Chatting to Jordi van Dyk, up and coming musician from KZN in South Africa and recent winner of  the recent Converse ‘Get out of the Garage’ competition [in which he won the chance to record an EP and perform overseas with his band]  i got the chance to dig a little deeper into who he is and what he is hoping to achieve…

[1] To start off, Jordi, tell us a little bit about yourself – you’re writing the inside cover of your autobiography, what kind of info and fun facts will appear there? 

I like to think that I’m very spontaneous, music and the thought there of consumes my everyday. The fact that music could create a special moment between me  and a complete stranger  blows my mind. Perhaps it would also state that I love pasta and ice-cream  way too much haha. 

[2] You are about to head into the studio to record your debut EP, ‘An Ocean of Clouds’ – something like that does not just happen overnight. Tell me, is ‘being a musician’ something that has always been in your blood or was it a bit of an acquired taste?

I grew up in a very musical family. My dad a guitarist/artist and my mom a pianist. My mother always says I could sing before I could talk…but I don’t think that’s possible. I think music is a little gift my father left behind for me to remember him. 

[3] When was the moment you realised that this was bigger than just something that you really enjoyed doing and that there was perhaps the possibility of doing this full-time and making music a career?

Music is all I’ve ever wanted to do but the defined  moment was once I had moved out of my mothers house and away from the little  luxury it had to offer. I found myself in a tough situation having to live off the bare minimal but yet I was still very happy ,doing my music, although it wasn’t financially rewarding just yet. I found that if I could still be happy in such a tough situation/environment then surly this is what I should be doing.

[4] What would you say is the influence for the music you write, both in terms of lyric and style?

I guess it’s a combination of the music I listen to, people I’m inspired by, the ups and downs of life and relationship. 

[5] Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ of band or singer whose music you love listening to but who is completely outside of what others might expect or be okay with?

yeah! Haha Dire-straits, Simon and Garfunkel, Katy Perry….these are just a few. I’m just a lover of good Songwriters and story tellers. 

[6] Some artists like to tell stories through their music, some simply choose to paint pictures for the listener and others prefer to lead the listener on their own journey of experience that there may not easily be words to describe – which of these three do you feel your music comes closest to doing and is it something you intentionally set out to do?

I love to take people on a journey but then at the same time convey some sort of story. I don’t intentionally do this…it’s so weird, it just happens. 

[7] How do you envision your music career going forwards? Do you have some kind of end goal of three grammies and a Disney soundtrack hit or more of a ‘Let’s just do this and see what happens approach?’

I would love to win a Grammy haha but I have no expectations. Someone once told me that if you have expectations you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m just enjoying the journey. I’ll do my best and see where that takes me.  

[8] Outside of music, what or who is important to you in life and do you find it easy to create a balance between something that is a passion and takes up so much of your time and those other things?

Outside of music,my fiancé ,family, friends and a relationship with God are very important to me. It’s not very easy to find the balance  but I’m still in the process of figuring it all out. 

[9] As a person who professes faith in Jesus, what place of influence does that have in your music? Is there any message you would love to give to the Christian Music market in general?

I don’t believe I  make “Christian Music”. I don’t either believe that there is such a genre. I Love Jesus Christ And therefore make Christ inspired music. My music is about life, it’s about the journey and the different situations I face from day to day. So surely if I have a day to day relationship with him it would have influence on my music. 

Bono once said-” the  worlds greatest musicians are either running from God or to God”. 

[10] You recently got engaged to the lovely Mel Armstrong. Has she been around long enough to have some kind of influence in your work and does she play any role at all when you have a finished song you are wanting some feedback on.

You have no idea how excited I am to marry this beautiful woman! She definitely plays a huge role in my life and in my music. She is always available to give me some advice and have listening session. I have written a few songs about this journey we are on together. It’s an exciting year that lies ahead. 

[11] Lastly, do you have any words of advice for other young musicians who are working hard at being noticed and hoping to be successful in the music business one day?

My advice would be: Just because you don’t have a desk doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard. It’s not the easiest career choice but if it is your passion, follow it with all your heart! Find the musicians you look up to the most and learn from their strengths and weaknesses. 

Thanks a lot Jordi. To take a listen to some of his music head on down to his website. You can also follow him on the Twitterer – @jordivandyk

Jordi’s debut EP, “An Ocean of Clouds”, should be available in March 2014!