During the Midsummer Nights’ Fair in Norman, I had the pleasure of listening to Jane Mays perform live. After her show I mentioned my Creator Conversations series and doing an interview for it. Here’s my Q&A with Jane Mays on her album, Hungry.
First off, tell everyone a little bit about yourself and your music.
I’ve been playing the piano since the age of 5. I come from a musical family and saw my parents and 2 brothers playing music so I was very eager to learn the piano. I always loved playing and singing, but it wasn’t until college where I really got inspired. I went to the University of Texas in Austin and got hooked on live music right away. I started playing keyboard in a friends band and was immediately hooked. I couldn’t get enough. Started writing my own music and moved to L.A. as soon as I graduated. I continued to write music and play in bands there. I learned so much there. I enjoyed the West Coast. Had a lot of success and also started teaching piano and voice lessons on the side. It was a great time in my life. Hard, but great. From L.A. I landed in Oklahoma City. OKC was a nice soft place to land. I continued to teach and write and started playing my songs in local coffee shops. I met my husband Billy, who encouraged me to record “Hungry.” Billy and I soon started playing music together and formed the Jane Mays band. I continue to teach piano and voice lessons in OKC, write music, and perform on a regular basis.
What was the greatest challenge in making Hungry?
The first challenge was living it. Every song was created out of some painful experience, or feeling, or perception. The second challenge was believing that the songs were good enough to put out there in the world. Talk about being vulnerable! The third challenge was just doing it. I had all the material, but was never satisfied with the songs. With a lot of encouragement from Billy, I finally just went to the studio and played the songs. I just had to get them down and move on.
Use only a few words to describe each song from Hungry. Go!
“Hungry” – The pain of filling ourselves up with things that don’t really feed us.
“Battlefield of Blues” – Life isn’t really bad
“Grace” – A story about my father’s family origins
“Dreams” – Realizing that things are falling apart
“Fly Home” – Freedom, breaking away with love
“I’m Sorry” – Giving other people all of the power
“Can’t Feel A Thing” – Stuffing emotions so much that we are unable to feel anything
“Blind Fear” – Wanting love and connection but being afraid of it
“Lady on The Corner” – Wondering about what her life was like
“Black Cloud” – Denial
“All We Need is Love” – Wishing a family could see each other in love
What inspired this album?
Pain. Lot’s of wonderful pain.
What are you future plans?
I plan to continue writing and playing and recording music. It is what feeds my soul and even though sometimes I want to stop and just chill, I am reminded music is just part of who I am and I can never deny that. What a gift. I am very grateful that music choose me. I love it. The creating and expressing helps me, and if it touches people along the way too, well, that is just a wonderful bonus.
There is also a Musical in the future. Billy and I are currently collaborating with some friends and writing a musical based on the stories of my songs. We are excited about this venture.
Anything else you want people to know?
I love kitties. I have 2 kittens named Moose and Louise. We call Louise “Louie.” She is named after Louie CK because we love that show. They make me laugh everyday.
I also love cookies, decorating, the beach, going to movies, and watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” In another life, maybe I will be a dancer. 🙂