Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Good Times are Gonna Come

I blame everything on Alisha. She took me to Oriental Plaza in JHB and within an hour I was trying on all kinds of dresses and shoes! It really wasn’t part of my plan to spend as much money as I did but hey, it was my launch so the expense was justified. Yes, a launch a year after my album was released…

If I look back at the last year of my life I have to pat myself on the back. Within a year I got use to singing live on TV, learnt not to swear as much on radio and can sing comfortably in front of thousands. Now if you told me this a year ago I would have laughed at the insanity of it all. For a girl who use to sing in the bath or when no one could hear doing all these very public things did come as a shock at first.

Still, it took a lifetime of dreaming about music to get me where I am. I didn’t sing in the church or participate in any musical activities. At school I was the girl who hung with the boys while they rapped at the back of the class. I never had any big dreams of singing. That, I thought, was meant for other people. I kept thinking that until my daughter was born. That event changed everything. I had to learn to entertain this little kiddie and I did it with music.

Music has also taken me to places I never dreamed of. Sure, Montreux in Switzerland was great. I swear I have never seen so many good looking people congregated in one spot. It is a great partying spot but singing on a game reserve in my own country was a far more rewarding experience.

Don’t even get me started on the people I got to meet through music! Some are more surprising that the rest and I’m not talking about celebrities either.  Take Steve (a structural designer) and Lee ( entertainment technician) who I met at the VW launch. Crazy, loud men – they are without a doubt! But they reminded me that having a sense of adventure will always keep one sane.

Khaya Mahlangu and the Gauteng Big Band was another life changing experience. For any singer who listened to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan or Billy being able to sing with a big band is a dream come true. Again it was something I never expected to come my way….

So when I finally had my launch at St Andrews Hotel and Spa ( 5 star darling) it felt like I was having a birthday party without the crazy relatives and presents. I got to wear a nice dress and even had a weave put in for the occasion. (For the record I removed it the next day. It is just too much effort maintaining it…lol!) Then I just l closed my eyes and sang….

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Joy of Jazz

I sang terribly a few nights ago and  I am not talking about the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival. I sang at a small event in my home town in front of my mother and sister and things did not go as planned. I got nervous, did not connect with the audience – you name it, I did it. Sure I recovered and started over again. But that is not what I will remember – in my head.

I think it’s just the way we are programmed as humans. We remember the mistakes with greater accuracy. Often embellishing it more along the way. And don’t you just hate the continuous action replay that goes on mentally? Lol!

The irony is that I can’t really remember what I did on stage at the Joy of Jazz even though I would class it as one of my musical highlights so far. Everyone experiences a moment where they think, “Is this really real?” The entire week spent with the Gauteng Big Band felt like that.  Everyone made me feel at home and reminded me why I always dreamed of being a musician.

So even though I had a minute of “what-the-fuck just happened” at the gig last night I won’t let it replay in my head for too long. I will take the Montreux approach instead. That amounts to “shit happens and you better learn from it girlie”.

Lord knows I did not bring the house down at the Joy of Jazz festival. I was also the least experienced. And honestly I don’t give a rat’s ass about that either. Being on that stage felt so good. So instead of having a action replay of the “bad” gig….this time round I choose to think about Bra Johnny, Bra Stompie, Prince, Khaya, Andile, Hendrik, Mlungisi, Sydney and all the kids they mentor. Then to make it even sweeter I will think of just how good it felt to be home with my husband, daughter and annoying cats…lol! Nothing better…

posted by auriol in My music and have Comment (1)