'Loud' hits iTunes charts
New Zealand country singer Jody Direen is living life loud after her latest song hit #1 on iTunes, adding to the whirlwind year she has had.
‘’Loud,’’ the first single off Jody’s upcoming second album, not only reached the top spot on the iTunes country charts but also debuted in the official top 20 NZ singles chart after just one day of sales. On its release day the song also beat out current hits by Miley Cyrus, Eminem and Rihanna to peak at #21 on iTunes across all genres.
After winning the Horizon Award at the 2012 National Country Music Awards, Jody performed at the Global Artist Showcase in Nashville earlier this year and signed a management deal with BGV - the same company that represents internationally renowned television star and adventurer Bear Grylls.
The former Rakaia resident and Wanaka native has performed nationwide and in Australia as well.
She said the success of ‘’Loud’’ so far was a little unexpected, but the song gave people a taste of what was to come.
‘’It’s created some great momentum. It's been a fair while since I released any new material and my sound has evolved quite a bit so I was really excited to see (and) hear people's reaction to my new sound. So far it has been really positive,’’ she said.
‘’I try not to have expectations over things, I think it's a healthy way to live life, so it was a lovely surprise to check the charts a couple hours after it went live on iTunes and see that it was sitting at #1 in the country charts. It was even more exciting when I noticed it climbed to #21 over all genres and a little crazy when it passed Miley Cyrus’ single ‘’Wrecking ball’’. It makes me feel very proud and excited about the future as it is only my first single release since my venture to America and the best is certainly still yet to come.’’
Next on the agenda for Jody will be the release of her first ever music video. She spent the weekend in Auckland recently to shoot the clip over two days with production company Augusto. Although the concept is being kept under wraps until its release, Jody described the experience as one of the best weekends of her life.
‘’I often think that the events that occur within a singers career must create the same buzz as getting married over and over again. All the hair, make up and attention,’’ she said.
‘’Augusto were an absolute dream to work with and made it so easy and fun. Everything was 100 per cent organised so I literally flew into Auckland and just did my thing. I was a little shocked at first at the scale of the production. There were about 50 people involved, amazing props including an old Mercury and some of the best cameramen and technology. We even had this massive helicopter camera buzzing around which was amazing. I got to work with a stylist for the first time too which was a lot of fun.’’
The inspiration for ‘’Loud,’’ co-written with fellow kiwi Fiona Benefield and produced in Nashville by Jay Tooke, was a desire to create a song that would ‘’get people on their feet, dancing on tables, shooting back whiskey and singing at the top of their lungs’’.
Jody said when she sits down to write a song she usually has a general idea of the vibe she is trying to capture based on what is happening in her life or the mood she is in.
‘’I knew I wanted to write a song titled ‘’Loud’’. What better title could you get for a summer party song? Then it all came together from there. My biggest inspiration in country music is Shania Twain; I don't think her songs will ever die. So I think that her musical influence on me certainly shines through in ‘’Loud,’’ but with a modern twist. I've actually had a lot of people tell me that after listening to it for the first time.’’
With several high profile performances coming up, including the Otago Wine & Food Festival at the Forsyth Barr Stadium on November 23, Jody said she is still hard at work finishing off her new album in between shows.
‘’The next album is a lot more personal to me and lyrically most of the songs reflect my life in some way. I think my sound for the next album is quite edgy, country rock/pop with a couple of softer numbers too ... as well as different styles of production.’’