Johannesburg rock artist Beverly Jayne discusses her second solo album, how she’s grown as a musician and what’s next for her
By Emily May
Johannesburg rock musician Beverly Jayne began writing songs and playing guitar at the age of 14. Once she finished school, she moved to the US for a year before returning to South Africa. Upon her return, she joined the band Concussion Girl. The band rose to popularity with their hit “Tie Me Up”, a song that received heavy airplay and was featured on the globally released horror film “Slash”. The band released two albums, after which time she began to branch out into a solo career, performing at many of South Africa’s most popular festivals and having the opportunity to open for popular South African band Mango Groove at the Big Top Arena. During this time she released her first studio album, Walk Away, which received a great deal of domestic and international airplay and was featured in South African television shows. With thoughtful and relatable lyrics and a sounds that rotates between rock and ballads and from brass to strings, she has a universal sound that is enjoyed by a wide and diverse audience. She recently released her second solo album,Back To Love, an album on which she took a more raw and honest approach to the lyrics. With plans to promote the album, play more gigs and hopefully book an overseas tour, she has plenty in store for her fans in the coming months. You can follow stay up-to-date with Beverly Jayne and all upcoming music and tour dates, as well as stream and purchase her music via the following links. Check out “Trippin on the Air” below!
iTunes/Apple Music- https://itunes.apple.
You began writing songs and playing guitar since the age of 14. I read that your grandmother was a concert pianist (and taught you lessons) and your dad was a guitarist and and singer in a band. What kind of influence did they have on your love for music growing up? Did they give you any advice when you decided to pursue the path of music?
They said “get a job!” hehehe. But actually, now that you ask the question, I do remember some things they said to me that might have stuck . My Gran was all about the feel. She was a concert pianist and played sheet music, the same sheet music as everyone else but she said that what makes music move us is the light and shade, the preciseness of how you hit each note as well as the
lightness/heaviness/emotion you bring to every second of playing.
You recently released your second solo album, Back To Love. What can you tell me about the inspiration behind the album? You have mentioned that with your first album, you had a catalog of songs to choose from but with this album you had to start with a clean slate. How do you feel the making of this album compares to the making of your first album?
The inspiration behind this album was a pretty huge change in the way I did life. I had decided to quit drinking and partying because it had all gotten a bit too much and I had lost myself along the way. My song “breathe” on the album explains that whole process quite nicely. I basically decided to step off the rollercoaster and “breathe” and in doing so I found my love for life and music again.
The making of this album was in many ways a lot more intimidating because not only were the tracks all non existent when I began, but I had also decided to be raw and honest so it was a pretty vulnerable experience. Having said that, it was for more rewarding for all the same reasons.
You worked with SAMA winning producer Paul McIver on your first album. Did he produce the new album as well? What was it like working with him? What do you feel he brought to the process?
He did produce the new album. We developed such a great in-studio relationship the first time around that I couldn’t think of a better person to be a part of this new venture.
What Paul brings to the process is he knows how to get more out of me than I think is there! He pushed me when I wanted to give up to just do “one more” take to get that perfect note or that better feel. He also is really good at facilitating, rather than influencing the process so you are left feeling like you were really heard. Besides the fact that at this point of working together, communication is SO easy you only need a grunt or a word or two half the time.
You have mentioned that with your first album you didn’t take yourself seriously as a musician and have since discovered your musicianship and have grown into your musical skin over the coarse of making Back To Love. What do you feel prompted this journey to discover your musicianship? What do you feel you learned about yourself in the process?
I think living life consciously is what prompted the journey. You can’t do better at something until you are able to look honestly at where you are actually at, be willing to say it can be better, and be brave enough to try to be better. That in itself is a wonderful learning process.
When you were younger and just out of school, you lived in the US for a year. What led you to live in the US what what was the experience like for you?
The experience was great! I was an au pair. I was really young and shy and fit orced out of my comfort zone (by my own choice I must add!) which really helped me grow up quite quickly and find the guts to get back to south Africa and get on stage! Americans are so naturally confident (at least it seemed that way to me) and I think that helped me see things a little differently. Also.. I loved the fast food… a little too much maybe haha!
Upon your return to South Africa, you joined the band Concussion Girl which has enjoyed a great deal of success! How has performing solo compared with with performing with a band? Does Concussion Girl still perform together?
I still perform with a band as my “solo self” but I obviously do a lot more shows with me and my guitar or with another guitarist. The difference is that you are much more exposed, not only are they all your lyrics about your soul stuff, you also can’t hide mistakes behind the noise of a full band!!! But those beautiful moments when it is just you, your guitar and the audience and everything just works… you can’t buy that!
You recently released a live video covering some highlights of the launch for Back To Love! What were some highlights of the evening? How did you come to team up with the Lindsay McGuire Band for your version of “I Alone” by Live? What can you tell me about the new track you played, Trippin on the Air?
We were messing around with it in her lounge and it sounded good so we thought, lets go to the studio (I was just wrapping up the album so that’s where my head was at… Have an idea? Go to studio!)
“Trippin on the Air” is all those crazy party nights merged into one crazy song.
You recently took part in the Teddy-Thon to raise money for charity! Do you play charity shows often? Are there any charities you are especially passionate about!
I play charity shows too often! I’m a sucker for them. Music is the one thing I can always give at no cost to myself.
You had a lot of airplay in several countries with your first album! What are your international fan base and shows like compared to South Africa?
I have not yet had the pleasure of doing any shows outside of South Africa. I would really love to, and I actually have more digital sales than South Arican sales so let’s hope there is a time really soon where the opportunity presents itself!!
What’s next for you? What do you have planned for 2019?
SELL THE ALBUM, gigs, gigs and (in light of the previous question….) an overseas tour? 😛