Hailing from Heidelberg, Germany, Annika Jayne is a folk singer-songwriter sharing heartfelt songs in English, German and French. Described by The Other Side Reviews as having “light and unique vocals weaving through the guitar”, Annika has a talent of drawing people in and sharing different experiences. We spoke with her about her new single ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’.
Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
The question never posed itself. Music has always been inside of me so it was the natural path to choose.
Can you tell us about ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’?
This song is a special one for me and a very personal one as well. It has been written for those who are different and are being bullied because of it. It has been written to remind them that everyone has a special talent and those who appear to be different even more so. This song was inspired by the German movie ‘Beyond Silence’.
The movie is about a girl called Lara, who is different from everyone. Her parents are deaf and the family is communicating with each other in sign language. Lara herself can hear and has an extraordinary talent for music – a world into which her parents cannot follow. Because she is so different, she is being bullied. Her music teacher, however, sees her remarkable talent. He becomes her mentor and encourages her to continue her musical journey.
At one point in the movie, it turns out that Lara is the only one who is not invited to her classmate’s birthday party. At this point, her music teacher tells her: “Don’t be sad, Lara. You know, ravens fly in flocks, but the eagle flies alone.” – meaning that she may be different from the others but will just leave them all behind if she keeps developing her talent and spreads her eagle’s wings. When I heard that sentence I knew I had to write about it.
What was the recording and writing process like?
Well, I wrote the song in 1996, revised it a couple of years later and only recorded it in 2016 at timebirdmusic in Sandhausen, Germany. Most of my recordings are arranged as chamber-folk pieces. Since Lara in the film ‘Beyond Silence’ becomes a clarinettist I knew there had to be a clarinet in the arrangement. It was to be a homage to this movie that I loved so much. The other instruments in the song are a cello and a violin. The cello is meant to reflect the rooted place, the girl’s inner place. The violin reflects the eagle’s flight as she spreads her wings.
Does the single have any significant meaning for you?
This is my most personal song I’ve released so far. The move ‘Beyond Silence’ tells a story that is very similar to my own; not in every detail, but the resemblance to my own life is striking.
What do you hope people take from your music?
I do hope that everyone who feels the same way as I did and who’s being bullied finds the same meaning as I did. I hope the song does remind them that everyone has a special talent and have the courage to pursue it.
What is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
Definitely the lyrics. The melody often comes within seconds or minutes. I usually just improvise, but the lyrics, that is where the craft and the challenge really lies. It usually takes a long time! But then, it is important for me that every word, every phrase is just right.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I see this whole music business as a journey rather than working towards a goal, so there’s no real need to keep myself motivated since the journey is the reward. The question is, in the end, how bad do you want something? If you do want something – in my case that my music is being heard – you put in the work, no matter what. When you do the work, every little step counts and that way you sow the seeds.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as folk or chamber-folk.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
Bandcamp, Spotify and indie radio stations. There are so many talented independent musicians out there; it’s unbelievable!
What does the rest of the future hold for you?
Well, I don’t know. I do hope that in a few years I can make a living from my music.
Do you have a message for our readers?
If you feel you’re different, be true to yourself and go for it whatever it is you want. You hold the key to your own place that many people often can’t even see. Let me quote ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho:
“There is one great truth on this planet: Whoever you are or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”