Nina Jayne - talent & beauty
Words: Ashanti OMkar
Pictures: Akin Falope (www.aworan.net)
This young lady is setting the music scene ablaze, with her amazing vocals and profound lyric writing skills; Nina Jayne is here to stay. With her roots truly East meets West, with a Jamaican Mother and Pakistani Father, Nina is a child of the world, with her inspirations coming from so many types of music, primarily a well trained Gospel backing to her style. She has then honed in on these silky vocals, to bring modern RnB and ‘real’ emotions in her music, which makes listening to her a very special treat, whether on her debut EP ‘No ordinary pain’ or live (an experience not to be missed). Nina, who has a fan club of musical influencers like Lionel Richie and Craig David, will be performing again in London’s renowned Jazz Café, having done support for the Jazz legend, Roy Ayers and will return there, to be supporting the much respected Rahsaan Patterson very soon. Catch Nina’ debut EP release, in stores nationwide now; don’t miss the opportunity to see this mega UK talent live and read on, to see what this young lady is all about.
North London, - your birthplace which part was it and do you still reside there? Tell us about your upbringing – especially from a religious, cultural point of view.
I grew up in Enfield, North London. But moved 1yr 1/2 ago to South West London. My upbringing probably wasn’t that different to anyone else's, I was brought up as a Christian as that was what both my parents were.
What was it like, to be of mixed parentage? A blend of cultures, but did you find it a racist society, where you were called names e.t.c, when you were young, in school?
As a child I didn’t notice the fact that my parents were from different backgrounds, because that was all I knew. However as I got older I began to understand how separate society was. We were the only non-whites on our street and frequently were sent ignorant racial comments through our letterbox. It never controlled my life, because my parents didn’t allow it too.
Having your Parents as musicians must have been amazing – do you feel you inherited from both of them, in terms of talents? Looks wise, who do you resemble?
Just as I grew up not noticing where my parents were from, was the same with there musical talents. Music was always played in the house and did annoy me sometimes, but it was a great foundation for what was to come. I would say with confidence that I have inherited from both parents, as my mum is an amazing singer and my father a musician, who has great understanding and appreciation for all music. I’ve been told “oh you look so much like your dad” then it was “you and your mother are so alike” I’ve given up in trying to find out, I guess they are both my parents and I would have a few features from both. I feel very honored to come from a family where music has played such a big role in all our lives as we have grown up.
How do your friends feel about your transition into music and have they all given you support? Have you had any of those fickle ones, who have now decided to be your new best friend?
My friends have all been really excited for me. Thank goodness I haven’t had any real problems with fickle ones, I guess I would’ve of detected them by now and sent them on there merry way. I have a small circle of friends, which has always worked for me.
At 21, how do you feel your life experience so far has equipped you to deal with the music business?
I was brought up very levelheaded. I was taught “you don’t get anything for nothing”, therefore I’ve taken it upon myself to work hard for everything and my reward will come, even if it’s not the timing that I had planned, it will come. I learnt within a minute, it does take time to get a record deal, but it’s not until you get that deal, that the real hard work really kicks in. You have to be prepared to make sacrifices to allow it to work, and always surround yourself with people that have your REAL interest at heart. Mistakes are always made; it has to happen so you learn from them. Where you feel unsure about something always question, because once it’s done, it’s done.
It seems that getting into music was a natural progression for you, how hard did you have to work to get here? Did your Parents insist that you completed your education first? Was it a battle to get into the music field, instead of say something more ‘professional’ – It’s an Asian thing to have parents who tell you to become a Doctor or Engineer...
Getting into the music industry was a very natural progression. I was always encouraged to get through education first, but once I decided that I wanted to pursue music I still had the backing from my parents. My introduction to the industry was through the Mobo unsigned, I thought I would try, if I hadn’t of won, no harm would’ve been done. However the real hard work started once I had my record deal with BMG.
Musical instruments – apart from your glorious voice, the greatest of instruments, do you play anything? Anything in your album/EP played by you?
My voice is the only instrument that I use, even though I don’t play an instrument I have an understanding of how I want my music to sound and take every opportunity to get that across.
Lyrics – tell us about your input to these, as I believe that you have had almost complete lyrical control… What do you tend to write about – we hear stuff on domestic violence and social issues – are you writing from own and others experiences? What gives you the inspiration and creativity to write?
I have always made an effort to have a level of control of where each song is going. Every song that I have written is either from my own experience or of those around me. I also like to write songs from an observational point, that way I’m not limited on topics that are just in my circle.
UK media seem to love you – who has given you support and what sort of attention do you expect to achieve in the future?
It’s been amazing receiving such support so early in my career. I mean I’ve already received support from, Lionel Richie, MTV, Giorgio Armani, Trevor Nelson, Steve Sutherland, 1xtra and this has all stemmed from pirate stations picking up on my track, ‘Could’ve Been’.
Your record label – tell us more about them and the PR who have been representing you.
My record label is Sony BMG I’m signed to RCA. They look after amazing stars such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lemar and Kings of Leon to name a few. I’ve got an amazing team around me that develop the ideas that I have into what you see.
UMS – You were one of the newest faces on the panel – what was it like, to be on such a panel? Had you attended previous UM seminars and what did you think of their content – did they help you?
It was the first time that I had ever been to the UMS and it was a great event to be apart of. It was an honor to be on the panel and enjoyed answering questions.
On your album, you have a host of eminent producers – tell us about them and their respective contributions to your album?
I have had the best time creating my album; I’ve been working with great producers such as SoulShock & Karlin (Whitney Houston/ Monica and Brandy), Steve Lipson (Annie Lennox) Fraser T.Smith (Craig David) and many more. Individually they have contributed great sounds & lyrics around what I do (The best producers are those who listen to what the artiste does naturally, then highlights there strengths).
Why did you choose to release an EP, as opposed to a debut single? Was it because of the amount of material you had?
Apart from the fact of having so many songs, I felt that it was an important tool to release, so people can get a real taster of what is to come. (Release date Nov 29th). My debut single follows in the New Year.
We hear that you are very original - what is your style categorised under? – What separates you and your music/lyrics/production from the many other female artistes out there? What’s your USP (Unique selling point)?
If it has been said that I am original and that’s fantastic, I just do what’s real to me. I don’t sit down purposely thinking of how I can be different to the next person, I’m in my own space, where’s there no competition and I feel at my most comfortable, writing and singing about what’s around me... - life (that’s no secret).
Having seen you live, I know what a fantastic voice you behold – how do you keep it like this, to have the edge that it does? Any special food/drink/preparation, you take?
I’m probably one of the most unorthodox people when it comes to preparing to go on stage vocally. I don’t really have a specific routine that I always do, as long as my mind’s in a good place that’s usually all I need... -oh and an orange juice on stage.
Touring with Lionel Richie – tell us about this experience – it’s rare for a newcomer to get to work with a veteran – what’s he like and what’s the Any gigs and tour dates to note, for where you will be performing?
Touring with Lionel has been by far, one of the best things I have ever done. Not only was every show he did absolutely perfect, he’s also an amazing person, who always took time out to talk to me and make sure that I was coping well the tour.
Being able to borrow his audience every night was great, I mean there was an average of 12,000 people every night. It was just the best feeling! I also have some support shows to Roy Ayers coming up!
Performing in front of live audiences – do you feel the nerves? What’s the biggest crowd you have played to? What was the reaction of the audience?
The biggest crowd that I have performed in front of was about 14,000, it’s the most overwhelming feeling. I tend to get a few butterflies whilst I’m getting dressed, when I’m on stage I’m fine, then once I’m off stage, I get nervous! It makes no sense to me, but I’m sure I’ll find out one day why that is.
Is it true that you have already been nominated as best RnB for the UMA’s? Tell us about this – was it your 1st ever nomination? What was the outcome?
That’s right! I was so shocked to have been nominated for the UMA best RnB act. It’s fantastic to be getting recognition for the ground work that I’ve done before I’ve released anything commercially yet - thank you UMA.
Any messages for your UK fans?
Oh definitely, just the biggest thank you for your support, on my website, at my gigs and everything else. For making me smile every time I read a post on my site, I’m truly blessed to have you - thank you.