Esther Interviews Jay Osmond from The Osmonds – Union Chapel, London, 21st Feb
The Osmonds @ The Union Chapel, Islington, London on 21st Feb 2019.
"With a career spanning over 6 decades, Osmond brothers Merrill and Jay are back to London to play all of their classic hits, for a fun filled night of nostalgia! The Osmonds have had a phenomenally successful recording career, having sold over 100 million albums worldwide and 59 gold and platinum award records to their credit. Their 1974 hit, ‘Love Me For A Reason’ (written by 70’s hitmaker, Johnny Bristol) went global again over 20 years later, when covered to huge success by Boyzone. From the start, The Osmonds knew that variety was their key to a successful recording career and they have covered just about every music genre imaginable, including Barbershop, Pop, Rock, Disco, Country, Gospel, Broadway, Swing and Jazz. The band even supported Led Zeppelin on tour back in the day when Jay fronted the band with the Global hit ‘Crazy Horses’. The band have also proven to be very talented and successful song writers, with some of their biggest hits – including ‘Down By The Lazy River’, ‘Let Me In’, ‘Goin’ Home’, ‘The Proud One’, ‘I’m Still Gonna Need You’. Excerpt taken from Press Release
Click here to listen to Audio Interview:
I hope you enjoy the interview as below:
Esther Austin:. Jay, I'd like to ask you, who is Jay in a nut shell, a peanut shell, or maybe a crab shell?
Jay Osmond: That's an interesting question. I've never been asked that but I appreciate that creative question.
I am a person who doesn't crave the spotlight but was thrown into the spotlight where I felt a responsibility to do what we do, perform and to keep up an image that we felt was important.
I feel that I am the person who loves teamwork and I love when things move right, and I love what our family stands for, what we've done and who we are all about but I don't personally like to be out alone, that's why I love working with my brother Merrill, who I have great respect for, our lead singer, who together I think we're strong.
This is the brand new thing we're doing now; this show with Merrill and myself - these Christmas shows that are coming up.
Merrill and I have done a lot of homework and we've released a brand new Christmas album. We're going to be performing that and all of our hits on these shows, but this is really me. This show that Merrill and I are doing is like the original Osmond Brothers; the real Merrill and Jay. And people have said that they have never seen us perform like this before because our personalities come out, we talk a little bit, we tease, and they've seen us all as brothers but now it's just Merrill and me and they said they're having more fun watching us; and our fans are saying that they love what we're doing.
We've gone back and recorded all of our hits and we put the hits in this Christmas show. We're putting some cool rocking Christmas songs in the show and then there's a spot where we're dedicating a part to the real meaning of Christmas; it's a beautiful spot.
This particular Christmas show is who I am and who Merrill is. I am a person that loves people. I love the Lord, I love life, I love our family and I love our fans. We've just really been blessed to have such wonderful fans around us and support us over the years.
When you look in the audience, you see these wonderful faces and half the audience now are guys believe it or not, and you see guys singing all our songs and I'm going, isn't that interesting compared to way back in the 70s, right? (Laughter)
Esther: Because you were bombarded with all females back then.
Jay: It's so different now to see us perform now when people come to our shows and I just love it when you do two hours worth of music and you leave and you see people lifted; that's our goal.
That's who I am; my identity as an Osmond and I feel honored to be in a family that are wonderful people, have wonderful parents. I feel honored to belong to our church, to be out there and to be different.
It feels nice and wonderful to be out in the world where we were told many times in the 70’s we'd never make it because we're too clean or too slick and yet we've been able to make it and see how many wonderful people out there.
One of the things that keep us going is to see the fans and all the many wonderful people. As I mentioned the other day, we were in Holland and this lady came up to me and said ‘Your songs maybe your songs and we love them but they're my songs too and we grew up together don't you forget that!’ And I went ‘wow! I will never forget that.
She said when you sing those songs, they mean something different to me. They helped me through a hard time and I told her that I was going to remember her saying this because that's going to really run through my mind alot.
I love it when people are singing our songs with us, when they see our videos and attend our shows and everything; I have a whole different perception now. It's not just us singing our songs, it’s people singing with us. It's wonderful.
Esther: That’s fantastic. That’s said in a lovely walnut shell.
Jay: Although, it's a whole different attitude that I have now; it's wonderful and Merrill and I are excited about this trip we're going to be doing throughout the U.K, the Christmas show tour.
Esther: Brilliant. You said something interesting earlier, Jay. You said you were told at one stage in your formative years that the Osmonds would never make it because you have too much of a clean look. What was it that really pushed you guys beyond that point of other people’s perception to becoming as incredibly successful as you are now?
Jay: When we started in show business, we didn't have the desire for fame or fortune. We didn't know whether to continue as a group and our parents said if we do continue in show business or wherever, let's do some good out there; let's leave a good mark out there for families, for Christians and for people that enjoy music and want to be together, and happy and who were about family life. That's what our whole goal was.
So when we were told that we would never be successful, we said what's wrong with being a clean act? What's wrong with being happy? What's wrong with being family?
You don't have to take drugs, you don't have to be immoral. You can enjoy life and be happy.
We didn't really want to be anything other than what we really were and so my parents were responsible for a lot of the success we had because they said never be afraid of who you are and be proud of who you are and let your light shine. They always said let your light shine to others; and that was our goal.
That's why we never were afraid of what people said in the world and we just did our thing and it's paid off. We've made so many friends along the way, they support us, love us, and those are the people we care about and we also want to bring new fans along the way.
We see young fans all the time at our shows. Besides the guys, we see a lot of kids and families and young couples and it's interesting how our whole audience has changed and it's been a wonderful journey.
Esther: Your audience has obviously grown up with you. They're more mature and they have different ideals and different perspectives of life, but I feel that your message as a whole from when you first started all the way up until now has been about that wholesomeness and that love and that nurturing which you were able to put into song.
This then leads me on Jay; you have described about your audience; when you are performing, where do you go inside of yourself because not only are you performing, not only are you singing but you're also delivering this wonderful message; what does that do for you as a performer?
Jay: Well, thank you first of all for your wonderful comments and your attitude. When I perform, I guess what really helps me is to look out and see others.
It's like in life; people who are really self-centered, they just think of themselves, they're not happy, but it’s about looking out of yourself. My father used to say that when you go into a room, don't think of ‘take a look at me look at others and see what you can do.’
And that's what we do. We look at others and say there you are. We look at them and sing to them and try not to be like look at me everybody, but look at you; thank you for coming to see us.
Those are the thoughts that go through my head. Thank you for coming to see us and I hope you have a great time, we're here to celebrate. In our Christmas Show, we're here to celebrate the Savior and do some fun Rock n Roll Christmas songs, and it's about memories and to do some wonderful fun things.
When you see our videos, they're fun. I think my part is to meet and greet my audience afterward our shows those are actually my favorite parts of the show, when you can actually meet people.
That's part of the entertainment thing too; it's not just singing, performing and playing but it's also meeting the people too. I think that's partly what I like to do anyway.
Esther: Obviously, your family was very grounded in the values and the attributes that were birthed into you by your parents; how do you feel the music industry actually influenced you as a person or could have influenced you as a person?
Jay: The music industry is so vast. There are so many kinds of people out there and wonderful people and there's that not so good parts of it too. But people in the industry have tried to pigeon hole and categorize us i.e are we Pop? Rock? Country?
I mean we try to do everything. In 1972, ‘Crazy Horses’ was released the same year that ‘Puppy Love’ was released. How different are those two songs? And then we did a country album and then we did a rock album. The Plan album was my favorite of all albums.
Esther: Why is that?
Jay: It's a concept album. It was a rock opera that we put together and it was about our beliefs and rock and roll; it's was just wonderful and my favorite album. But it is so different and so varied and so off the wall, we don't like to do the same thing. We don't like to be branded as in one way of singing. We want to be everything, we want do everything, we are trained that way, we were raised that way.
Esther: Yes, fantastic. I love that. They say variety is the spice of life, don't they, Jay?
Jay: That's how we look at it.
Esther: Jay, is it possible to just get a brief rendition of something that you're going to share with us in the U.K as part of your tour? i.e of one of the songs that you're going to serenade us with.
Jay: Well, one of the songs I love that we're doing is called Drummer Boy. No one's ever really done it; I don't think the way it should be done. In our new Christmas album, we did it the way I hear it in my mind.
The Drummer Boy that we're doing is in a very unique way with us just marching, and the drummer boy is a warrior for the Lord and then I'll do a drum solo to it and it's going to be a very powerful rendition of the way the Drummer Boy should be done. That's one of the things I’m looking forward to doing.
The album is called ‘A Very Merry Rocking Good Christmas.’ We’ll rock n roll to the Christmas songs and it has a fun twist to it. It's also got a couple of singers and dancers in there and a great band and some videos. I hope you come to the show.
Esther: Yes, I will definitely be. I've already booked my ticket.
Jay: Oh good. I’ll love to meet you.
Esther: Jay, you're doing a tour with your brother; how does that differ from when you've performed with the family as a whole? What are the main differences you've experienced just with the two of you rathe-rthan as a group?
Jay: By the way, I love your questions. You are an amazing interviewer and I love that. Thank you for being unique and thoughtful.
Esther: Thank you.
Jay: One of the things that make a difference was, Merrill and I, the original Osmond Brothers have sang together so many times and have been in so many different situations and we’re used to being so perfect and straight, everything was calculated, just perfect with no mistakes
Now we get up on stage and even though things are well organized, well-thought through, well sang; if there are mistakes, we laugh. We don't get uptight about anything and we joke around on stage and we're having fun and the minute we look at each other, we say that is the way it should have always been.
It's just Merrill and me, the band and the singers; and we got our tech crew and the audience, it feels like a family reunion a lot of times when we're doing our shows. We interact with the audience a lot and it's just fun and I think that's how it's different for me.
Esther: I guess it's the whole thing, when you get to a certain age in your life, it's more about speaking a message, singing about message and just enjoying it because you know that you're a vehicle to impart and speak into people's lives and that becomes more important than anything else because you know your blessings will come in other ways.
So it's not just about the money, it's not just about the fame but it's how you impact on people's lives.
Jay: You've got it so much. It's what can you do for others. They buy a ticket and come to your show to be lifted up and you hope you can deliver, and that's the fun part, it's just wonderful.
Esther: You're going to be on tour in the U.K again on the 21st February at Union Chapel is that right?
Jay: Yes, I understand that now. I love Union Chapel; it’s a beautiful place.
Esther: Well Jay, in winding down, is there anything else that you can share about your tour coming to the UK? Is there something that you can offer in terms of a quote, a piece of advice, or something more inspirational than you have shared?
Jay: I just trust that when our fans come to the show we hope they enjoy not only the music but to feel the spirit and to feel the reunion and the celebration of our Savior and to enjoy the camaraderie of each other and to just really enjoy a couple hours of just being lifted up.
We hope that we can lift your spirits and to enjoy the Rock n Roll music and the choir and the acoustics and all kinds of music that's going to be played. But most importantly, we hope you have fun and feel the spirit. I think that's the most important.
Esther: Well Jay, thank you so much. Thank you very much for your time.
Jay: All the best to you.
Tickets available via: https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-osmonds/union-chapel/1272749"
Thank you to Hush PR