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Having a ‘different’ voice didn’t stop her from singing at the top of her lungs

April 6, 2017 at 6:20 PM EDT
Singer-songwriter Valerie June says inspiration comes to her in all forms, at all times of the day. The Memphis, Tennessee, native reflects on her unique voice.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: And now the latest in our ongoing series of conversations with musicians called My Music.

Tonight, we hear from Valerie June. She’s a singer/songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee, who says inspiration comes to her in all forms and at all times of the day.

The NewsHour caught up with June at her recent show at Washington, D.C.’s Sixth & I Synagogue.

VALERIE JUNE, Singer-Songwriter: I always loved my voice. And I always loved singing.

But I did know that my voice was different. That didn’t stop me from singing at the top of my lungs around the house, and really, really having fun with songs.

I’m Valerie June. And I’m an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Voices are beautiful things, because voices change. And I just think that is so beautiful how voices age, how they make it through a day, how it’s — your sleepy nighttime voice is different from your sleepy morning voice.

(LAUGHTER)

VALERIE JUNE: These songs just come while I’m cleaning the house or walking through the grocery store, or while I’m doing other things.

When the songs come, I can’t tell them what to do. They are what they are. And that’s what I’m here to do, to work in the spirit way with music, more than anything else, how can the spirit open, and where — where does the spirit lie in the songs?

Sometimes, it just wants to dance. Other times, it wants to go inside of itself in pure, raw emotion. Maybe it’s lost, like I lost my father. Or maybe it’s like love. Or maybe it’s like complete and total, just a happy moment.

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