Jae: I’m no one-hit wonder
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‘I’m not a one-hit wonder,” says Durban singer Jae, who is making her long- awaited comeback.
Once dubbed South Africa’s pop princess, Jae first burst onto the local music scene nine-years ago when her debut single Missing You, which had achieved platinum status, a first for a local R’n B singer. The track made the Newlands East singer a household name and earned her a number of music award nominations.
Missing You had been written in memory of Jae’s sister Bronwyn and her niece and nephew who were killed in a car crash. At the time, the grief stricken artist was on the verge of giving up on her dream of becoming a solo recording artist but was persuaded not to let go of the dream she had been pursuing since the age of six.
But, follow-up efforts and a second album received luke warm success and then she slipped into relative obscurity.
Now, three years after her last release, Jae is desperate to achieve success again.
“It’s a comeback… abso-lutely,” she said.
“I had been under the radar for while and although I had been writing and recording demos, I was distracted. I realised that I had moved away from doing what I loved… making music.”
Her distraction, she said was her attempt at an acting career which did not materialise.
“I tried acting and we had a few things planned that kind of fell flat. But I was frustrated that (I) wasn’t making music.
“It’s been three and a half years since the last album and I found myself thinking I really needed to do an album,” Jae explained.
Her new offering is titled Inner Voice.
While it is different from her previous music, it is also a new start in other ways. She changed record labels and cut business ties with long time manager Noel Kok.
However, Jae insisted the split had been a mutual decision and she still remained friends with Kok.
There were also other personal changes in her life, which she was only prepared to hint at.
“It’s a whole new change, a whole new Jae. Waiting three years to do an album was probably the best thing I could have done.”
“During this time I’ve grown in many ways musically. I feel more liberated and free to do what is inside,” she said.
Her new album is mostly a fusion of dance and house – a sharp departure from her R’n B roots.
“It’s a different sound. More fun but also more mature. More expressive for me.”
“I was really frustrated and I found that my music was more diverse now.”
It is unclear whether Inner Voice would return her to her former career heights, but she said she does not feel pressured to prove anything to critics.
“I’m doing the same thing again, but this time consciously…because I want to do it. My game is raised. I love music and I have a passion for performing and as long as I can perform, I am happy,” she said.
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