Courtney Jaye – Interview

0
384
Courtney Jaye

When writing interviews it’s not always easy to convey how much fun you had talking to an individual. Courtney Jaye was a wonderful and a laugh-riot. It was a good time and when we write (Laughs) it was more than a giggle… often it was laughter right through the conversation only pausing to breath.

I was reading the bio and you’ve really traveled quite a bit. Where you trying to find new experiences or did life happen?

Life just happened. I met my manager when I was in high school and I just started playing guitar. He came from a line of managing incredible artists. He said instead of opting for the quick fix he wanted me to go out and live my life and get some experience under my belt and keep in touch. It took me a long time to get to where I am but I wouldn’t change it for nothing. It’s been very valuable. Life happened and then the music came.

It’s so interesting that he wanted you to live life because he could have just put you out there doing pop songs but they wouldn’t have been the pop songs you have today—with that depth.

Right, exactly.

Older listeners won’t be embarrassed to listen to your songs—even though it is pop.

I love writing pop songs and I love the challenge. I love melodies and wanted it to be classy. I wanted it to have some substance because I feel as if I have a lot of things to say and wanted it to have something to it. I don’t believe some artists when I listen to them. I want listeners to connect and realize its real—it’s real to me.

When I listened I knew it was pop but it wasn’t the kind of music you pretend you don’t listen to. If you are thirty you don’t admit to listening to Britney Spears—at least I wouldn’t.

(Laughs) Don’t print this…(Laughs) It’s like Creed. How many of millions of people bought their records but I don’t think I know one person that owns that record. (Laughs) You know what I mean?

(Laughs) Or any hair band from back in the day.

I represent for the hair bands actually.

(We both laugh) Now it’s almost retro or chic to say you listened to Motley Crue, but it wasn’t cool five years ago.

(Laughs) I think I’m going to cover “Girls, Girls, Girls” acoustically. (Laughs) Maybe “Home Sweet Home.”

When you get a record, like yours and you see the cover and see a pretty face there isn’t the instant assumption that you write the songs. Is it important to you that listeners know you write the songs?

It goes back to doing my best to represent myself in a real way. I’ve yet in this business not do something that wasn’t true to me. I can put that out there—it is important to me on a certain level but at the end of the day I know how close I am to the songs and I’m the writer. I feel like it’s important because I’ve spent so many years working on the craft of song writing. At the end of the day not everybody is smart and will look in the album credits.

I think real music fans read the credits.

Thank you for doing that. (Laughs)

My wife would never look at a credit; she likes music, but could care less. She hears a song, buys it, and throws the case away and is happy. But someone like me…

…I analyze it.

Me too. You read every lyric, every thank you, and every credit.

That’s exactly what I do.

I don’t do it as much now because we get the cheat sheets with the bios and everything, but I still like to know these things. Listening to the songs I can imagine the audience will be all over the place—from teenage girls to older women.

I’m already seeing it. Everything is starting to make a little more sense to me now. I love the idea that, first of all when I made the record I don’t look at the music by classifying it. People have a problem classifying me as pop, or rock, or folk, or alt. The beauty for me is that a thirteen year old girl can fall in love with the record and so can her mom. I tend to gravitate towards artists that are timeless and don’t sound dated.

It almost feels bad calling your songs pop because pop has become a bad word in music. It’s amazing because pop wasn’t always stigmatized.

Pop music right now deserves to get beat up because it’s shit. I’m sorry but that is how I feel about it. What got me going back into the world of pop music was Coldplay’s song “Yellow.” I thought it was a song that was so simple, so beautiful, and so catchy and had so much class. It really had so much relevance. I want to bring some element of style and credibility and class back to pop music. That is my challenge.

I know Sarah McLachlen is a great artist—but I can’t listen to her because I find it boring. Your album isn’t like that. It’s lovely and keeps you interested. It’s not just a chick record. And I say that only because guys think that any record with a woman solo artist is a chick album.

Thank you that just made my day.

What I really appreciate more than anything is that you could have went the easy and popular route and recorded a straight acoustic pop album. But you would have ended up being thrown into a category with a hundred different women. It was great that you went a different way.

And you know that came up originally when we were looking for producers. Would I go for the hot young producer, but I never saw myself doing that. I know who is producing songs that are hits. I never saw myself following the crowd. I always wanted to do something unique and eclectic, which is one of my favorite words.

And all that moving has a tendency to make your tastes more eclectic.

Exactly.

I’ve moved all over the country and have lived in five different states in the last six years so I know exactly what you mean.

There is so much going on. It’s really cool to me that different parts of the country are associated to different sounds.

And the people.

Absolutely.

Is your summer all mapped out?

This has been a topic of conversation between me and my manager. I might need a day off to do laundry. (Laughs) I’m not complaining at all—I’m having so much fun.

In my opinion there could be four singles on this record so I don’t know how people couldn’t pick it up.

Thank you again!! That’s great.

It’s as catchy as anything that is a hit out there. So many songs don’t even have hooks anymore.

Absolutely.

There are some McDonald’s commercials that have better hooks than some songs on the radio today.

I love the idea of a song that comes out and grabs me. But that can be hard for me too because I want to write songs like that. Screw radio, I couldn’t make a record hoping it appeals to radio. I just write songs for me and hope everyone else gets it.

+ Charlie Craine

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.