Jayne Lewis: Singer/songwriter recording 'Under An Orange Sky'

Sunday 17th July 2005

Tyne & Wear singer JAYNE LEWIS was launched onto the scene last year by Authentic Music. She was questioned by Tony Cummings.

Jayne Lewis: Singer/songwriter recording 'Under An Orange Sky'

Those who in recent years have attended the Keswick Convention may have already encountered the worship ministry of Jayne Lewis while those whose tastes in music veer towards the gently melodic may have discovered Jayne's 'Orange Sky' album, released last year by Authentic Music. Cross Rhythms' reviewer called it "a wonderful collection of contemporary worship songs, some written by Jayne from personal testimony, some well known like 'Be Thou My Vision' and 'Jesus Be The Centre'."

Cross Rhythms caught up with Jayne in her Houghton-le-Spring home. She began by filling in her biography. "I was brought up by my mother in Houghton-le-Spring, which is on the outskirts of Sunderland. I was not brought up in what you would call a 'conventional' Christian family. I would go to visit my dad at weekends and he would take me to church with him, I liked it (well the singing anyway!), and asked my mother if she would go to church with me. So we started to go to Bethany Christian Centre (then known as Bethany Church) in Houghton-le-Spring. As the church grew we had to hold our meetings in my secondary school, and it was there that that I became a Christian at about the age of 11. I was sat on the steps at the back of the hall with my friend and she had a booklet in her Bible called Life's Most Important Questions and I noticed that it was written by our Pastor at the time, John McQuoid. So I picked it up and started to read it and it explained the Gospel so clearly. You see I had always been told that Jesus loved me and I believed it. I also knew that he had died for me, but I never really understood why, or what it was all about. This booklet explained that we are all people who have lived life without God and gone our own way, and that this means we have broken our relationship with God because our sinfulness has got in the way. I was devastated when I read this, I sat and cried, then I turned the page and there was the good news, my relationship with God could be put right through Jesus! His death on the cross paid my penalty, he took the blame for all of my sinfulness so that I could be innocent and still have a relationship with God. I was so happy! I finally understood what it was all about. It was as if I'd had the pieces of the jigsaw all along, and finally I had been able to put them together and see the bigger picture That's when I committed my life to God."

Jayne's interest in music began when she was about seven or eight. "I used to listen to a lot of classical music and I loved the sound of the violin, so I started having lessons at school and I played the violin till I was 16. My love of singing started at about the same age. In primary school I always loved it when we had 'hymn practice' partly because it meant we didn't have maths (which I hated), but mainly because I loved to sing. I remember my first performance . I was singing 'Once In Royal David's City' with a boy in my class for the Christmas service. I was so tiny you couldn't see me over the lectern! I started to play the piano when I was about 12 but I didn't have any training in singing until I went to college, and then continued it at University. I have also begun (trying to) play the guitar over the past couple of years."

I asked Jayne whether she viewed herself primarily as a worship leader (ie, a singer of songs TO God) or a Christian music singer (ie, a singer of songs ABOUT God)? She replied, "To be honest, a bit of both. I love being part of a worship team helping to lead people in worship, it's such a great privilege. I love singing to God, and a lot of the songs I write are songs of praise and worship to God. On the other hand I do write and sing a lot of songs which are about the Christian life and everyday experience of being a Christian. Yes I'd definitely say it's a bit of both."

Jayne Lewis: Singer/songwriter recording 'Under An Orange Sky'

Recording the 'Orange Sky' album proved both a fulfilling and frustrating experience for Jayne. She explained, "It's very weird hearing your voice for the first time through proper gear! It was a shock to hear what everyone else hears when I sing. Yeah, it was okay though, although it's frustrating when you can hear the sound you want in your head, but you can't put into words what you're thinking. Andy (who produced the album) was great though and tried hard to read my mind! It was reasonably tiring though, I think we did all the vocals in two days, and I had to drive home (for three hours) at two in the morning once. Nothing outrageously funny happened in the studio, but it was quite spooky. It was in the basement of a really big old church building that had three or four floors. The toilets were on the third floor I think and I never found the light switch! It was quite scary going there at one in the morning. Ever get the feeling you're being watched or someone's right behind you?.I did!"

Jayne is hopeful that now she has made her album debut there will be more to follow. "I'm always writing! Music is the way I express my feelings. whatever they may be! There will be a new album, although I'm not sure of the release date (keep an eye on www.jaynelewis.com for updates), I haven't started recording it yet but I have a selection of new songs and it's just a matter of picking the ones to be recorded."  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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