SBS Covid Relief
Interview with Jayleen Stonehouse
SBS: Let’s make sure we’ve got everyone on the same page – who are ya? How long have you been doin’ this music thang and what’s the story behind it all? What separates you apart from the rest?
Jayleen Stonehouse: I have been performing professionally for 43 years, got my first paid gig at 16, but it started loooong before then. I started in church choir at age 4, won a Kiwanis Music Festival for my age group at 6, then realizing this was not only what I want but who I was, I started training myself. I would lay in front of my mother’s console stereo with a push button cassette recorder and record myself until I got the melody pitch perfect, then move on to all harmonies available, THEN add my own harmonies, if there was a 3rd & 5th, I would add a 7th, work in a 4th or possibly a 6th, major and minor can coexist!
SBS: How has this time in lockdown/quarantine affected you and the music you make? Positives? Negatives? It’s obviously a crazy time for everyone, but certainly musicians throughout the independent scene as well…what have you been doing to make sure the music is still flowing somehow at this time?
#1) I have finally reconfigured my beautiful analog home studio to work with my new Mac Pro book, yes I am a Mac girl, I bought my first one in 1994, when not many had one and the memory was 584 megabytes, not even 1 gig LOL, but I recorded a full album on it ALL BY MYSELF, well except some phenomenal solos from my bandmates. I recorded every track, not samples as they were not available then, actual tracks. Drum tracks from my Boss BR8 (which I still Have) bass, rhythm guitar, keys, strings, horns and all from my keyboard. Let me tell ya, from a girl that has never had a lesson, not vocally or musically in any way, that was an accomplishment! And I still love the results! I digress, during the quarantine, I have my studio up and running again and have taken some wonderful songs that my bandmates and I recorded the tracks to a few years ago. These tracks have been sitting on an external drive, not finished. So I have begun mixing them and adding vocal tracks, just finished the first one May 7th and added it to my YouTube channel! This is the positive!
#2) Negative, I miss my bandmates, I miss the everything of playing together. I miss the full circle of the audience, what I give them and what they give me back, it feeds my soul!
SBS: Is there a lesson to be learned in all this Covid-craziness? If so, what do you think it is?
Jayleen Stonehouse: Human contact is one of the biggest parts of our existence, we need it, we feed on it as much as air, water, sustenance – I am lacking!
SBS: What is the most key thing that people can do out there to support musicians during this time?
Jayleen Stonehouse: Visit their known sites, download songs, albums, leave messages, ask for contact. Ask for and support a live concert, feed or new projects be it a song, or whatever they have.
SBS: There are some that say there’s ‘no going back to normal’ and others that still think that’s a possibility after all is said & done and we’re allowed outside again…what do you think? Let’s ballpark it…let’s say it’s…September 2020, that’s not too far away…what does the world look like at that point?
Jayleen Stonehouse: Normal is only a setting on the dryer. I have never been normal and what was……well it is different now isn’t it, I know I am, aren’t you? I hope we think of and fight for something we have learnt and gathered from this difference. A strength, a support to others AND all, and a resilience within ourselves.
SBS: What do you miss most during this whole lockdown? What’s the first thing you plan on doing if/when things find their way back to normal, and why is that the most important thing to ya?
Jayleen Stonehouse: Human connection! I have my daughter and her family that have been with me on and off during the lockdown as we were together when it came about. But life takes a village, and I miss the rest of my village. And fortunately a musician’s village is very LARGE, unfortunately during this whole process my large village is out of reach! I want to visit my son & his family, my parents (thankfully I still have both!), and I NEED to perform.
SBS: Open floor! Anything else you want to say to the people out there?
Jayleen Stonehouse: Kindness, respect and thoughtfulness are free, a smile resonates, a kind gesture causes a ripple in the fabric of life that should ring like a free held tuning fork!
Find out more about Jayleen Stonehouse from the official pages below!
We’ve extended the deadline & we’ll be accepting submissions to the SBS Covid Relief interviews in written, audio, and video forms until the end of May – find out more about how you can get involved right here.
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