“I have often despaired at how we tend to use our language so sparingly, using hackneyed phrases rather than trying new ways of joining words. And when I listen to some of the music being released, I find the same is true, artists taking tried and tested clichés to describe how they feel about certain issues. Naturally, there is truth in clichés but I am sure that to get one’s point across more passionately one ought to find interesting and innovative ways of putting words together.

Cue CJ….

A full time teacher of children with special needs during the day, a musical artist at night, someone who leads workshops over the weekend and a mama over this too. She is an amazingly gifted musician who can play anything and get some kind of music out of it. She plays keyboards, piano, guitar, sax, flugel horn, trumpet, and if that wasn’t enough, she is also fluent on the drums and with percussion. During her drumming days CJ did the usual thing of playing at festivals and groundbreaking London venues, such as 12 Bar Club, the Verge, Cairo Jacks, and The Borderline. She has supported Suzanne Vega, Cast and the Lightning Seeds. A few years ago she decided to go solo and concentrated on working with her own words and musical genius.

She still plays some London venues and festivals such as Reading and Cambridge, and is in the process of recording her own stuff, as well as gigging up and down Kent and London, running Open Mic nights, African drumming workshops, teaching music privately and doing session work when she has a spare minute.

Aside from her musical prowess, CJ is a keen surfer, and ex-county, ex-international cricketer for Kent and for England ‘B’, has toured in New Zealand, and is a qualified coach who plays cricket for the women’s MCC team.

From this rich life experience, she has drawn the most amazing ways of describing her work, her life and the ways in which life has both helped and hindered her. She has avoided boring repetitions and though some of the content of her work deals with heart-wrenching disappointments, she has written them in a way which forces us out of our self-induced comas. Yes, we have all been hurt, and our hearts have all had the “opportunity” to find themselves scattered across life’s sometimes cruel, concrete floor. CJ has a way of describing this aged old condition in a refreshing and riveting new way.

Her label is described as Folk, Country, Acoustic and Easy Listening. For the purposes of administration, these are really necessary bags box music, but I feel that CJ’s music transcends bags and labels and that to try attaching these to her work would simply undermine her message. Listen to her music with an open mind as soon as you can.”

Melissa Taylor