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The interesting life of Daena Jay: An interview

Album Cover for "Subdivision"
Album Cover for "Subdivision"
Daena Jay

We were able to catch up with Daena Jay, known for her songs on "General Hospital." She recently released “Subdivision” in March of this year. When we heard that soulful music, we wanted to know more about the person that produced it.

LaPrade: “You are both a singer and a song-writer, do you also play any instruments? Do you have other creative outlets?”
Daena Jay: “I have played the piano since I was a child, but in the last few years I picked up a Baby Taylor. Its the perfect travel guitar and so whenever I'm on the road, Baby is my constant companion. I also like to experiment with other random instruments including the Harmonium which was featured on the last record. Oh and I did try the tambourine once... Utter Failure!Aside from music, my creative outlets include cooking. I love creating food. I also tried painting, but like the tambourine, it just wasn't mean to be.”

LaPrade: “How would you describe your music to someone not familiar with your style?”
Daena Jay: “I would probably call it indie pop, with a little electronic flare and a hint of singer/songwriter melancholy. I feel like most of the time my music tends to be funny and sad all at the same time!”

LaPrade: “We hear that you have lived on 4 different continents, do you have a favorite place in the world? If so, what makes it stand out? Since I write primarily for music in Boston, have you been there? If so, what do you think? How do you feel about the LA scene?”
Daena Jay: “Actually, I've lived on 3 continents (Africa, North America and Europe but then I have spent large chunks on the last few years in Australia... so I guess that counts!) Anyway, I'm not sure I can pick a favorite but I will say that each is a favorite in its own way. Each brings out a different side of me and a different side to my songwriting for sure...England makes me feel quite Visceral, Australia makes me Rebellious, South Africa makes me Introspective, and The US makes me Restless.

As for Boston, I visited years ago so I'm not sure I can give an accurate impression but what I will say that I have always been desperate to go back... so whatever I experienced there has stuck with me!

Then when it comes to LA... It feels like I'm still learning. The city is so vast and the people so diverse, it makes me feel young and naive as a musician but it also makes me want to be a whole lot better - which I appreciate. It's a city of amazing talent and that pushes me for sure.”

LaPrade: “Do you have a favorite song that you've created? Tell us about it.”
Daena Jay: “Wow, that's a hard one... they all mark stages of my journey as a musician as well as a person but I think on my new album, “What You Always Wanted” has been hitting a special spot for me... maybe that's because I'm back in Cali and the restlessness has set in.”

LaPrade: “I found the song 'I Will' to be particularly captivating. How do you feel about the prospect of it being an anthem for courage? Can you tell us anything about what inspired that track?”
Daena Jay: "'I Will' is defiantly about courage. At the time I wrote 'I Will' I had been going back through an old college syllabus of mine, which focused on slavery and all other forms of racial oppression. I was so struck by the will of man, to persevere, to rise above, to fight for freedom even in the face of such blaring oppression. So the song starts with what is meant to sound like shackles and even the imagery is meant to be reminiscent of those dark times and the people who suffered through them. 'I Will' is an anthem for those men and woman, whose courage and tenacity helped create a better world."

LaPrade: “As a strong female voice, do you have anything to say to the young girls and inspiring musicians out there?”
Daena Jay: “I would just encourage them to focus on the craft, on the music and lyrics themselves. There are so many gimmicks out there today, and it can all end up being about selling a brand rather than offering a song, so my appeal would be to write what is honest and real, go after what is genuine!”

LaPrade: “How important is music and art in your life?”
Daena Jay: “I honestly believe that the human soul needs beauty, whether that be visually or musically, we need those things in our life... to be inspired, to have our senses touched and I think music and art do that so profoundly. I know from personal experience that I need those things, and that they are fundamental to a good life.”

LaPrade: “What are your music-related goals?”
Daena Jay: “Well I want first and foremost to keep growing and improving, I want to continue to commit myself to the craft of music and songwriting. Then beyond those personal goals, I'd love to continue to write and record, maybe work on a tour soon, as well as perhaps do some collaborative work with some of the artists I most admire. I think ultimately I want to continue to partner with amazing musicians and create really good music.”

LaPrade: “Do you feel most comfortable performing live or recording in the studio?”
Daena Jay: “Recording for sure... haha those who know me know how awkward my first few shows were; I mainly just kept my head down and eyes closed. No but seriously I think of the last year I have really begun to enjoy the buzz of a live performance and hopefully I will continue to grow into that space even more but my first love has always been writing and singing, tucked away in some dark room. The studio I work in provides that version of heaven for me. Peace and Creativity... oh and a Piano, that's all I need!”

LaPrade: “Where do you draw your inspiration from?”
Daena Jay: “I really do draw inspiration from all over. I think personal experience always adds a certain depth, but when my life is feeling a little boring I turn back to my first love (books) and in their pages are all kinds of experiences to be had. I have always had a very vivid imagination, which I think has often helped me when I'm writing, it enables to me to be able to take my story or someone else's and give it life though music and I think that's what I love about song writing is that at the end of the day you are telling a story, and asking your listener to understand.”

LaPrade: “Is there anything you want to tell my readers?”
Daena Jay: “I loved creating this new project SUBDIVISION and I really hope your readers will love it as well; I hope they will enjoy the journey that it offers and that, in some small way, they will feel touched by its truth.”

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