UK Open Mic

Jola

Meet Opole, Poland-born UK Open Mic performer Jola:

Hi Jola, thanks for joining us! Let’s get into it:

Do you play solo only, or also in a group?

Solo

How old are you?

52

Where were you born?

Opole, Poland

Where did you grow up?

Poland

How did that place influence your music? (if at all!)

I was strongly influenced by my father’s love of jazz, blues and rock. I had listened to it throughout my childhood.

Where are you based now, and why?

I’ve been living in London for the last 30 years. I moved here when I married my late Italian husband.

What got you into making music in the first place?

Music was the background of my childhood. Life made me an accountant. But now, thanks to Open Mic I can enjoy my singing hobby and getting the thrill from live performances!

What instrument/s do you play?

Singing

Who would be in your top 10 musical influences, and why?

Etta James and Aretha Franklin -wow those distinctive and commanding voices.
All the old blues greats like Muddy Waters or Howling Wolf.
Jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone.
Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa.
The rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Stones, and god, so any more!
Chris Stapleton recently- love that country rock. These are just a few examples.

Do you write your own songs?

Yes

How many years have you been writing songs for?

Just a year or two but only have them as a Capella recordings as I haven’t got my band to record them with.

What process, or processes, do you often find yourself using when you write songs?

I just get this sudden set of tunes in my head. The tune normally comes first. Only then I try to write lyrics to fit it.

How long have you been playing open mic nights?

1

Why did you get into playing them in the first place?

I wanted to expand on my singing hobby. Singing in public was the next step. It gives me a great buzz.

What advice would you give new performers who are just starting out playing their first open mics?

Prepare and be well rehearsed but on the night just let loose!

What’s the hardest thing, for you, about playing open mics?

Waiting for my turn with both excitement and stage fright. Being a former finance director used to planning and timeliness, I find it a bit hard to get used to quite a flexible schedule of when an open mic will actually start…

What’s the most bizarre, or fun, open mic, or gig, you’ve ever played, and why?

Sometimes a venue can be just too small to host an open mic. When there are only three tiny tables, there’s no place anywhere to put your drink down and most performers have to stand outside- the venue is just too small!

If it’s not already, are you hoping to make music your full-time career?

No

What’s the one truth about you that people often find surprising?

Probably my strange voice.

What’s the most exciting project you’re working on at the moment?

Just rehearsing new songs but I would love to sing in a band and come up with our own songs.

Where is the main place should people go to find out more about you?

www.facebook.com

What other sites/profiles should people go to to find out more about you?

Facebook, twitter

We’re done! Anything else ou want to share before we go?

No thanks!

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