A Chat with JAYA (08.06.20)

Notorious for highly energetic and captivating shows, JAYA wants to interact with fans as much as possible. Describing themselves as ‘edgy pop’, this trio is about release a debut full-length album. We had a chance to chat with lead vocalist Jaya (J) about their upcoming album, the teaser single ‘This Year’s News’ and much more!

OSR: How did JAYA form?

J: Ron, Stef and myself moved to London around the same time in the summer of 2015. I met Ron at an open mic in Hackney not long after. We had coffee a couple of weeks later and jammed a few songs. From then, we started working together as a duo. Stef joined the band the following year. Both Ron and I had worked with Stef in other bands, so when we were looking for a drummer to join he was the perfect fit!

OSR: Did you always want to be a musician?

J: Earliest ambitions included being a Jedi or working as an investigator (inspiration thanks to Star Wars and Sherlock Holmes). I still believe that being an astronaut would be incredible if you got the chance to go into space and see the Earth from the other side!

OSR: What can you tell us about your new single ‘This Year’s News’?

J: It’s a song about experiencing loneliness in the busy metropolis of London. The song includes a soprano saxophone solo and a string arrangement, so it’s a different soundscape for listeners who are familiar with previous releases.

OSR: Can you tell us about your upcoming debut album?

J: The album is called Fractured Disposition. Vibe-wise it’s a mixture of upbeat folk and poetic pop. The core band setup is Jaya’s and Ron’s vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, piano and drums. On the album you hear a lot of that layered with brass, strings, mandolin and various electric guitar parts to create the finished sound.

OSR: Is there a constant theme to the tracks in the new album?

J: The constant theme is emotions, be it sad, angry, confused or happy. The album is like a roller coaster, similar to our live shows. It takes you on a journey through light and shade in the world of JAYA, with a couple of foot-tappers and some other songs with a more intimate vibe. The title Fractured Disposition describes the mix of different emotions behind the collection of songs.

OSR: What is the concept behind ‘This Year’s News’?

J: Not long after moving to London, I wanted to write a song that captured my feelings about the experience of living here. Its immense, busy, a buzz, full of noise and movement. At the same time, you see so many people every day pass people, brush shoulders, wait in lines, catch the tube, and all these people live their own lives in their own bubbles. You’re constantly surrounded by people and, at the same time, you can feel completely alone. ‘This Year’s News’ is that song.

Credit to Oliver Harry Clark

OSR: Does ‘This Year’s News’ have any personal significance for you?

J: Yeah, absolutely. Like most of my songs, it is inspired by personal experience. For me, it reflects emotions I have sometimes felt whilst living here. The current state of the world has given it an unintended dramatic twist.

OSR: If you could perform with any artist, who would it be and why?

J: Nice question. Annie Lennox is one of my treasured artists. I love the depth in her voice and her stage presence as a performer. It would be cool to share a stage with her.

OSR: What is the worst haircut you have ever received?

J: I once had my hair dyed and it went a strange strawberry-orange colour. Definitely not my best look.

OSR: This lockdown has affected people in many different ways. How has it affected you from a personal and professional perspective?

J: Personally, I’ve been very lucky. I’m currently furloughed so we’ve used the time to finish off the album and prepare for the release of the first three singles. Sadly, we can’t do gigs right now, but we’re busy planning a tour for when the album comes out. Stef has been in Bali for most of the lockdown!

OSR: Where do you hope to be this time next year?

J: Out of lockdown and back on stage. With a bit of luck, we will be on a European tour again.

OSR: What do you do when you’re not creating music?

J: Enjoy the process of brewing a Chemex and then enjoying the coffee.

OSR: Do you have any message for our readers?

J: Nice to have met you if you made it this far! Say hello on social media and subscribe to our newsletter through jayatunes.com. If you like coffee, let us know which beans you use. Our merchandise stand always includes JAYA mugs. Come to one of our shows around the album release so you can drink your brew in JAYA style.

Thanks to Jaya for chatting with us! You can find more about JAYA on their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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