Taylor Jaye eyes continental domination
It's hard to talk about artists raising the bar without mentioning Taylor Jaye.
31 January 2020 | Art and Entertainment
Via email and WhatsApp, tjil had our first conversation with the SAtsa hit-maker on her new album set for release this year, and more. In the last four years, Jaye has put in immense work to cement her space in the music industry, not just in Namibia but continentally as well. Her Nigerian media tour in 2017 was her first outside the SADC region. “Now I've toured all over Africa. I've performed at iconic events, broken records like being the first Namibian artist to perform at the One Africa Fest in Dubai. I think I've become more comfortable in my own skin as a woman and as an artist,” she said.
She announced that she will be releasing an 'international album' this year. The project will feature artists from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Namibia. She noted that her creative direction is African drumline, adding that she has never boxed herself in as an artist. “I love the fact that Afro-centric music across the continent is so different yet such a vibe and relatable to us all. So I have some Afro-beat on there, some Afro-house, amapiano and gqom,” shared Jaye about the forthcoming album. With all the major moves she has making across the continent, it's important to give credit to the team responsible for selling the Taylor Jaye brand. On this, she said her team has always been family-centered. She mentioned she works with people who have the same vision, goal and passion as her. “I'm blessed to work with a team that has always believed in my vision. I'm glad that I have built a team that is widespread in different areas of the continent now,” she said. An outstanding highlight of her music career last year was being on the line-up for the 2019 Interswitch One Africa Music Fest in Dubai. She told tjil that, performance-wise, it was the best experience and platform she's ever had as an artist. It was her first time performing outside of Africa and she admitted she was nervous. “I am glad I did it on such a platform and I took the Namibian flag with me on stage. “It was surreal to perform to a sold-out crowd. I don't treat being selected as one of the two southern African artists among the entire top tier African/global musicians as a small thing,” she empahsised.
Jaye acknowledges it hasn't been easy penetrating the African music market. Challenges she has faced are being an independent artist and being a woman, as the industry is generally tougher for the fairer sex. She maintains that she does not have a formula, but more a clear vision, which has been important because she has made mistakes along the way but her vision keeps her going. “One tip I can give fellow Namibian artists is don't sit and wait for someone to come and push you. Get up and find ways to push yourself. There's a lot of resources and freedom these days for independent artists. “Also, one key element is to network. Use every opportunity you get to network. Don't be shy to message someone who can help you, you never know whether they will respond and help you move to the next step,” she added.
When it's all said and done, she intends to be remembered as a Namibian artist who, despite people telling her 'no, she can't do it', went on to dominate the African market and cross over into the global space. She wants to inspire little girls that anything is possible if you push hard. Jaye wants to inspire the nation and set a standard for Namibian entertainment.
“I want to be remembered for my charity organisation First Ladies First and I hope it brings change into the lives of many. I want to be remembered as an empire, that girl who made the world stop and look at Namibia and remind them that no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid,” she said.