Jaye is a beautiful, talented, well-traveled and absolutely charming 27-year-old with an "I’ve got nothing to lose" attitude. Typically, this should warrant enough reason to enviously hate her guts, but given one chance you’ll feel quite the opposite.
She represents all the good elements of pop music: effortlessly catchy hooks, lyrics that talk directly to the listener and a sense of simple cheerfulness underneath complicated circumstances. It’s metaphorical for a way to live: to connect with people at every level, with positivism as fuel.
"I try, in my daily life, to make the point to be positive," says Jaye. "In the moment, it’s hard to find purpose in hardship. But it’s beautiful to look back upon a situation and realize how it’s made you a stronger person. That sense of optimism is what I want to translate in my music."
And her brand of island and country-driven guitar pop winningly accomplishes that. Jaye’s first radio single "Can’t Behave" expresses her strength to walk away from a bad relationship. "Lose My Head" and "Mental" are about those quarter-life, mid-life, and everything-in-between crises that we all go through, with the realization that moving on is never too late. Songs like "Love Song (For Everyone)" and "Hanalei Road (Lorelei’s Song)" are upbeat tunes filled with the peace that love can bring to your soul.
But "Time For Goodbye" sums up Jaye’s music best – the words pinpoint the sadness that accompanies heartbreak: "Just as I find out where you’ve been/I regret ever giving in," yet her soft melodies carry the troubles away in the most uplifting way.
Jaye admits that a lot of her lyrical content is about a recent, complicated breakup. "The title of the album, Traveling Light, says a lot about my emotional state right now. That relationship in particular made me wiser. Pretty much the whole record is about it – the highs and lows about being with somebody. I try every day to come to peace with it."
Beyond the influence of love is travel. Ask Jaye where her home is, and she’ll easily reply, "I don’t have one." Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Jaye’s friendly, laid-back demeanor could be tied to where she did much of her growing up during her high school years, down South in Atlanta. While there, Jaye made a 360-change from "prep" to "hippie" thanks to the Grateful Dead, where she found something deeper than bell bottoms and flower power.
"Something I get frustrated with is the ‘hippie’ term," explains Jaye. "People say they want to bring it back, especially the fashion. But how can you bring back a moment in time? The late ’60s was about a sense of community, not about the clothes you wore. It was the attitude and spirit. I like that it had no boundaries – that’s what I connect with."
The singer now considers two places her home: Los Angeles and Kauai. The balance between paradise and a big city is what keeps this nomad satisfied. Traveling allows Jaye to explore, which is key to both her musical growth and experiencing the most out of life.
"I inherently, in the back of my head, knew this is what I needed to be doing," says Jaye of her musical career. "I just want to continue this living. To continue writing and continue expressing."
Traveling Light is currently available. For more information, visit www.courtneyjaye.com.