RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AUSTRALIA ARTISTS JEYAIA AND SONNY GRIN
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Sonny: Since I can remember I’ve always loved listening to and playing music. It’s been my passion for my whole life, can’t imagine doing anything else!
Jeyaia: Music is my everything, always has been. In my younger years I didn’t believe I was “good enough” to pursue music as a career, and when I moved to Australia, I had to work in the corporate world to get my permanent residency. It was fairly soul destroying for me, and so I used to sneak from my office desk to the bathroom every 30 minutes, simply to sing!! One day, I came out the cubicle and caught my reflection in the mirror. I looked myself in the eye and asked myself: “what are you doing?!”. That moment flipped a switch in me… and when I got back to my desk, I opened my emails to a Groupon for 3 vocal coaching lessons. You can’t make this stuff up. The rest is history!
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Sonny: Not particularly, but I like the idea that maybe Tupac is still alive, just chilling somewhere watching Love Island or something.
Jeyaia: Seeing as conspiracy theory is a term used for anything that goes against what mainstream media says to be “true”… sign me up for all of them 😉 my guilty pleasure is watching conspiracy theory documentaries in the bathtub. With snacks.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Sonny: I bought a bunch of clothes online on Depop that did not fit me in the slightest. Otherwise, boringly frugal during lockdown!
Jeyaia: It got to the point where the mail would arrive and I had no idea what it was going to be. Every day was a surprise.
What useless party trick do you have?
Sonny: Due to the large gap between my first and second toe, I can pick up almost anything with my foot.
Jeyaia: I can shake my eyeballs. And the saddest part is I’ll never know what it looks like…
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Sonny: Probably my first international show in Dublin with my old band The Tipsy Scholars! It was so bizarre and wonderful to see people from the other side of the world loving and knowing our music!
Jeyaia: I used to adore performing jazz Sundays at the Sydney Opera House forecourt during summer. I had to pinch myself every time!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Sonny: I was once DJing a massive event at a University, just before the drop of one of the songs, my laptop turned itself off and everything went silent. The crowd was not very understanding hahaha!
Jeyaia: I tripped over a cable and took my keys player and keyboard down with me as I fell… that was fun.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Sonny: I am terrible with iconic movies, have never watched Titanic, Notebook, Pulp Fiction.
Jeyaia: Titanic and Notebook are no great loss… Pulp Fiction; fix that immediately, please. Ummm, for me, people may be surprised to know that I have always been highly psychic. And I love all things coffee flavored but hate coffee.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Sonny: Old, closed-minded, white blokes with lots of money making selfish decisions that determine the wellbeing and future of the rest of us. And people who stand up on a plane as soon as it lands.
Jeyaia: I’ll see your people who stand up on a plane, and raise you people who clap when it lands.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Sonny: My track ‘Hypnotise Me’ with my good friend KP Hydes! Just hearing our fans sing that one back to us is just a surreal feeling.
Jeyaia: ‘No Love’, for all the beautiful soulful harmonies and the atmosphere it creates. You can feel it in the air 😊
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album/ep.
Sonny: We really just let the ideas flow and didn’t start the writing process with any specific parameters in mind. I think that meant we were open to the natural path the song wanted to take, rather than trying to force a certain vibe.
Jeyaia: As Sonny says, we didn’t really have a thought process so much as the universe did its thing and the song flowed through us! Sonny whipped up the backbone of the track in less than an hour, and I channelled the lyrics with the full moon the following night. We were just on the same wavelength.
What was the recording process like?
Sonny: I’m lucky enough to have a home studio set up, so we were able to write and record there for this track. Jeyaia also has her own equipment and loves to record and produce her vocals – so with our respective recording resources combined, we were able to record the song over a few months in the comfort of our own homes! We’re definitely thankful to live in a time where we have access to affordable recording gear, something both our musical parents could have only dreamed about when they were our age!
Jeyaia: The studio days were super fun, I always prefer to be in the room with someone when creating the music, then I love to get into my own zone and energy for the lyric writing. We had the best of both for this song, and fun fact: our first studio day together where we created this track is actually the first time we had ever met!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
Sonny: I think any time you collaborate with someone, you have to balance your own vision and expectations with the other person’s and maybe compromise on things you wouldn’t normally have to. With us, we were quite lucky that the musical vision was more or less the same – but it was a good experience understanding each other’s little preferences and work flow/writing approach.
Jeyaia: I learned so much from this song. I believe that with every musical creation, it is a reflection of your own evolution and soul growth, as an artist, as a human. For me, the biggest lessons were around a deeper understanding of myself as an artist, my values and my visions. Sonny taught me a lot, which I am eternally grateful for.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Sonny: ‘All I Need’ is the second single off my forthcoming, debut EP – so I’ll be releasing that project this year and also touring the East Coast of Australia to celebrate!
Jeyaia: I’m working on new music, a debut EP, and planning some international shows for 2023… stay tuned 😉