Nomadic duo Gonna & Jesse bring ‘retro soul pop’ to Three Rivers

Nomadic duo Gonna & Jesse bring ‘retro soul pop’ to Three Rivers

Three Rivers Commercial News | Kate Kulwicki, C-N Intern

THREE RIVERS – Known for being playful, nomadic, and adventurous, Genna & Jesse will be introducing the Riviera Theatre to “retro would pop” on Friday, June 30 at 9 p.m.

The duo met in San Francisco after Genna put an ad on Craigslist looking to start a band with a keyboard player. She said she did not realize the ad would not only provider her with a new band member, but also her future husband.

Gonna & Jesse started making music in 2009 and have been playing “retro soul pop” together ever since.

According to Jesse, “retro soul pop” embodies music from the 1960s and 70s.

“We channel our inspiration from our favorite music, which is the soul music from the 1960s and 1970s,” he said. “We are writing songs now that embody our favorite music and favorite songs. We write pop music, not pop music of today, but pop music from that time period.”

Gonna said there is a significant difference between retro pop music and most modern day pop music.

“As compared to pop music today, which is mostly one dimensional, pop music of the 60s and 70s was usually meant to make you think and bring about an emotional impact. That is the same way we feel about the music we create,” she said. “Not only are we mashing a lot of genres together, but we are also hitting a lot of topics and emotional tones.”

Jesse said he and Genna’s unusual lifestyle inspires a lot of their music.

“We have been living nomadically for the past five years,” he said. “we went on tour in 2012 and haven’t stopped since. A lot of songs that we write these days are about the places we have been and the experiences we have had.”

So far, the pair has been to “40 or more” states, Canada, and 12 European countries including England, Ireland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland.

“We have a really unusual way of living where we are constantly traveling and going to interesting places all over the world,” Genna said. “So, our inspiration is much wider than the average person who is just living in one place. We have a lot of interesting adventures and that makes its way into our music.”

Gonna said they decided to play in Michigan because there is something special about Michigan summers.

“Having grown up in [Lansing,] Michigan, I have always loved the summers here. Doing July in Michigan was a no brainer, we get to see my family and old friends, while also experiencing the beauty that is Michigan i the summer,” Genna said.

Like their constant adventures, Genna said she hopes their show will take the audience on their own adventure.

“We like to take people on a journey,” she said. “Unlike other shows, we are not staring down at our feet in between songs. We use that time to talk to the audience and tell them stories about our adventures and the meanings of the songs.”

Jesse said the couple invites concert goers to get to know them.

“Part of what we are doing is inviting people to get to know us,” Jesse added. “Our general vibe is openness. We are who we are and we invite people to come along with us.”

Jesse said that the audience should expect to hear “acoustic guitar, classic keyboard sounds, a lot of vocal harmony.”