NZ-born singer/songwriter JAYSON NORRIS has been living in the UK for just under a decade now. Since moving over, he’s released two well-received, full-length albums (A Basket Full, 2006 / Freedom Twenty Eight, 2011) and he has tirelessly gigged all over London, creating a name and carving a niche for himself, while sharing stages with the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Blue King Brown, The Black Seeds, Pete Murray and Dave Dobbyn.
We caught up with Jayson on the eve of his Acoustic tour with local legend Tike Taane and up-and-comer (who also turns out to be family!) Jess Harlen. Here’s what he had to say:
Welcome back, how long has it been since you were last here?
This is my first time back in over 2 years which I am very excited about!
Where’s home for you, New Zealand or the UK?
At the moment home is in the UK with my wife and two children.
What do you miss the most about NZ?
I miss my family, the far north where I’m from, the sea, fishing, diving, Kiwi summers and of course the seafood.
What’s the music scene like over there – are there a lot more opportunities?
It’s a big scene with plenty of opportunities, however there are also a lot of people like me to contend with so its hard.. but I seem to have found a good little niche there and have built up a solid following, breaking through to the commercial side and most of all the reality TV aspect of music these days like X-Factor etc is the challenge.
Do you have an advantage (or disadvantage) being a Kiwi musician over there?
No I don’t think either. If you’re dedicated, want to work hard, and have a bit of talent, then it doesn’t matter if you’re a kiwi or not.
Your music has been described as funk-infected Ben Harper, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley. Those are huge names to live up to, how do you feel about the description?
Huge names. But if it was said to you I sounded like someone you hadn’t heard of then it would be hard for you to figure out my sound.. those guys mentioned are big influences of mine.
You’re about to tour with Tiki Taane and Jess Harlen, what are you looking forward to?
Oh man, I can’t wait to just be around that talent! Hopefully we get to have some good conversation and bounce a few ideas around and jam!
Have you toured / performed with them before?
Yes actually, both. I am related to Jess and when she toured the UK with Blue King Brown we caught and did a gig together. I met Tiki two years ago when I played Homegrown and then played with him when he played London last year.
You were the first ever artist to be asked to play on two different stages at our very own Homegrown Festival which leads us to believe you’re live shows are something not to be missed – tell us more about the Jayson Norris live show experience? What are audiences in for during your upcoming tour?
So, if you come to a show then expect to hear and see one person using a loop station and other pedals. I put a lot of energy into my shows… expect to see a lot of movement on stage and expect to hear a lot of different sounds from an acoustic guitar.
Tell us about your new single?
(Lol, after the last question/answer…) It’s a slower number with a soft melody.very heartfelt. A song about being on the road and away from the one you love. Then having a very small chance to see that person but missing the chance.
I actually have a club single with Gainsford out at the moment also which was sitting at number 1 on the Wildcard charts on the Audience…. which is exciting !!
You’re currently working on finishing the music video – will that be released in time for the tour?
Maybe, we’ll see..
What are you currently…
Reading? Fireman Sam. (Got to love being a Dad !!)
Listening to? Enigma
Wearing (favourite designer)? Something that fits and feels comfy. Label or no label.
Eating (favourite cuisine)? Sushi
Drinking (poison of choice)? A nice red wine.
What makes you get up in the morning?
What’s in store for Jayson Norris in 2013?
An EP/Album.. tours of the UK/Europe and Asia.. and a full album release NZ tour next summer
You can catch Jayson along with Tiki Taane and Jess Harlen on tour throughout New Zealand this month (starting in Tauranga tomorrow, 11/04). For more information on the tour, click here.