Convo with Corinna Jane

Hailing from Northamptonshire, England, Corinna Jane is a Franco-English singer-songwriter who was born in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany

Last month she released a brand new single along with a stunning music video for the track Give Me A Sign, which is an ear-catching alternative rock record that is part of her new EP called Queen of Wands

Corinna started composing her songs when she was only six years old, heavily influenced by MTV, developing her unique alternative pop style. 

Recently she received airplay for her music on BBC Radio 6, BBC Introducing, and Amazing Radio alongside prime-time coverage on London Live TV, touring with her band over the Midlands, London, and the North. 

Influenced by Dua Lipa and empowered rock sounds of the 90s, such as The Cardigans, Alanis Morrissette & Garbage, the song is a pop-rock anthem with a deep and strong message.

We had the opportunity to have a convo with Corinna to learn more about her raising career, which you may follow up below. 

1-Where did you come from and where are you based now, and why? 

I was born in a small town called Minden in north Germany, as my father worked for a German company. I lived there until I was eight years old before moving to Northamptonshire in England. My mother was French and my father is British. I was really lucky to grow up with those three languages around me. I actually went on to study them at Bristol University and even got to spend a year living in Berlin and Paris. Before the pandemic, I was based in London working as a travel presenter, but this year I’ve been spending time at home in Northamptonshire – you can’t beat the countryside during lockdown! I hope to venture out again into the wider world again when this is all over!

2-How has MTV influenced your life and your music career? 

MTV ignited not only my passion for pop music and the culture that surrounds it, but also the impact regarding the marriage between music and the visual arts can make. Some musicians sometimes see music videos as a box they have to tick to promote their work, but for me, being I’m quite theatrical in how I perform it’s an absolutely crucial part of how I express myself as an artist, this also inspired me to take up video editing myself! Growing up with MTV showed me how a music video can make a song iconic whilst creating a short piece of cinema. There are so many music videos that become a reference point in day to day conversation, whether that’s Madonna’s choreography in “Vogue” or Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” where she’s hitchhiking in a desert wearing a leopard print outfit. It’s letting the audience into your imaginary world and allowing you to express your personality, image and movement – this makes them feel closer to you as a performer. 

3-When did you start your music career, and what have been the highlights so far? 

I started my music career in my teens and have never looked back. There have been many highlights over the course of the years, but I think some of them have actually happened in the last year alone. Being invited to travel all the way to Rome to work with producer Francesco Arpino has been a real game-changer. Aside from getting to explore beautiful Italy, he really helped me hone my sound and was the missing puzzle piece that I had been waiting for. He just understood that I wanted to bridge the gap between my quirky piano-driven singer-songwriter self and my love for big pop-rock sounds. It was a gift! 

Meanwhile, I also got to shoot an amazing cinematic music video with my good friend AJ of Dawn Sky Films for my song “The Train” (which I edited). Initially, we were looking to get all sorts of funding to make something that could also be a short film. However, I gave up on this idea and thought I’d try something more simple. However, as luck would have it, it was a blessing in disguise, because we created something even better than what I had imagined. Thanks to my local heritage railway and the local press, I managed to get 50 people to play extras onboard a vintage train across a two-day shoot – all because the local community pulled together to make this happen. It was a dream come true to see this idea I had in my head for so many years play out in front of me. It’s so much more than a music video, to us it felt like a piece of cinema.

4-How did it feel to get your music featured on BBC Radio? 

Getting my music played on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 was a real milestone moment. It made me realise that what I had created was being appreciated on a different level. Now it wasn’t just me who was telling people to listen to my music, I had the likes of Tom Robinson of Radio 6 write reviews about my tracks and was telling people to listen to it on his show. These institutions are very important to independent artists because it allows the underdogs to be heard by the tastemakers in the industry. 

5- What challenges did you face as a youth in pursuit of your music dream? 

I think those challenges don’t go away, but you just become a little bit more aware about the industry and what is acceptable. For me, the biggest problem has been encountering sharks and people who make promises who can’t deliver. Unfortunately, the old adage is true – if it’s too good to be true, it really is. I’ve had all sorts of situations where people and companies have taken advantage of me and not delivered. Also, being female has sadly meant that I have been in the position a few too many times where I think I can trust someone I’m working with, only to realise later they had ulterior motives. I have always said to myself that if you want a job doing, you should do it yourself. However, there comes a point when you do need people to collaborate with and help you, but you’ve got to choose wisely. If it feels wrong in the pit of your stomach, it most certainly is. 

6- Describe your feelings when you’re recording music in the studio? 

Being in the studio is always a very cathartic and often euphoric experience. It’s one of the few things that really grounds me into the present moment, but also helps me connect with my sense of self and identity in the world. There is a great sense of release when you see your songs and all the ideas you had surrounding them actually turn into tangible products. The studio is like being in this bubble where you can imagine what can be made possible with your song in the outside world. Will it resonate with others? Will this change my life? Everything seems tinged with magical potential like you’re in a world of make-believe. Nothing matters at that precise moment other than what you are recording – especially when you’ve got good musical chemistry with the producer.

7-What is the message behind ‘Give Me A Sign’?

Although it’s not obvious upon first listen, the song fundamentally deals with grief and the confusion it brings. I wrote this song with Francesco who I mentioned above. Initially, I thought the timing was bad, as I had just lost my mother and had seen my world fall apart around me. Despite the fact I had been looking for the right producer for me for such a long time, my ambitions were quite far from my mind at this point. However, I felt that some divine intervention had been at play here and I took a chance. 

When we wrote the song, I was feeling incredibly numb and disconnected with my surroundings. I didn’t think it was normal – I thought I was meant to be sat in a pool of tears the whole time, but I learned it doesn’t work that way. I was trying to just feel something, whether that was a spiritual confirmation that there was life after death or simply the desire for me to really feel the pain and the loss rather than walking around like this numb zombie. However, the song is full of hope too. It’s a way of remembering that you are alive and there is more to this life than what we see. It’s a way of releasing your frustrations and feeling empowered. 

8-How do you see this situation the world is facing right now will change the music industry? 

I think so much of the music industry was already online driven and that was and is going to continue that way. However, I have huge concerns about how this will change the live aspects of the industry. I personally thrive on performing in front of an audience and much of my fan base has come from my live shows. It’s how I really can express myself and showcase my abilities in quite a raw way. During the pandemic, I’ve been very active on the streaming site Twitch where I’ve been able to stream regular shows and cultivate a new global fan base. To be able to perform regular gigs that people virtually come to from my home has been a blessing. This is something that many musicians are finding, regardless of the pandemic. But, it’s not the same as a live audience, I miss the applause, the energy in the room, and I desperately miss meeting new people, hearing their feedback, and making these connections. I hope the pandemic makes us realise how important real-life connections are, not just in the music world.

9-Which message do you have to your fans and people who are checking your craft for the first time? 

Don’t expect every song to be or sound the same, I like to exercise many different sides to me, but ultimately it will always sound like me. The song starts at the piano or the guitar, some will stay that way, and some evolve into something much bigger. No matter what you hear from me, you will always find that the theatrical part of my personality comes through.

10-What is next for Corinna Jane! 

Next, I’ll be releasing the rest of my EP “Queen Of Wands”, which is named after my favourite tarot card (a story for another time). I worked on this five-track EP with Francesco in Rome. There is a mix of big pop-rock songs and some more reflective ballads and mid-tempo tracks. All very personal, of course.

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