Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for November, 2011

Anima Sola

“I told you…you can trust me” A man should never utter those words and expect me to believe him. If this sounds like the start of a bitter sweet song, you would be mistaken. Those words were uttered last night after the screening of Anima Sola, a movie directed by French Michel (also known as Michel Dujardin). He used a great deal of my music in his film. For a while I was convinced he knew no other musicians and therefore had no other choice but to use what was on hand!

If I had to be really honest I would state (hand on the bible) that I knew he was on to something at the first meeting. “While we work together I will pretend you are 28,” I said flippantly. A part of my brain refused to believe that one so young could be so…gifted. I am not just going on and on about this movie because my material was used or because people I know wrote and acted in it. I do have some larger point I would like to get across, so bare with me…

Over the last 2 years I have heard the strangest things. “You should try your best not to rely on people” someone in the entertainment industry once said. Now I can firmly say, “Bullocks to that!” I am a cautious, cynical Scorpio but somehow, when I wasn’t paying attention and probably while writing a song, a completely outlandish, totally unexpected thing happened. I learnt to trust myself…

“Everyone is your mirror” a teacher once told me. I hate that saying because I know it to be true. If I am distrustful of others it is not because they are inherently untrustworthy. More than anything it reflects how little faith and trust I have in myself. People like to think that the music industry is governed by the law “It’s not what you do but who you know” Again I have only one word to say “Bullocks!” At every blind corner in my career, when I had no idea what to do or where to turn to, serendipity stepped in and gifted me with something extraordinary. People. Not only were they willing to help me, they believed in my voice, my vision. It was always a perfect fit.

Strange as this may sound (or cocky depending on where you stand) I do believe that I will keep ‘running’ into people. Not because I am that talented or connected or rich or even pretty…but because I trust myself to know that music is my calling. And last night I was lucky enough to be surrounded by like minded people who, young as they seemed, trusted themselves as much as I learnt too…

posted by auriol in career and have Comments Off

In Vain or True

I love Star Trek and Dr Who not only because of the aliens, hot men and interesting story lines. I know what you’re thinking, “She is just full of s**t. Watch something educational please! The world is filled with enough problems and you are wasting your time on tv shows!” Do allow me to explain…

I am very emotional and only learnt the extent of that energy when my daughter was born. I would go wherever the wind lured me. Often neglecting my studies and friends for boys – well, one boy in particular. Then my daughter was born and I had to re-evaluate everything. The end result being that I almost became a hermit and way too introspective. “Why did that happen to me and what was I suppose to learn from it?” In fact I would ask that about every encounter or person in my life -often driving my friends and myself crazy in the process.

I would then switch on the television at night and be confronted in a completely unexpected way. By  a character like Spok in Star Trek for example. He who was my polar opposite, seemingly devoid of emotions and reliant only on logic. “Could I do that?” I wondered? I quickly discovered that I could not, but that is the first time I learnt the value of emotions and how they can overwhelm and cloud my thinking.

The irony is my life was littered with Spocks. People who either refused to show emotions or simply did not know how too….and it drove me crazy. How can you argue with someone like that, tell me? I would be in tears unable to string a sentence together and they would stand there unaffected. As the years went by I did the only logical thing I knew too. I learnt to control, take in and withdraw what I felt.

Then music came along and all those barriers and defenses were blown to smithereens. How can I be a musician if I do not share honestly, sincerely? Music won’t allow me to lie…because, as cliché as it sounds, I am at my best and most sincere when I sing or write music. I no longer have to control, take in or withdraw. I also don’t need anyone to make me feel safe in that space…I do that for myself.

I could go on and on about how Star Trek and Dr Who do so much more than entertain. They tackle troubling issues such as cultural relativism, religious morality…in short we are confronted with our own human condition. Yes, it can be rather depressing (all those moral dilemmas) but always there’s a glimmer of hope at the end of each episode – and that was enough for me. Those two shows remind me that I should never give up or abandon my lust for adventure…even if my lust is confined only to music – for now.

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comments Off

Suzie Blue

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: not everything in the music industry is fun. If it seems like I am bitching, forgive me. Some things take a little getting use to. Photo shoots are nerve wrecking. And after so many I still haven’t mastered the art of smiling on queue, ironing out my frown or posing provocatively. Corporate gigs are seldom fun because I tone everything down. I stand in one place, wear shoes and a dress and seldom speak. I have also learnt to not take offense if it seems like no one is listening. Now I don’t mind the dress and shoes bit, what kills me is the uncertainty. I never know whether I am doing a good job or not.

Nothing makes me happier than a call from Morgan or Tabitha informing me that I have work.  I love getting in a plane and being alone in a hotel room. It feels like a mini holiday. Along the way I have learnt a few about myself and my band. First things first: I should always have an extra dress and stocking on hand. At the last job my stockings ripped 20 minutes ahead of call time. If it weren’t for two very good friends who lived close by, some audience members would have been scarred for life or blinded at the very least.

This might sound outrageous and very anti – new age but here goes. Judge me later if you must. I have learnt to stop feeling grateful at every turn. Allow me to explain. When I first stepped into the music industry I was grateful for everything that came my way – even mediocre musicians and crappy gigs. I would always smile and say, “Thanks that sounds great!” I said that because I didn’t know any better. I am, for the most part, more selective and discerning now. As a musician I cannot afford not to be. After all no one knows my music better than I do…

Honestly, there is nothing better than playing a show on your own terms. In front of people who actually paid to be there….where I get so nervous and excited I can’t sleep or eat or think straight. I could never only play corporate gigs. It would kill me. So prevent my untimely death my band and I play corporate not for the client (shoo don’t tell them) – but for ourselves. As long as we can leave saying, “We played well” that’s good enough.

In the next few months I will have to fake pose for another photo shoot (arrg) when we launch the new album, Devil Woman.  I won’t make the same mistakes I did the first time round.  I have learnt to not swear on live radio, say crap seven times on Sunday morning tv or pull my face into a contorted expression when I sing the wrong note. See? You live, you learn…

posted by auriol in career and have Comments Off

Lay There and Hate Me

My name is Auriol Hays and I am addict. My drug of choice is…. wait, I need to explain a few things first.  You see people are starting to notice. They say I am moody, cranky and general mess when I don’t have the “stuff” in my system. After numerous family interventions and dodgy dealers peddling inferior product, I have decided to come clean and state publicly ( and this is hard): My name is Auriol Hays and I am addicted to tv series.

I can trace this unhealthy habit back to the birth of my daughter. I was so bored back then I even got addicted to cricket. The Five Day matches were particularly thrilling and for a while I even fantasized about sitting on that patchy lawn in Newlands under an umbrella and with a beer (and I hate beer!) I can’t really remember my first dealer or what concoction hooked me. It is all a bit hazy right now to be honest, but that first hit was all it took.

A while back my daughter burst through the doors and declared “Teacher gave us an assignment. We can’t watch tv for a week and that includes you Mummy!” Phah! Pish! Posh! “I can do that easily!” I said. The teacher did not mention anything about computers or phones or other people’s houses, so I was in the clear – technically. Did I mention all that to my lovely daughter? I watched everything when I was certain she was asleep and after the week was done smiled oh so triumphantly and said, “See? I told you I could do it!”

I loved reading books with a supernatural twist when I was a kid. I recall sitting in Kuils River library for hours on end after the bell rang. This does explain why I enjoy writing the odd murder song. I even managed to guide my daughter’s reading to the fantasy/horror side. All I need to do is get her hooked on a good science fiction book then my work is done.

Honestly, after writing music or singing extensively, there is nothing better than chilling in front of my pc and zoning out on series. I have been known to overdose every so often – but luckily it has not landed me in any serious danger as yet. On a serious note though…behind all the drama, blood and gore – the storylines are deeply moving. My daughter has found me in tears at my computer many a times…

If you enter my home you will be met with silence unless I am writing music, cleaning, cooking or have people around. But my pc will always be humming away ever so serenely, assuring me that all is well in the world. On it you might find marauding zombies, people on an island trying to find their way home, a respectable teacher who cooks meth, two brothers on a righteous mission, a daring Time Lord or a house haunted with way too many ghosts and creepy side characters. I am talking about The Walking Dead, LOST, Breaking Bad, Supernatural, Dr Who and American Horror Story in case you were wondering…

But I want you to know…I need you to know that I am not ready yet. In fact I don’t think I ever will be ready to give them all up and go cold turkey. I am just not strong enough! And that bladdy BBC always airs innovative shows that lure me to my back ally dealers with their shifty eyes and fast fingers. Have you taken a look at Misfits, Being Human, or The Fades? Seriously, what chance does a girl really stand these days? What chance….?

posted by auriol in Addiction and have Comments Off