From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Left to right: Ivana and Jessica Nwokike
Background information
OriginLagos, Nigeria
Years active2009 (2009)–2022 (2022)
LabelsKeep Cool / RCA
Past membersIvana Nwokike
Jessica Nwokike

VanJess was a Nigerian-American R&B duo composed of sisters Ivana and Jessica Nwokike. The duo began their career on YouTube performing cover songs. After one of their videos, a cover of Drake's "Headlines", had viral success, they decided to pursue a serious career in music.[2] In 2011 the duo hired a manager and recorded in a studio for the first time.[3] On 12 November 2018, the group announced that they had signed to the RCA joint venture label Keep Cool.[4] Thus far in their career, VanJess has released one studio album, Silk Canvas, and one EP, Homegrown.


The sisters are the children of first-generation Nigerian immigrants of Igbo origin,[5] They were both born in the United States.[6] According to Jessica, they spent 'about eight or nine years' of their childhood in Nigeria, before moving to La Palma, California with their mother, when they were 10 and 8 years old, respectively. They later moved to Cerritos.[7] Jessica and Ivana attended a performing arts elementary school. In middle school and high school, they performed as a duo in talent shows.[8]

They have supported causes like the "Louder than Words" campaign in 2012 and performed at 2013's "Lights Camera Cure" dance-a-thon. They have made appearances on shows like VH1's The Linda Perry Project.[9]

The duo re-released their debut EP 00 till Escape in 2015 which charted in the iTunes top ten and trended worldwide.[10] Their debut album Silk Canvas, an album of original material, was self-released by the duo in 2018.[11] The duo released five singles from the album: "Adore", "Touch the Floor", "Through Enough", "Addicted", "Easy", and "Control Me". The album includes collaborations with Masego, GoldLink, Little Simz, Leikeli47, and Berhana.

They released their EP, Homegrown, on February 5, 2021. The project includes collaborations with Kaytranada, Phony Ppl, Jimi Tents, Garren, and Devin Morrison.

The duo has listed Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Xscape, TLC, and SWV as their biggest musical influences.[12] In a 2021 interview with Buzzfeed, they listed Brandy, Toni Braxton, and Whitney Houston as additional influences on their music.[13]

On March 16, 2023, Jessica announced that Ivana had stepped away from VanJess eight months earlier. Jessica also announced that she will continue to make music on her own.[14]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Silk Canvas
  • Released: 27 July 2018[15]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download, streaming


Title Details
  • Released: 5 February 2021[16]
  • Label: Keep Cool, RCA
  • Format: Digital download, streaming


  1. ^
  2. ^ "10 Things You Should Know About VanJess". Myspace. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ "BAEwatch: VanJess". HYPEBAE. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  4. ^ "VanJess on Instagram: "anyone who's followed our journey knows how crazy this is. being signed with a label who so strongly believed in our potential even when…"". Instagram. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. ^ "VanJess are the new architects of electronic-soul on their debut album Silk Canvas". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Sister Collab: The 405 meets VanJess". The 405. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  7. ^ "VanJess Are Set to Takeover the R&B World and Beyond". OkayAfrica. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Who Is VanJess?". PigeonsandPlanes. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  9. ^ "VanJess On Working With Linda Perry", VH1, archived from the original on 12 October 2023, retrieved 28 August 2014
  10. ^ "Heineken Green Room Presents VanJess". Pub Webb. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  11. ^ "TOKiMONSTA Announces Tour, Shares New Song With VanJess". Pitchfork. 4 June 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  12. ^ "VanJess Are Set to Takeover the R&B World and Beyond". OkayAfrica. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  13. ^ "VanJess Talks Us Through Creating In Quarantine And The Making Of Their EP, "Homegrown"". BuzzFeed News. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Silk Canvas by VanJess". Apple Music. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Homegrown by VanJess". Apple Music. Retrieved 5 February 2021.