Annika Jayne - Petite Planète
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Annika Jayne – Petite Planète

 

Annika Jayne - Petite Planète
Annika Jayne – Petite Planète

 

ARTIST NAME: Annika Jayne

 

SONG TITLE: Petite Planète

 

RELEASE DATE: 03/06/2020

 

ALBUM TITLE: Time To Spread Your Wings (EP)

 

GENRE: Chanson, Chamberfolk, Folk, World

 

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Heartfelt, authentic songs in three languages. Stories are taken from real life with a touch of romance. Quiet sounds that make waves. Melodies that touch your heart. These are the keys to Annika Jayne’s music.

 

First inspired by American folk music, and later also by French and German songs, it seemed only natural for Annika to express her emotions in these three languages.

 

 

In August 2016, Annika participated at the Labos Chanson at Astaffort, a songwriting workshop organized by Voix Du Sud, the famous songwriting school of Francis Cabrel. There she had the chance to work on French chansons together with Olivier Daguerre, Bastien Lanza, and Davy Kilembe.

 

Regarding the first experience on stage, she started performing during her time at university, taking the chance to play at Open Mic Nights and festivals.

 

For instance, in 2007, she performed during the festival Heidelberger Herbst and played twice at the French Week in Heidelberg. In between, she played smaller gigs including two concerts in Paris.

 

In the spring of 2014, after a baby break, she performed at the renowned Song & Talk at the Kaiserhof Hotel in Saarbrücken, a place introducing new singer-songwriters.

 

Annika is performing in the Rhein-Neckar-Region on a regular basis since.

 

In 2009 Annika recorded her first album Fabulous Sceneries on which she introduces 12 songs in English and French which she wrote over the years.

 

The album was recorded and produced by Amin Jan Sayed at Syemusic studio in Viernheim.

 

A special focus lies on the simple arrangements of the songs, concentrating on Annika’s fine voice accompanied by acoustic guitar, e-bass, slide-guitar, cello, glockenspiel, and accordion.

 

In her songs, she creates a warm sound, which is a mix of folk, chanson and chamber folk.

 

In 2016, Annika recorded 4 songs at Timebirdmusic in Sandhausen together with Daniel Deboy (The Late Call) as well as other musicians. 2 of them, Leaves in Autumn and Heart of Mine, have already been released earlier this year. The 4 songs will be released as an EP entitled Time To Spread Your Wings in 2020.

 

The EP will also contain a bonus track in French called Petite Planète. It was co-written with Franck Deschamps and will be released on 6th March 2020.

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Go on at length on what it takes to write a song from the start to the end.

It all starts with an idea that can come into my head at any time during the day or night.

 

Usually, I hear some lyrics together with the melody. It feels like an idea finds me rather than the other way around.

 

In my case, the lyrics, or rather the ideas, can come either in English, French or German and I usually take it from there without ever trying to translate them – it wouldn’t feel right to try to make them fit a certain scheme.

 

But an idea doesn’t make a song – it is rather like a piece of clay that needs to be formed and worked on.

 

Once I start working on the song, I become a sculptor, especially with regards to the lyrics.

 

Every word must have meaning. Sometimes I think I finished a song but after playing it a couple of times I notice that there is a better line, a better rhyme or even a better word. This is something I “just know,” I just feel it.

 

Recently James Taylor said in an interview that he used to write songs with some sort of urgency but as he wrote more and more songs, he felt that the urgency went away, and it became more of a craft. He said that over time he became more demanding of what he wanted to express with the lyrics – and I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

 

In the case of ‘Petite Planète,’ I didn’t write the lyrics myself though. Franck Deschamps had posted them in a Facebook group for songwriters who write in French, looking for somebody who could write music to his lyrics and ultimately produce the song. I immediately liked them and heard a melody right away.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t start at once because of other projects – the good side of this was however that this way the melody had some time to form itself in my head.

 

When I wrote the song a month later it was finished within an hour.

 

As for the music, it just comes naturally with the lyrics. There are very rare cases when I do not find a melody immediately.

 

Once the song is finished, I work on the arrangement. Since I grew up listening to classical music, this will mostly always be some chamber-folk arrangement including strings, a woodwind instrument and sometimes some light percussion.

 

In some cases, I will add a choir or 2nd voice. I usually compose the instruments as midi tracks and write down the music. Once that is finished, I try to find musicians who can play and record the tracks.

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Elaborate on the gain and loss of being a musician/artist.

Well, as an independent musician you do have a lot of freedom. You get to do exactly the kind of music you want to make and it’s only the listeners out there who give you feedback – they like it, or they don’t.

 

But you stay authentic as an artist and play by your own rules.

 

However, the term DIY musician is also accurate because you do have to do everything by yourself – if you want your music to be heard you can’t afford to be a musician only.

 

Next to being a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist or pianist, an arranger, a producer, a recording artist, you also have to be a webmaster for your website, a promoter, a playlist curator and a video creator at the same time.

 

Some also do a radio show, podcast or blog regularly. If you are a touring artist you also play gigs – and must find venues, organize the live event, make a setlist and of course practise. This can be tough and feel overwhelming at times.

 

On the other hand, the benefit of all this work is enormous!

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Tell us how you connect people with your music.

Mostly through Social Media, especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. I also have a mailing list and write e-mails regularly.

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Mention your greatest song up to date.

It’s always the latest release, so I’d say Petite Planète.

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Tell us what you hate most about the music business.

There is nothing I hate. There is one thing that kind of frustrates me, though.

 

Although streaming is a wonderful opportunity to get exposure, especially for independent artists, the value of the music seems to get lost a little.

 

Everyone expects that music is there for free and doesn’t want to pay a lot, if at all.

 

 

Yet the production costs are high and do not match the pay for musicians. Good production for only one song is around a couple of hundred Euros – if you’re thinking low budget. Yet it is very hard to sell the music in times of streaming and streaming itself only pays a couple of cents.

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Discuss how you monitor your digital distribution and streaming.

Through Spotify for Artists, stats at Bandcamp, as well as my distributor, Distrokid.

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State the obstacles that a new artist can face as a starter.

I think the biggest obstacle is to understand that you must distinguish between distribution and marketing.

 

The distribution part is easy. You upload your music to streaming platforms, Bandcamp or Soundcloud and that is pretty much is, you’re done.

 

Then some artists think that now that their music is public, people will notice automatically. Once they find out that this is not the case, they think they have no talent, that they have failed as an artist.

 

However, this is not the case at all and this is where marketing comes into play.

 

You must understand that it is difficult to get people’s attention, you must become a carnival barker of sorts, especially with so many musicians out there. And yet – it’s not so much about competition.

 

 

While it is important to make yourself heard it is equally important to hear others. Personally, as a music lover, I enjoy this part a lot.  In the end, the most important thing is to support one another.

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Tell us how you will tutor a new artist in the music business.

There are five things I would like to give new artists to take along:

 

Never stop believing in yourself and never lose your passion!

 

Stop thinking about success and start believing in who you are as an artist and remember how passionate you are about your music, how much energy you gain from it.

 

If you keep thinking in terms of success only you will lose the connection to your music and ultimately yourself.

 

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Be patient and persistent!

 

If you are passionate and authentic, success will happen along the way – but it won’t happen overnight. You need to be patient and persistent.

 

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Never give up!

 

 

The stats and number of streams are not everything and they do not define you. Neither do rejections. Keep writing, playing, singing – remember that it is your own musical universe that defines you.

 

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Connect!

 

Connect with other musicians and people who love your music. By that I mean a real connection and real admiration for what they do. There are many, many great indie artists out there and it’s so important to support one another.

 

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Finally: Do the work!

 

No one will do this for you. You must submit your songs to radio stations and blogs, you must post on social media, you must ask people whether they would be so kind and consider your songs for their playlist. If you don’t ask, nothing will happen. You must get yourself heard and find your niche.  The best way to do this is through connection with other artists.

 

Most important of all: Remember that your dream is a journey and that in the end, the journey is the reward.

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Explain how you record songs.

I record guitar, voice and midi instruments with Cubase. I have a tiny studio at home with a sound interface attached to my computer.

 

For my first album Fabulous Sceneries and for the four other songs on the EP Time To Spread Your Wings, I went to a professional recording studio.

 

Petite Planète, on the other hand, will be the bonus track of the E.P. and was recorded in my studio and as well as in the home studios of the other musicians.

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Discuss digital and analog recording.

I have never recorded anything in an analog way. Except when I sat in front of my tape recorder as a teenager, making my first demos. Ever since I started recording professionally it has always been digital.

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Tell us your opinion on adding effects to vocals.

I like adding a bit of reverb to the vocals. Not too much, but just enough to enhance them a bit.

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Tell us how you eradicate noise in your recording.

In digital recording this isn’t a problem, you just delete the noise.

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Describe the theme of your lyrics.

I write about anything that comes to mind with a strong focus on emotions.

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Tell us if you consider singing about politics or injustice rather than love stories.

My songs are mostly about emotions – this includes injustice of course but not so much politics.

 

Friendship is another recurring theme in my songs as well as singing about people who seem to be weaker like minorities or people who are being bullied for being different.

 

Whatever I write about, I will always focus on the emotions of the protagonist. This way, my songs cover the whole spectrum from sadness, anger, support, friendship, and love.

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Discuss the registration of your songs with your Performing Rights Organization.

In Germany, it is the GEMA. As a member you must register your songs with them – it can be profitable if you play many gigs or if your songs are played a lot on the radio.

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Discuss how you distribute your music.

I use Distrokid to upload the music to Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, Amazon and many other streaming services. I also upload the songs to Bandcamp and Soundcloud myself.

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Discuss how you cope with the crowd on the stage.

I like singing for small audiences such as living room concerts or in other small venues because I want to feel the connection with the audience.

 

So, there is not much of a crowd. Nonetheless, I am nervous in the beginning, but after playing a song or two I feel like I am in sync with my music, myself and the audience.

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Elaborate on the song.

As the title suggests, the song is about the catastrophic state our planet is in.

 

I wrote the song together with Franck Deschamps. He wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music.

 

 

While hearing the melody in my head, I knew it had to be something that would reflect the sadness but also the helplessness which is expressed in the lyrics.

 

The song starts by saying that this planet has become a litter box and doesn’t look very pretty, anymore.

 

 

In the chorus, you hear the same questions repeatedly: “What are we doing to you although we know better? Where can we go without you? We are tramping on you, non-stop. What are we doing to you? Where can we go without you? “

 

 

In the second and third verses, the picture becomes more and more sinister.

 

In the second verse, the song says that forests and seas are becoming a pipe dream while we are thinking of a paradise somewhere else in the universe.

 

The third verse states that if we continue this way, space will be the planet’s coffin.

 

While many argue that the song is too sad, it is really the state of the planet that is sad – this is the only reason the song exists.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

I came up with my artist’s name when I was 16 for no specific reason and stayed with it ever since.

 

I guess I just liked the sound of it. The E.P. title Time To Spread Your Wings describes how I feel about my music and career at the moment. It’s time to spread my wings and fly! It also comes from a song called The Eagle Flies Alone, which will be on the EP but is not yet released.

 

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