By Korey Wilson
Boston, MA — Music has been a huge part of Juri Love’s life for as long as she can remember. Love learned to play the piano at the age of three and within a year was playing in her mother’s rock band.
Love’s musical journey led to four self-produced albums, a college degree from one of America’s leading music conservatories, and numerous teaching and performance opportunities.
But, while music provided Love with much joy, it was also the antidote for a great deal of pain.
As a child growing up in Japan, Love was physically and sexually abused by her father, a trusted town official. She lived through experiences of homelessness and bullying. At the age of fifteen and suffering from depression and PTSD, Love attempted suicide. It was music that gave Love a reason to keep living.
“Coming from an abusive, dysfunctional family, music saved me so I just wanted to give back to the community,” says Love.
During her senior year at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2001, Love founded what began as a class project and became a nonprofit organization, Genuine Voices, which teaches music production to juvenile offenders. Genuine Voices has helped hundreds of at-risk children and has received recognition from the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots for its inspirational work.
“Volunteerism is life changing,” says Love. “You gain so much from helping other people. It’s so rewarding when have influenced somebody’s life.”
Today, Love gives piano and voice lessons, while working on her fifth album and a new career in journalism covering community news stories with The Foxboro Reporter.
“I had absolutely zero background in journalism when I met Rick Foster, the Foxboro reporter who wrote a cover story about me and my son performing the National Anthem at Boston City Hall.”
“He asked me if I knew anything newsworthy in Foxboro. The next day, I gave him five leads and two got published,” she says.
Foster introduced Love to Craig Borges, managing editor of The Sun Chronicle. Borges offered Love a job.
“They had so much faith in me. I am so humbled and grateful,” she said.
She is currently writing her memoir, A Gift From Adversity, a heartfelt project that Love hopes will serve as a source of inspiration for people who are experiencing PTSD or trauma.
Love finds her greatest inspiration in her seven-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. “I see the life I didn’t have through them, so it motivates me to be a better person and mother. I had a very difficult childhood compared to my children,” Love says. “My goal is to make life happy for them and provide a safe environment for them.”
“No matter how abusive, dysfunctional, or horrible your environment is, you can overcome obstacles,” says Love. “It’s all about your attitude.”
To learn more visit her website: jurilove.com