COUNTRY singer Jody Direen is keen to shake up the Australian and New Zealand country music scenes with her latest album, released today, November 4.
Jody described the new offering, Shake Up, as her “greatest achievement yet” and said there were very few nerves with the release of this offering, because they were squashed by the level of her excitement
“I think, with this album. I really pushed the boundaries in terms of my sound direction,” she said.
“I’ve been so excited about all my albums but, with this one, I want to create a unique sound that’s mine and people can recognise me by it. There are a lot of pop and rock influences because I’m very influenced by what’s happening in the US country scene. People will be taken on a journey of my life for the last 12 months.”
The New Zealand singer-songwriter, who moved to Brisbane this year, said she was just a normal girl working hard at her dream, so plenty of listeners would related to the songs on Shake Up.
“They’ve got an upbeat, party anthem vibe and I’ve gone for a really big sound, so live, these songs are huge,” she said.
“There are some slower songs, as well. I can’t wait to hear what people think of it and can’t wait to play the whole album live. I feel like it’s my greatest achievement yet.”
Already the winner of New Zealand’s 2015 CMANZ Female Artist of the Year Award, VAC Female Vocalist of the Year and a NZCMA Best Album of the Year finalist, Jody has also had nominations for CMC awards and top 10 hits in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s been a whirlwind month for Jody after being part of the This Crazy Life tour with artists including Wolfe Brothers, Caitlyn Shadbolt and Canadian country superstar Gord Bamford and releasing the first single, Gimme The Beat.
“I had an absolute ball because it was my first Australian tour and I saw parts of Australia I hadn’t seen before,” she said.
“Australian fans are just amazing to perform to and it was a great opportunity to play some songs off the new album.
“I didn’t know anybody on the tour before I started and I was a little bit anxious with three girls, in the same industry trying to achieve the same thing, but there was nothing like that – everybody was in there together and we all just got on like a big happy family.”
Although she only recently made the move to Australia, the singer-songwriter said she felt welcomed by the country scene here and was keen to get more live shows under her belt, with her next major festival being the Tamworth Country Music Festival. She will also open for LeAnn Rimes and Scotty McCreery in New Zealand.
Shake Up is sure to make a mark on the Australia and New Zealand country music scenes with Jody having her sights set on Nashville, but said she wanted to nurture the local markets first.
“I’m very much living in the moment and always going to be aiming for that, but enjoying what’s happening now,” she said.