I first met Jayne Trimble for a photo shoot in Pacific Spirit Regional Park early one morning way back in April of 2018. It was such a synergistic connection and we both had a lot of fun playing around in the mist and the dappled light of the forest. At that time, the metamorphosis of Earthly Pursuits was only just beginning, and Jayne was one of the first people I approached to take part in it. It’s fitting that the first installment of In Pursuit is this amazing human.
Jayne performs under the name Oxlip, and her music has been described by Julie Williams-Nash of Folk and Tumble magazine as being an “artistic masterpiece”. I love the allure of her dark, mystical, fairy tale vibe and the way she can make even the most sorrowful sentiment sound heaven sent.
In addition to being an amazing musician, Jayne also founded her very own recording studio, World Peach Records. It’s a home studio that focuses on providing a safe and nurturing environment for women to express themselves musically. Jayne is originally from Northern Ireland, and currently calls Vancouver home.
JAYNE’S MUSIC JOURNEY
When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue?
I was always inclined towards it. My dad was always playing records in my house growing up. I sang in church choirs and local music theatre groups. It wasn’t until my mid 20’s living in London (UK) when a friend asked me to do backing vocals for her at her live shows that I thought ‘Ahhh THIS is what I want to do’!”
It was just a moment were the penny dropped for me - I really enjoyed the thrill of live music performance. I'd watch the lead singer do what she was doing and thought that I could do it. For me live performance previous to that was a director telling me what to do and who to be. Suddenly, I had permission to just be myself, and when I started writing my own songs, permission to speak my own words too. The 'ah ha' moment was that the thrill, coupled with a deeper realization that I could do it.
Music is so much part of our culture where I’m from (N.Ireland) that I didn’t ever think of it as something to pursue until I moved away..
What continues to inspire you, or how do you stay inspired?
My training is in Classical theatre so for my most recent album Wolves! Cried the Maid I drew a lot of inspiration from plays, especially Elizabethan and Jacobean because they are so dramatic and dark. I also like using ancient folklore and fairytales. I have written another album just recently and the theme of that is ‘women as the scapegoat’. I chose characters from plays I’ve acted in, many of which are tragic women, and used their story and journey or feelings as inspiration.
What message are you hoping to convey to the world through music?
I think there is a certain cathartic experience that happens when you listen to music that touches you, there’s some sort of mystical, transformative power in it for sure. I’ve been on a ten year long journey to find my voice.
I studied Theatre at a Music theatre school when I was 18 and you were commended and celebrated if you had a big voice and tones of vibrato. I learned some good stuff but it was also very damaging - I thought that my folk voice was wrong in some way. My teacher even tried to eradicate these beautiful folk trills that I would naturally do. It was dreadful.
I met my 'tribe' when I went to Nashville about 5 years later. I would copy them or any good singer I was listening to because I could see that whatever they were doing was working. There's that phrase 'fake it till you make it' and thats basically what I did.
Eventually, I worked with a producer who gently told me I didn't have to shout in to the microphone. It was harsh, but helpful. I didn't realize that’s what it sounded like because that’s what my training had taught me to do. I noticed that when I calmed down and sang softly into the microphone it sounded so much better. I then brought that into my live performance and it also worked there. It's been a process of 'unlearning' for me and returning to the authenticity of my voice that was there in the first place, before any of the training.
I hope that as I embrace my gift, it will inspire others to do the same, in whatever form it takes.