Guitar Girl Magazine’s Diversity Editor, Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan, sat down with some of her industry sisters to celebrate the cultural influence of Black history in music. This series highlights the amazing womxn that continue carrying the torch while using their platforms and music to spread positivity in a changing world.
What’s your name and pronouns, where are you from, and what instrument do you play?
My name is Jennale Adams, and I am from Queens, New York. I play the electric guitar, the acoustic, and the piano.
How long have you been playing, and when did you know you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve been playing guitar for about fifteen years now and I knew since I was around the age of ten that I wanted to be a musician. I was always drawn to music so it made sense for me to just follow my calling and pick up the instrument that inspired me the most, which was the guitar.
What is the best part about being a musician?
The best part about being a musician is the freedom of expression and the ability to share my love for music with others, and I love being able to educate others on the importance of music in this world. I love that I get to be my true free and expressive self. Music is something that called out to me at a very young age, and it is the foundation of my life. Part of my journey is to inspire as many people as I can and to lead by example doing something I love every single day. I count blessings for that.
What do you think of when you hear “Black History Month”?
Black history happens every day, and it is important to honor and respect those who have come before us. We have to be grateful for their sacrifices and the foundations they laid for us to continue on. Black history is the essential history to America and the rest of the world. The contributions of Black people are valuable and essential to our day-to-day lives. What Black people have done from music alone transcends across generations from Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Cab Calloway, James Brown, Algia Mae Hinton, Prince, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Anita Baker, Beyonce—I mean the list of trailblazers is never-ending. Black history is the genesis of everything from music to some of the biggest innovations in science, education, sports, and much more. Appreciating these things and educating those that come after us is important and needed.
Is there a specific Black creative that inspires you? Why?
For me, the list of Black creatives that inspire me are Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Michael Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Janet Jackson, Sade, Beyonce, and Gary Clark Jr. The reason why I chose these creatives as my inspiration is because all of them have left their irreplaceable individual mark on this world and they are all original in their own right. There’s no comparing them to anyone. A lot of these people are the standard of excellence in music. They are the level of artistry where I wish to be one day.
Why do you think it is important to pay homage to the Black creatives that came before us? Why do you think the world needs to learn about our Black History?
I think the history of Black creatives who have come before us gave us the foundation of Excellence through constant sacrifice, overcoming racism, and also handling the challenges of being the first in many of their fields. I think it’s important to talk about the contributions and sacrifices that were made to allow us today to better appreciate where we came from as we work towards our own versions of success.
What is your current studio and (when we get back to live shows) live performance set up? Is it any different? (Feel free to address one or both of your rig setups).
I keep it simple; it’s either two to three of my electric guitars, my Fender Stratocaster, my Trampas PRS in green, or my natural Fender Strat. I also use a Fender Mustang III amplifier, a BOSS RC-30 pedal, and a Dunlop Cry Baby pedal.
What does it mean to be a Black womxn to you?
Being a Black woman means to be fearless, to exude power, and that unapologetic belief in yourself. You also have to be brave and shake off a lot of negativity that is directed at you. It also means to love who you are and be an example of excellence for the womxn who will follow in your footsteps one day.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to your eight-year-old self looking up to the adult version of you?
Trust the vision you have for yourself and for your life. There will be challenges; you’ll have to fight your way to see your dreams accomplished. You are worthy of being an artist and the music inside of you needs to be seen and heard. You have what it takes. Being a musician and a womxn of color is one of your superpowers. Be kind to yourself and have faith in your vision. Put love into everything you do and never lose passion for your dreams. Thank God for your blessings.
Follow Jennale on IG @guitarist_jennale