We had the chance to talk with Sydney born & raised singer/songwriter Seryna Jane. Seryna always writes songs that will move you. She is honest, undisguised & strong, both in her life and in her music. Her poetically crafted lyrics and soothing voice will break your heart and comfort you at the same time. Below is the interview we had with her:
-Can you give us a summary your personal story of how you got into music?
Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a musical house. Not that either of my parents were trained in playing music or particularly talented, but we had guitars, a keyboard, drums and bongos at home that I'd always play around with. In primary school my friends and I would make up songs and put on concerts. But it was all fun and games. I wasn't even good! When I was in 10 years old, I was singing to myself in class one day. My teacher spoke up and said “Whoever is singing, stop or get lessons.” So I did! I had singing lessons with a couple different teachers but decided to quit after a year. Then when I was 15 years old few girls and I created a girl band called Roundabout. Looking back, we were beyond terrible! But we were naïve and excited (which I think is sometimes the best way to be!) so we went out and started gigging. From there my passion for writing music and performing really began to unfold. I ended up branching out as a solo artist, Seryna Jane, at the age of 17 and have been writing and gigging ever since.
-How would you describe your music? Do you think it has evolved since you started out and is there anything you want to try or that you see it going?
My music is raw and honest. It is emotive, poetic and heartfelt with strong jazz tones tinged with a darker edge. I have always been very lyrically focused in my songs and that is something that has stayed constant through all these years. The thing that has evolved the most since I started out is the production of my songs. For years and years my songs remained in their original acoustic state, but in the last year I have played around with different instruments and electronic sounds, as well as different styles. That has been a wonderful, fun and necessary experience, but it seems like I have come full circle; what feels most authentic and true to my music is when it remains acoustic.
-What inspires you to write music?
Life inspires me to write. Writing music is a release for me. It's a way to help me process and deal with the things that come up in life. Life is heavy and strange and surprising and beautiful, and everything I go through and experience can act as inspiration for my music. I actually get a bit antsy when I don't write. It's almost a necessary thing for me to do.
-Who have been your inspirations or role models as you work on your own music?
John Mayer was my first musical inspiration and stays one to this day. His song writing and lyric writing is absolutely captivating. The way he pulls at my heartstrings with his words gets me every time. “Clarity” is one of my all time favourite songs. I have so much admiration for John Mayer. I am also a huge Hanson fan. Huge! I first started listening to them a lot when I started writing music back in high school, so my writing style has been heavily influenced by their music. Vocally, I love the sounds of Melody Gardot's smooth, sultry voice and Corinne Bailey Rae's sweet, resonant tone.
-Are you working on new music currently? If so what can we expect in terms of the sound or vibe, will it be consistent with what you have already released or are you switching up the style?
I'm always writing new little bits and pieces, but lately my focus has been on my upcoming EP 'August Calling'. It was been a fun experience working with a couple different producers on the different tracks and playing around with a variety of sounds. The first single from the EP had a indie/electro vibe, while one of the other songs has strong jazz roots. For me, this EP was an exploration of where my music could go.
-What is it like for you to be a growing musician in Australia? How do you think that music scene affects your music or development as an artist?
I try as much as I can to separate myself form the music scene and grow independently as an artist as I've always had an aversion to the business side of music.
-And finally if you were to recommend to us one growing/ unheard musician that we need to listen to who would it be?
Rudy Bilani! Absolutely. He is a genuine artist with a deep love and joy for music. His voice is mesmerising and we've actually started writing music together. He is so much fun to play with and I'm so excited to see how we develop as a duo.
-Actually one more question, where can people find you and your music?
You can find my music on iTunes and Spotify!
Written and Edited by: Hannah Schneider