Fall in and out of love with Jennovine Let your feelings go with R&B songs about devotion


Sheryl Shenafia releases a new album discussing love and heartbreak.
Rating: B
Photo Credit: Indah Lynda

Kristin Bernasor

For almost seven years, singer-songwriter Sheryl Shenafia has dedicated her entire career releasing pop and R&B songs in her native language, Indonesian, for fans coming from the same country. Now she has come out with her first album sung completely in English, and now more English-speaking international fans can listen and sing along to the lyrics.

Born as Sheryl Shenafia Tjorko in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 4, 1996, Shenafia is also of Chinese and Madurese descent. She entered the music industry at age 14 when she was signed by Musica Studios and released her self-titled debut album in 2013. 

Aside from the track titled “Intro,” which features audio of Sheinafia and an unknown person talking over the phone, there are seven songs on this album. The first song, “Okay,” opens up with slow guitars accompanied by beats. The lyrics remind listeners that not everything will be okay as Shenafia sings, “You don’t have to fight it / It’s gon’ be okay / If things don’t turn up, so you call it a day / Okay (okay) / You could just stay home, it’s okay.” In a way, it also alludes to the current pandemic happening in the world. While this wasn’t intentional, this is a song everyone should listen to if they’re feeling hopeless. 

For some of the tracks, their lyrical content mainly talks about love. One of the songs, “Deja Vu,” has a slow-tempo vibe which adds to the angst. As slow guitar strums and continuous beats faint in the background, Shenefia sings, “Boy I’m not even’ lovin’ you / But all I do / Is think of you.” Despite not possibly knowing the person in the song, their lyrics suggest that she can’t stop thinking about them, which anyone can relate to when they find themselves randomly crushing on someone. On the last track of the EP, “Lose My Mind,” features a chill beat and acoustic guitar. Shenefeia and Indonesian singer Rendy Pandugo talk about wanting to hear their significant others’ voices on the phone. It signifies how both people in the relationship are attached to each other, up to the point where they constantly need to hear or see each other almost daily.

The rest of the songs are slightly more upbeat, but they still contain the chill vibe that Shenafia has carried throughout her previous releases. However, the lyrical content covers more about heartbreak. On a personal favorite track, “Bye,” radiates a pop vibe, as the song talks about acknowledging the idea that you’re better off without your significant other. The lyrics, “I’m better off alone / I’ve got to let you go / There’s no room for me, I know,” express how it’s hard to continue staying with the person. Other songs such as “I Wish I Knew Better” and “House or Home” cover Shenefia struggling to feel less lonely without her significant other and wishing that she knew better than to get together with them.

“Lose My Mind” doesn’t necessarily discuss the same topics as the other songs. Instead, the message it’s sending is about letting loose and having fun every once in a while. Singing alongside Indonesian rapper, A. Nayaka, Shenefia sings,  “I just wanna lose my mind / Get caught up in the feeling / We need to let go sometimes / No, we don’t need a reason.” Especially for the listeners who are stressing over various issues like school or work, this song encourages them to take their mind off of it.

All in all, “Jennovine” was able to incorporate R&B-based songs discussing topics regarding love. With this, Sneinafia can connect not only with her fans from her home country, but with English speaking fans from around the world.

Have you heard of Sheryl Sheinafia before?