Joe Nye ~ I Dance Like A Slut But I Live Like A Virgin!

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Lady M: I remember seeing you the first time in 2007 at Melville, Johannesburg;  a head of luxuriant, soft black curls framing a pretty face, chunky white beads hugging your neck, aqua green shirt, pouting mouth and lots of attitude.  I immediately placed you in my “Pocket Adonis” mental file.  I had no idea then that I was in the presence of a brilliant song-writer and club-music diva.   What a pleasant surprise it was! Who is Joe Nye? And why the name Joe Nye?

Gus Pinto a.k.a. Joe Nye

JN: Joe Nye is Gus Pinto, it’s for the most part a one-woman band at the moment. As to why “Joe Nye”, in the middle of an affair with the rave sound of the nineties I heard a disco remix of a DNA song called “Blue Love”, featuring the exquisite voice of a female vocalist called Jo Nye. I lost my heart to that soulful voice and the name stuck in my head. One night, while slightly intoxicated, I realised that when said with an Afrikaans accent the name sounded very much like a Capetonian insult. I just loved that, added a masculine “e” to the “Jo” and went with it.

Lady M: What inspires Joe Nye? And what artist has had the most significant impact on the manifestation of Joe Nye?

JN: My best inspiration comes through the ups and downs of the relationships I’ve been through, from experiences in my life which I translate into music. I’m not comfortable with writing about something I have not been through in some way; it would feel like I was faking it. Who has inspired me?  The list is endless. I listen to everything from Fado to House to Rock. For me it is more about the emotion in the song than the style. If I have to pick one, just one… Okay, four please, I would say it’s a four-way tie between four awesome talents; Kate Bush and Lisa Gerard of ‘Dead Can Dance’, believe it or not, neck-and-neck with Liz Fraser from the ‘Cocteau Twins’ and Beth Gibbons from ‘Portishead’.

Lady M: Joe, could you describe your routine for getting ready for the catwalk?

JN: 1) I luxuriate in a warm shower to de-stress, preferably with a shower-gel with an orangey smell. I love the smell of oranges in the shower.
2) next comes a pampering home-facial, nothing too complex.
3) I choose an outfit or three for the night.  I then take out another six or seven outfits, try everything on in different combinations and, after about an hour of dithering, go with the original outfit(s) that I chose. Happens every time.
4) Once the outfit is sorted, it’s just a case of choosing your attitude. Ice Maiden, Love-whore, and Femme Fatale, whichever feels more fun that night.

Lady M: Tell me more about the track “Alchemy”.

JN: Alchemy is a very beautiful memory for me. It was born out of a moment when I set aside my virgin-for-life Miss Priss attitude and acknowledged that I was resisting my sensuality. It was at the time just a verse or two of spoken word. A few years later, after a break up with someone that I could not forget I remembered the words and it felt right to continue working on “Alchemy”, now that I had experienced in life what I had felt in my head.

Lady M: Explain what happens when Joe steps onto the stage, the lights come on and the colour of his personality and music burst like a kaleidoscopic supernova.

JN: I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. I am incredibly shy, but during my waitering days I discovered that when the pressure of a busy night pushes you to the verge of insanity, if you just let your conscious mind stop trying to control the situation and switch to operating instinctively you find a point of peace inside yourself and you can stay in that place while you let your brain and body handle the situation. I get progressively more worked up as Showtime approaches and when I step on the stage I have a split second of complete and utter flip-out. Once that happens, I’m in my happy place and the rest happens. I have apparently stripped while performing, on occasion, flinging off bits of clothing while strutting about shamelessly.  (laughter)

Lady M: Joe, what is the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done whilst performing?

JN: Yep, the stripping thing. I blush. I’ve even considered performing naked, but my occasional swing towards anorexia would make that inappropriate for all but my heaviest material. (more laughter)

Lady M: If life were a stage what song should be played when you make your entrance?

JN: Ooooh!!!  Dulce Ponte’s ‘Cancao do Mar’.

Lady M: “I dance like a slut, but I live like a virgin”. Would you care to allow us into this mysterious banner statement?

JN: (Seductive laughter)  At one point in 2010 I decided to go wild, after a life of reasonably good behaviour. I would spend each Saturday night in a cage, on a stage or anywhere where I could dance without bumping into someone, dancing like a jungle-cat on heat.  Needless to say, this gave the completely wrong impression – the rumours included me being a prostitute. Although the thought of being remunerated for sex is not unappealing, my sex-life is pretty much non-existent – hence the song “Don’t Touch My Hot Body”, which feature the words “I dance like a slut/ But I live like a virgin/ You touch my ass again/ And you’re gonna need a surgeon. For the most part, after a wild night out I prefer to go home to my cats and snuggle up with them for a good nap. It’s not that I don’t like sex – I do – but the complications it comes with are sometimes not worth the effort. I think most casual sex is an attempt to find love or validation of some sort. That’s not healthy.

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Lady M: If your autograph could be political action, what would it be, Joe?

JN: Whoa!!!!  Heavy stuff. Animal Rights. I wish people would get over their species-ism and realise that we are not superior to any other life form, just different to them.

Lady M: So is Joe Nye on Campaign?

JN: Joe Nye is recovering from a rough, rough two weeks of fighting an outbreak of panleukopenia among his cats, but as soon as my head stops spinning, I’m getting back out there, starting I think with a performance or two at Ramp Divas on the East Rand. Watch this space!

Lady M: What has been your most significant appearance to date?

JN: I would have to say my disastrous show at an event at Movida earlier this year. I was warned that their microphone set up was best suited to DJ voice-overs or presenting. The advice I got was that I should mime over songs rather than perform over instrumentals. I didn’t feel right about that and took a backup setup with me. The backup didn’t work and I was left with the prospect of having to work with the establishment’s DJ mic. I managed two songs shakily but when I hit the third and had to start belting out the lyrics, everything went wrong. If I held the microphone close when belting, I could hear feedback starting up. If I tried to roll off the notes, the audience heard only snatches of the vocal. I was devastated. But, I survived it and it taught me that Plan B is not enough. When it comes to performing in an unknown environment, you need a Plan C and a Plan D in the boot too.

Lady M: Where do you make your appearances?

JN: Usually clubs, although I’ve done a couple of impromptu performances at restaurants, year-end functions and the odd karaoke night. Karaoke is a blast, especially if they have Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You Tonight” and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”. Two of my mainstay karaoke numbers.   (Gus exhibits a charming, disarming smile)

Lady M: I am fascinated by the track “Candle Burning”. Is it a love spell?

JN: Oh dear. It started out as a love spell to bring back a man whom I now realise I should have been glad to be rid of, but my guides don’t approve of magic. They concur with the Hindu concept of Maya, that the world we see around us is just an illusion, a veil that creates the impression of individuality, of separation from the rest of creation and God. By attempting to change that illusion you buy into it, reinforcing it and “your” ties to “it”. Real magic, they feel, lies in seeing through the illusion and, by seeing through it and knowing it for what it is, forcing it to change itself in an effort to continue holding you in fascination. After I had finished the spell, I realised that it had a certain rhythm to it. A few days later, ‘Candle Burning’ was born.

Lady M: Interesting. Would you then say that beyond the sensual veneer of Joe Nye, there beats a heart that is spiritual?

JN: Some may find it odd, but as an Orthodox Kemetic my Faith allows me the expression of sensuality, within reason. After a suicide attempt at puberty, followed by a most unusual near-death experience, my faith in mainstream religion failed. I began to explore other faiths, looking for a spiritual reason for existence; for some sort of “meaning of life”. At the same time I had a passion for classical civilisation and when I started researching Egypt, I found a faith that did not (with the exclusion of one flirtation with monotheism) seek to replace one god with another, that saw the gods of other faiths not as a threat but as members of a great heavenly family which was at the same time one God who had many forms, many Names. I have no doubt that, had the faith of Ancient Egypt survived, it would by now have welcomed Jesus, Mary, Buddha and the entire Hindu pantheon into its temples as part of Re-Atum’s great family, as part of Netjer (the one God who is many). I found this completely charming. By the time I discovered the contradictions that are born of a faith as open as that of Kemet (Ancient Egypt), I had developed a deep love for this strange and wonderful religion. Imagine having, within one faith, many self-created creators, some of whom – by virtue of association and syncretisation – had created their own mothers. My faith is something that holds my heart, stimulates my mind and more.-Through the Kemetic concept of Ma’at my faith becomes something which I live each day.

My cats and the animals that have shared my life with me factor strongly in my spirituality, both in life and in the guidance they provide to me after they have passed away. I think the most important thing I have learned from animals is that, although the clay we are shaped from may differ, although some of us walk upright and others may fly, walk on four legs, or crawl, the soul inside is identical. There is only one breath of life, only one source for all souls.

Lady M: ‘Kom Terug’, the Afrikaans number, why did you choose to write and sing a number in Afrikaans?

JN: Sjoe. ‘Kom Terug’ was put together at the request of an Afrikaans colleague a few years ago. He had written the poem after a break-up with his girlfriend at that time and asked me to put it to music. Oddly enough, I was going through a break-up as well and the words just fitted so well with what I was going through that the song just sort of sprang into being. I tried to inject a flavour into it that Andre Smit, the author of the words, would like while still trying to keep an element of me in it. I think it works and I’ve always had a soft spot for that song.

Lady M: I played your CD to a multi-racial crowd at Nelspruit’s News Cafe and it went down like a strawberry Marguerita. Why don’t you market your music to clubs?

JN: Lord knows I’ve tried honey. The amount of work required to get into one venue, the jealousy you have to deal with from lime-light huggers and the sheer slapgatness of some of the people you’re forced to deal with is enough to turn the most pious nun into an alcoholic atheist. I decided this year that the stress/resentment/disdain that artists have to go through is just not worth it. If I do a show, I do a show, if I don’t, I don’t. I will always make music and singing is just too wonderful to give up, but beyond that whatever happens, happens.

Lady M: Would you be keen in allowing other Gay artistes to fire-dance and flare to your music in order to raise Awareness? And what sort of Awareness would that be?

JN: Hmmm, interesting. Any awareness is good awareness (wink), I think. But what would interest me more would be to work with some fire-dancers or other artistes/creatives to produce something that works for them, rhythmically and stylistically; something which is shaped around their art or style providing a backdrop to it and enhancing it.

Lady M: How can the public get hold of Joe’s music?

JN: People can listen to and share my music from my Facebook artist page.

Some of my newer material is available for download from my Reverbnation page at http://www.reverbnation.com/joenye.

If anyone wants a song from my Myspace or Facebook pages made available for download from my Reverbnation page, let me know and I’ll make it so.

 

Some Joe Nye Selections:

Hey!

Turn Your Face To The Sun

Don’t Touch My Hot Body

Love’s In Control

Tell Your Mother Cause Maybe She Cares

I’m Goin’ Straight

Alchemy

Weight On My Mind

Kom Terug

Candle Burning

 

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1 Response

  1. Jared says:

    WoW! I absolutely loved reading that! Was so interesting to read from were these amazing songs come from, and not just from you Joe but from whome your spiritual side is! I thank Morgause every time she plays your album to me, but I think its time I get my own collection! :)lol hehehe

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