By Will Brown
Australia soul singer Jay Power kicks off her New Zealand tour tonight (August 10) in Wellington, before heading to Whangarei on Friday and finishing up at the Bay Of Islands Jazz Festival this weekend (see full details below).
We caught up with the 2015 ‘South Australian Female Artist of the Year’ finalist ahead of her tour.
Where did you grow up?
So I grew up in country South Australia; in a region that was a wheat and sheep farming region. So until I was about 13 I was a country girl, and then we moved to Adelaide and I’ve been living there ever since.
How did you first get into performing music?
I guess it crept up on me. throughout my life. My family weren’t particularly talented or trained or anything like that with music, but I loved music and my mum use to play guitar and sing harmonies with my sister and I. It was just for enjoyment really.
But later in my life I started to get a lot more involved and I was finding that I was looking for a sound, putting musicians around me and trying things and I realised that I really liked this. So I went of to Uni and studied a Bachelor Of Jazz and have never looked back from there.
Who were your early influences?
There was a lot of jazz in my house when I was a child, a little bit of blues as well. And lots of country music. So I guess I had my parents influences early; I loved ABBA - I think that was my first record that my parents bought me. I loved the harmonies and the pop songs that they were singing.
But for myself the music I chose when I was growing up, I was always attracted to music that had a really strong beat. So whether it was swing music or big band music, lots of gospel music… rockabilly, funk and soul… all that sort of thing.
You recently released your latest album ‘The Missing’. Where did you record that?
Part of it was recorded at my producer’s house and part of it was recorded at my house. My producer was responsible for all the beats and a lot of the keyboard sounds. Then all the vocals and guitar were done at my house.
How long did that process take?
It was a couple of years. That was because we were all doing it part time and I guess we were all enjoying it as well and it was something we didn’t have a timeline for. The goal for the album was to make sure we made something that we really loved and really enjoyed, with no sense of trying to please anyone or try to meet any deadline.
Will this be your first time performing in New Zealand?
This will actually be my first time with feet on New Zealand soil. I’m really looking forward to coming over, it’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit forever so it’s going too be great.
What can we expect from your shows?
So the style we play is soul and R&B, and there’s a mix of some pop, funk and jazz - we like to mix it up. We like those neo-soul styles and that kind of hip hop / R&B crossover. I think people can expect us to have a really honest kind of music, the songs are really from the heart and I just love to get out and have a good sing and really connect with people.
Following the New Zealand tour, what are you plans then?
We have a little bit of playing to do in Australia yet, and then we have plans to revisit a couple of places with a bit more touring on the cards. I’m also doing a bit of a side project with a dance DJ here in South Australia, we’re writing some songs together and that’s really fun. So I’d like to spend more time focusing on that as well.
Wednesday August 10th: Meow, Wellington with special guest Spitfire
Tickets via Under The Radar
Friday August 12th: The Old Stone Butter Factory, Whangarei with special guest Troy Kingi
Tickets via Eventfinda
Saturday 13 August/ Sun 14 August: Bay of Islands Jazz & Blues Festival Tickets via Bay Of Islands Jazz & Blues Festival