With singer/songwriter Jay Alice, the two things that stand out the most are her unique, soaring and sultry vocals and her very original style of songwriting which she claims is down to being 100% self taught, and doing everything the hard way!
Jay is classy and original, perhaps reminiscent of Alison Krauss, Dido, Stevie Nicks, Katie Melua, but with her own unique style, all her own material and a very current edge.
As well as loving the purity and freedom of playing solo, Jay has a talented and creative backing band to perform with her. She has been privileged to work mostly with guitarists Timon Colgrove, and Jonny Longo and bass player Jerry Soffe who have provided backing for gigs and "tons of inspiration". Chris Rowntree beats drums, bringing an electric kit into the mix and thus providing the more Poppy/Acid Jazz vibe that Jay loves so much.
In all forms they have played in and around Oxford at festivals, bars, parties and restaurants including The Hollybush, Jericho Tavern, The Living Room, Cornerstone Arts Centre, Charlbury Riverside Festival, Hacketts, Judes and Commotion Festival and been asked back time and time again bringing a delicate yet funky experience to a following of dedicated fans. Jay has recently played solo gigs at The Tuppeny Tube, The Jam Factory, Woodstock Live and various charities and exhibitions.
Jay thinks she probably got this all the wrong way round.
As well as her first release, Whose Dreams Are These?, she has recorded a large collection of her songs and has had the privilege of working with, and learning from, many respected Oxford musicians and producers including Sam Williams, Rich Haines, Julia Thomas, Nick Gibson, Bob Hundley, Rob Stevenson and Jamie Hyatt, recording 3 stunning tracks with Sam in 2004, and an acoustic album with Rich in 2006/7. (never officially released, but available to buy soon.)
Having left school at 16 to study art and design, Jay first worked as a freelance photographer, then fell in love with the theatre and took additional work at The Oxford Playhouse. After stints as a wardrobe mistress and stage door keeper she established herself as a theatrical photographer, a career which spanned 11 years and produced some exceptional images. She is still often seen with a camera in hand even when on stage herself.
Jay says her love of so many genres along with her typically Geminian nature means she often finds she wants to change things and finds it difficult to put herself into a box genre-wise ... so she writes however she feels and plays however she feels, currently coming across mellow and sultry but with a upbeat and somewhat kooky moments too.
Until her daughter Jazz was born, Jay had only dabbled somewhat secretly in song writing with close friend Grebe Dallas recording songs for her once in a while. But thanks to the surprising blessings of single parenthood ( a combination of deep emotions, long free evenings and the best inspiration ever ) and the persuasion of certain friends, promoters and producers who spotted something special there, her songwriting career was suddenly, almost accidently, blossoming!!
She would like to be a rock chick as much as a pop star, classical musician or jazz goddess but with this eclectic mix of desires, she just ends up being her very unusual, original self; every song, every track is different.
Jay has spent a large part of 2013 writing new material and 2014 brings new challenges as she is preparing to record her 3rd album, mostly solo but with some classical sounds and acid beats.