What is your name?
Carolyn Oakley or Jaayns is my artist name
What is your genre of music?
Alternative Electronic/ Singer-Songwriter
Give us a little bio about you.
I started writing properly about 7 years ago, at first I started writing for other artists and songwriters, about 3 years ago I decided to put my own music out which resulted in releasing my first EP called Bright White Yellow in 2017. It was really well received I had plays on BBC introducing West Yorkshire, Tom Robinson show on BBC 6 music, featured on Best is British unsigned and received a best electro 2017 award through independent radio station Radio Wigwam. In 2018 I started writing a follow up EP called Push Bar to Open which I’ve now completed. Stars is the first single to be released from it with the whole EP out by the end of the year. & I still write with other artists too.
What made you go into music?
I’ve loved music all my life been going to gigs and festivals since I was a kid and I used to write poetry a lot and make up melodies in my head. I’ve always been fascinated by songs and I had like an epiphany moment on a Songwriter retreat when I met load of other writers and I was like these are my tribe. This is who I am, and I’ve not stopped since it’s mostly all I think about writing and music occasionally food
Are you a signed?
You released new single ‘Stars’, tell us more about the single.
It was the first song I wrote for the new EP actually started it at the end of 2017 and finished it in the middle of 2018. I co-wrote it in the studio with my producer Ben Matravers, he’s a brilliant creative producer, instrumentalist and songwriter.
What is the meaning behind the single?
I’m always calling people a Star maybe it’s a Leeds thing… the song is about how we can struggle finding who we really are and when we do we can be afraid to show it or say how we feel as we don’t want to be judged or be told it’s not good enough. If we’re afraid that we will be criticised we filter things and disguise things or hide ourselves .. I don’t believe we should suppress things if we feel strongly about them then say them speak up talk about things to each other in person (not just on socials). what we are is unique and everyone is different .. like a snowflake none of us are the same… so celebrate who we really are and remember we’re all Stars so shine
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
I wrote all the songs on this EP with my co-writer and producer Ben. We wrote it in the studio as I like to vibe off all the different sounds beats and instrumentation to see what melodies come through. I remember with this song that it came about over time, the first writing session we got an early version of the song but didn’t think the verse lyrics were right and the music arrangement didn’t feel right either.. I spent ages mulling over the lyrics after the writing session, it it all came together when I went to record the song properly about 4 months after it was original written. I love the song now so it was worth it
What was the recording process like?
It started with me saying the song needed to be changed so we agreed the changes and went from there. Once the main top line Melody is recorded i like to vibe off it and experiment with harmonies, bvs etc and work with ben to mix the song up and throw sounds and things at it… it’s like keeping the heart of the original song from the first writing session but breaking it and recreating everything around it during the recording process.
Who did you work with on the single?
My co-writer and Producer Ben
Will we see any music video for the track?
I’m fully independent and I don’t have a team around me so I have to fund and create everything myself like my cover artwork and videos etc so I’m not able to create really glossy expensive videos but I do create videos myself at home with my phone and video editing software. I need to come up with an idea for a video for Stars and it hasn’t come to me yet… but as soon as I’ve thought of something, I’ll be on with it.
Will we see an EP or album? If so what can we expect?
Yes! This is the first single from a new EP called Push Bar to Open. It will be released later this year everywhere after I’ve released some more singles from it, but if you don’t want to wait then it’s available to buy as a pre-release only on my bandcamp page now Jaayns.bandcamp.com
Do you have any shows coming up?
No not at the moment but I hope announce some soon.
I am curating two Singer-Songwriter nights with some brilliant unsigned songwriters in Leeds (13th October) and London (30th November) which I might be performing at www.instagram.com/livenowplaylater.
I know a lot of songwriters through writing collaborations and the independent music circuit, so if you love songwriting and beautiful music come along to one of those nights you will love it!
What else can we expect in 2019?
Some more singles from the EP will be released – announcements coming soon, and releasing the EP in full by the end of the year, hopefully some live shows too
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Yes. I am hoping some of the collaborations I’ve been working on will be released soon so keep an eye on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Yes! I love collaborating I also love writing for other artists and producers. if you would like to collaborate contact me through my contact page on my website www.jaaynmusic.com
Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar and abit of piano
Who are your influences?
I love artists who experiment with music as an art form with honest lyrics, melodies and really raw and emotive in their delivery… I proper love artists who don’t hold back… Tove Lo, Banks, Mo are really inspiring and then I’m influenced by gritty sub base sounds and beats and artists that experiment with sounds and melody like Bon Iver and Chet Faker
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Life and talking about life and my perspective on it and what’s going on in the world… there so much change and social dialogue going on at the moment…
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
being happy, creating music as much as I can and seeing where the flow of life takes me
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
See friends and family, go for walks, run, watch Netflix
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Ah too hard.. I get obsessed with certain songs and then play them on repeat for ages I guess I remember doing that with.. Crowded Places – Banks, All We Do – Oh Wonder
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Find ways to make your day a good day even if it’s gone wrong… do something nice to turn it round… then you look back and you’ll have had a life of good days
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
To remember where the term artist comes from… it’s not just about singing it’s what you create with music, what you want to say and how you want say it.
love it always and if you don’t then change things so you do again as that’s where your best work comes from
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
don’t just think about things.. do things as thinking doesn’t make things happen
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
I like the music venues like Oporto or the Brudenell but I love walking round the parks like Roundhay Park or Otley Chevin
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? Bed
2/ Who do you see first? My cat
3/What do you eat first? Toast
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
My water bottle
Some cash to get home
My phone to take some pictures