From poet to rapper for Jana


Her Te Awamutu friends know her as Jay Chase, to fans of her music she is Jana Chase - hip hop singer and rapper.

Jana has been away from home for 13 years, including living in Australia for eight years, but still enjoys coming home.

She leaves for 'home' today after being in New Zealand promoting new music and playing a couple of shows.

Jana admits she planned the visit around Guy fawkes so she could let off a few fireworks (banned in Australia for the public).

Her day job is a youth worker at Brisbane's BoysTown - despite the name a facility for troubled young men and women.

Making music is part of the programme so Jana is able to combine her job and her passion.

It started when she was a youngster and always carried a notebook where she would write poems as they occurred to her.

A year after leaving school she was in America and when a friend realised she had a book of poetry, suggested she tried rapping her words to a beat.

She had always loved hip hop, but never thought she would be an artist.

But the experience changed that opinion and Jana started to concentrate on making music, both as an MC and rapper.

Back in Australia she uses beat producers from both sides of the Tasman to look after the sounds and then adds her words.

The mixing and mastering is done in USA.

She says the beats inspire the words and she loves making music.

The music is sold through digital downloads (mainly iTunes) although she has some physical media to promote when she plays live.

Current project is her first solo album Gravity, which will be out over summer, and the first single Give It To Me and videos.

Peter Stag shoots the videos and they are released through Sydney based Wolf Entertainment Group.

Jana says the singles are released with videos which helps promote the music.

While in New zealand she played a self promoted Halloween concert in Tauranga with her backing vocalist and DJ, which had tremendous support.

She was also planning an Auckland show at the time of the interview.

Jana plans to return again early next year and put on a show in Hamilton so friends and supporters closer to home can see her perform.

She is also part of a crew - Urban Prophetz - all Kiwis living in Australia.

Jana's dream is to be able to make her living from music, and gives herself a good chance.

"I'm also a good organiser, can do my own promotion and management and look after merchandise," she says.

"I also run music workshops and am doing more live work, so I think I can make it."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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