, aspiring hip hop artists need to hear this.

  • Samuel Onwuchekwa

    Dope! Love her authenticity. Great insight.

    Side bar… What you really tryna do with that hair bro? Oh, and the Rockers are better than the Lakers. That’s it.

    • Sho Baraka

      Don’t worry the wife made me cut the gorgeous locks sir…to keep the women off me.

  • Spoken (MC)

    Excellent interview and insight. I particularly love the “Canada” sport jacket. Keep it up!

  • Kilikä Täbron

    Great insight. Sho you’re a special dude man. Keep doing your thing.

  • Scott Walker

    That interview was refreshing to hear. What an extensive resume to have in the Music industry. Great job Sho, and nice hair.

  • Tyshan Broden

    This woman has so much wisdom. I love this. I gotta let my sister see it, she loves singing but I don’t think she has clear direction for her gift yet. This might help as she heads to college.

    Personally I like your hair too, Maybe bc I wear my hair in a similar style. I love the way natural hair takes shape.

  • Erika Collier

    Encouraging! “It’s what I do” one of the best takes on being an artist.

  • Justin Kamerer

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing these!

  • Jacob Horn

    Great interview!!! It was a great view of what the behind-the-scenes in the music industry looks like. Sho did a great job, and made me feel like he knew Jan personally (not sure if you do or not) but he was very relaxed and did an awesome job.

  • Jamilla T

    Great interview. You asked all the questions I wanted to know.