In the digital age of one-hit wonders and one-offs thrown at the music-buying public as if we are a bunch of unintelligent money machines, it’s refreshing to actually see an artist put out an entire album that is not only cohesive and speaks to who they are but is actually damn good. Erika Jayne is that artist and Pretty Mess is that album. With obvious influences ranging from disco, funk, hip hop, electronic, garage, pop, and house music Erika wear’s her influences on her sleeve like a proud girl scout who received a badge for selling the most cookies in her troupe.
Erika broke onto the scene in 2007 with the dirty electro-funk number one Billboard club hit Rollercoaster. In 2008, she followed up with Stars which also reached the top spot on Billboard’s Dance and Club Play charts. It’s extremely rare when a debut artist comes out of nowhere and makes such a huge impact on the charts right out of the gate. Since then, Erika has been working with some serious heavyweights like Peter Rafelson, Eric Kupper, Esthero (Pinklake), Jahi Lake and Ike Dirty to create this mish-mash of beautiful pop music that has you up and dancing one minute and chillaxing the next. Pretty Mess has been on permanent rotation in my home, car and the gym all summer long. Now that her third single Give You Everything has reached the top of the club charts, I decided it was time to find out more about Erika and see what this Atlanta native is all about.
PF: Hi Erika, my name is Keith from the Party Favorz blog. First, I want to congratulate you on the success of your first three number one singles and now the release of Pretty Mess. I have to say, I haven’t been able to get enough of your album since it was forwarded to me for review. You’ve done an outstanding job, something really rare these days.
EJ: I’m so glad you like it! I always like to hear that people had a good time listening to it.
PF: I understand you were always surrounded by music growing up. At what point did you decide that this is what you wanted to do and what kind of plan did you have in place once you made that decision?
EJ: I started as a little girl in musical theatre, went to a performing arts high school and really never thought of doing anything else.
PF: For all the wannabes out there, how much time, work, patience, and networking goes into making this a reality?
EJ: he road to being successful at anything is long and hard, this is just a more interesting journey.
PF: What was it like working with some heavyweights in the music industry and how did you get them to agree to work on your project in the first place?
EJ: I really enjoyed working with everyone on the record, a great artist is always crazy fun.
PF: You have performed for various Pride Events including Logo’s NewNowNext Awards show. How important is the gay community to your initial success and how do you plan on taking it to the next level to reach a wider audience?
EJ: The gay community is always in front of new trends, new music. They set the tone for the rest of the audience and with more exposure and more media, you begin to capture others and take it to the next level.
PF: Pretty Mess showcases an abundance of influences. Who are your heroes and how did they influence your writing when making this album?
EJ: I’m a fan of Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. They all pop up from time to time in the album.
PF: Looking over all of your promo shots, I’ve got to say that you have one heck of a fashion sense. Is this something that you work at or is it just something that comes naturally? Frankly, I’m leaning towards naturally since you make everything look so effortless.
EJ: I like clothes and playing dress-up so it’s fun for me.
PF: Now that “Give You Everything” has gone to number one, what’s the next single from the album and can we expect some more big-name remixes like its predecessors?
EJ: We are looking to release another single but I’m not sure which one just yet.
PF: In all honesty, this album is so full of potential hits, I see it keeping you on the road for some time to come. When and where can we expect you to perform next and will your backup hotties dancers be with you? Also, do you have any plans to take your show to our good friends across the pond? Keep in mind, Atlanta’s Pride Celebration isn’t until the end of October (hint hint)
EJ: I just got home from NYC, this weekend I will be in West Hollywood, and Sept 5 in Vegas. Any time Atlanta wants me there I’m there.
PF: Well Erika, that’s all I have for you today. Once again, I want to congratulate you on the release of Pretty Mess and wish you the continued success that you clearly deserve. Frankly, I still can’t get over just how good this album is and I’m certain that your fans and those coming aboard shortly will feel the same way. Thank you for taking the time to allow me and my followers to get to know you better.
EJ: Thank you for the kind words. I’m so pleased you like the music. Enjoy and take care of one another.