The venue is intimate and dimly light, I arrive forty-five minutes early to set up and find a place for my things. The excitement of writing for my first gig is overwhelming and I have high levels of joy for meeting Peyton. When the band arrives and a sound check begins, Peyton works the room and constructs an ecstatic atmosphere. He is confident, funny and easy to approach. I introduce my self with eagerness and nerves fluttering through my veins. After the rehearsal, I follow the crew upstairs to get ready for an interview I am recording with him. I watch everyone in the green room bounce to and from each other’s jokes and intently wait my moment to get comfortable with asking the questions. I had to buy a small microphone that plugged into my mobile for the interview and was stressing that it wouldn’t work correctly. We find a spot in the corner of the room on an old vintage couch that my body sinks into, and I attach the microphone to Peyton’s shirt so that we can begin.
Jedediah: “Tell us about the ‘Sinners Got Soul Too’ album and the essence of this album”
Peyton: “This is an album that has been in production for the last three years, there are tracks on the album that have been taken from my own back catalogue of dance tracks and reworked in a completely different way. It is a combination of years of work. I feel very proud and it’s been a hell of an uphill battle to get to this point”
Jedediah: “You have made a recent shift in the style of your music, can share some more information about the shift and how you are feeling in regards to the change”
Peyton: “I absolutely love it. It’s not easy to change direction. I’m excited and I’m also really enjoying the challenge of signing in a completely different environment. For me, I want to stay in music, I want to keep working, in many ways I feel more powerful now because I’ve had many years to really kind of develop my skills, as a writer, as a performer, and as a vocalist; so I don’t want to have to shift into a new job, I want to shift into a new style so I can continue doing what I’m doing”.
Jedediah: “your song ‘when they go low’ features Michelle Obama’s words of power and resulted in this track being linked with the anti bullying week in Australia and schools in Byron Bay are using it as an anthem for empowerment. How does it feel knowing your music has that kind of reach and is impacting on peoples lives?”
Peyton: “To go on Facebook and suddenly see all these kids signing along to ‘when they go low’ I cried my eyes out! It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. To get an email from somebody on the other side of the world or down the street or from someone that I don’t even know telling me that they are in hospital and telling me they have been listening to a track like this one and how its been getting them through has had an huge impact on me.”
Jedediah: “How has coming from a gospel background influenced this album?”
Peyton: “Because I grew with a family of preachers and grew up in the church, ministry was something that was apart of my blood and I had 18 ministers on my fathers side of the family. Although I’m now no longer religious, I think that the tradition of ministry is something that I have continued to feel that I want to keep at the root of everything I do in terms of music. What I am trying to do with my music is direct peoples hearts and their minds to something higher than ourselves.”
Jedediah: “Last year you went onto the X-Factor, an interesting journey no doubt, what was the response like and how have things developed since then?”
Peyton: “There was a motive for doing it, we set out to raise my profile with an audience who didn’t already know who I was. I had a whole month on national TV. Sharron Osbourne’s excuse for axing me was that I was too good and there is no better way to go out of a talent program than to be axed for being too good, which didn’t go down well with the public but was a wonderful exit route for me.”
Peyton X-Factor 2017
Peyton's X-Factor Response
Peyton - Carry You
Jedediah: “Where did Peyton start and what were your big dreams back then?”
Peyton: “I had written this song through a random connection and it got produced in a house music style, it got sent of to a label called Hed Kandi, the head of the company loved it and released it and it went to number all over the world. Back then my dream was just to quit my waiter job.”
Jedediah: “Lucky Life has been following you for a very long time and sharing your music and performances along with your journey. What is your relationship with Lucky Life and the history?”
Peyton: “Mike Parry is a personal friend of mine, he also is a resident in Ibiza and Mike has been familiar with my music from the very beginning. He is someone I have a lot of time for and to have Lucky Life come along and to film the Ibiza album showcase you guys have always been apart of so many different things and steps along the way. For me there has been a great deal of loyalty along the years because it’s like building a family.
Peyton & his Gospel Choir at Blue Marlin Ibiza
The interview was a success and he made me feel at ease fully understanding it was my first time. I stepped outside of the venue to let the crew set up and finish any last minute preparation for the show. I met a woman who was smoking a cigarette before the first exclusive VIP show. Lisa explained to me that “Peyton’s music is so soulful and uplifting, it just elevates anyone lucky enough to be enchanted by it.” I was excited to seem him live because I really enjoyed the new songs from his latest album. A large crowd of people hurried through the doors once they were swung open and I snuck through the back to find an easy viewing spot for his performance. ‘I’ll rise’ was the first song Peyton came out to greet everyone with. The cheers followed and I watched his eyes find familiar gazes. Peyton expressed that “every single face here is the face of someone I adore”. Peyton sang ‘When they go low’ as his second song and shivers of acceptance raced through my body; after Michelle Obama’s sample was used Peyton delivered a strong note that had the audiences expressions in awe. I felt the rooms presence was uplifted after the powerful words of encouragement were sung.
As I bit into my roasted chicken skewer, Peyton performed carry you and the delight of chicken and inspiring words was enough to elevate all the hairs on my arms. Prior to the song he explained the importance of a friend when you are in need and how his close friend was there for him at a time when he was taken by surprise and was not doing well. This made a lot of people in the room find the eyes of their close friends and I watched as smiles lighted up the space. Peyton performed I’ll rise as the audience created a slight “hmm” of the tune to accompany the band behind him, as the chorus began the crowd began to chime in with the lyrics and I felt the safe emotions of feeling apart of this loving family he has created. He held the attention of anyone within his radius. Peyton’s moves were intoxicating.
After the song he shared stories of his parents joining him on a Mardi Gras float with the freemasons and how it was their first time ever experiencing the parade. I understood then how performing in Sydney was important to him and being in this city around the time of year was special to him as he continued to share stories of his times here. Peyton made the room feel big while the venue was so intimately small. When he started to sing ‘true colours’, everyone is enraptured with the intent stare as the words of empowerment and love wash over each and every individual. I found the most fun of the whole night to be his way of getting the whole room standing and clapping along to ‘higher place’. Everyone was up and enjoying the moment with each other. He created a feeling of almost praise for a higher emotion; a bigger reach of greatness and begged the people listening to accompany him on the journey.
The whole show was truly magical. He finished the night with the words that “in the land of down under, Sydney got soul too.”