Interview: Erika Jayne
Sun, 09 Aug 2009 13:14:15
Erika Jayne Videos
Erika Jayne just wants to make you dance.
Her new album, Pretty Mess [Available August 11], most certainly will. In fact, Pretty Mess is loaded with epic pop melodies to spare and enough ass-shaking synths to set any dance floor off. What Miss Jayne does best though, is play live. Seeing her on stage, the music simply comes to life vibrantly, with Erika serving as one-half pop queen and one-half femme fatale temptress. You have to see it to believe it.
Erika spoke to ARTISTdirect.com about classic films and making her very own Mess. Check out our exclusive interview below.
Was one of your goals to make dance edgier?
We definitely tried to do that! I tried to make something that let my personality come through. I think it's really personal music. It should always be personal though. It's something that I made—an artistic effort.
Did you have one conceptual thread that you tried to adhere to over the course of this album?
When I made this record, my intentions were to have a good time and express myself. I was able to do that. I think it just carried through the whole album, and everything blossomed from there.
There's definitely a cinematic side to your music. That's apparent as well.
I get inspired from visual things that I see during the day. Whether it's from people, pieces of film, art or nature, I get inspired. It's nice to see pictures in your brain [Laughs]. It sounds stupid, but it works [Laughs]. I wanted listeners to be able to take a little trip and step out of their daily routine. I'd like to transport them somewhere else.
Are there any movies that inspired you while you were making the record?
I watch a lot of classics. There's not one in particular that sticks out, but there are a group that I tend to gravitate back to. One of them is The Blue Angel. Marlene Dietrich is always fascinating. I watch Gilda with Rita Hayworth. I like all of those older classic girls. I always watch Paris Is Burning a lot because I love the raw edge that film has. I watch a lot of documentaries too because I enjoy people and I enjoy getting to know about what makes them work.
So the record is like a case study of fun?
"A case study of fun?" That's a great idea [Laughs]. Yes! There's a lot in the world in people personal experiences that are trying, hard or sad and I think that it's nice to be able to forget those things and dance and love. It's good to focus on something else for a minute like music, pleasure and luxury [Laughs].
What's your favorite song on the record?
I have a couple. The title track, "Pretty Mess," is probably one of my favorites. "Give You Everything" is definitely a favorite. They're all special to me. I called the album Pretty Mess because I liked what the song was saying. As a woman, sometimes you feel like a princess, sometimes you feel like a temptress and sometimes you feel like a pretty mess. That stuck with me, and I thought it would be a great title for the album.
Well they all rhyme too.
That was not intentional, but they do rhyme [Laughs]. I'm a princess, I'm a temptress, I'm a pretty mess.
Coming from Atlanta, where you surrounded by music?
I've been performing since I was a kid. I was doing musical theater. Atlanta just has this great artistic demeanor with lots of bands, music and fun. It was a great place to grow up. It's definitely become more cosmopolitan lately but everyone seems to find their way, and it's kind of cool. It's a little baby melting pot.
How would you describe your live show?
It's fast and upbeat. It punches. There's a level of intensity and fun. That's what I feel dance music brings.
Do you feel like dance music has made a comeback over the past few years?
I feel like dance music has such a large global presence. When you go outside of the U.S., dance music is huge. It's nice to see it filter back and become "rediscovered." Hip hop ruled for a long time and then rock n' roll. Now it's dance music's day.