Fascinating Jobs: Jody Direen

Find out about Jody Direen and what she does for a living!

We chatted to Jody Direen and find out a few things about this kiwi country music singer from Wanaka! Check out her new song Tattoo, which is due for release June 20th….you’ll be hooked!  We love her choice in music, especially supporting other NZ musicians too.

Tattoo NZ music

Country Singer Jody Direen


1. How did you get into Country music?

I think it is in my DNA to be honest! My family history is settled deep in the roots of country music around the Central Otago area. My grandma was a major influence . She taught me my first song on the guitar at the age of about 9. I remember that day and will never forget it. That day I truly realized the sensation of singing and playing guitar and it instilled a deep set passion and drive in me which continued to steer me down the musical pathway that I am still on now. Gran was a country singer in her day – and can still sing! I hold her very close to my heart. My parents are also country fans so our household was always alive with country music. Country music has evolved in a massive way over the years and even though the country I listen to now is more pop/rock influenced – I still value my early influences such as more traditional artists like Johnny cash and the Dixie chicks.

2. Which musicians are you loving listening to at the moment?

My favorites change all the time but at the moment I would have to say Eric Church is my number one.

Also Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert and Florida Georgia Line. These are currently massive country artists in the USA. I also listen to a lot of pop and rock music, I absolutely love Chandelier by Sia at the moment – I think her vocal is amazing and would love to learn this song and attempt to nail it like she does!

I also listen to a lot of NZ music. I’m proud of how our relatively small country is making waves on the international stage of music. I love Lorde’s music. She is such a talent. I also really enjoy listening to Shapeshifter. My iPod is full of all sorts! I listen to all sorts of genres!

3. Name some artists or people who inspire you with your music?

My number one all time idol and inspiration is Shania Twain. I love how she was the first artist to merge country and Rock/Pop. My early influences ranged from the Eagles to Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks and more recently, Carrie Underwood and many of the artists I mentioned in the previous question. There is new music coming out of Nashville all the time and every-time I hear a new tune come out it seems to inspire me to write! I suppose what puts me under the country umbrella is the fact that I have a country tone to my voice and my background I suppose makes me somewhat of a country girl! But I do try to let other genres of music influence my writing and sound. People can expect my new material to be very much rock pop country.

More down the Taylor Swift line but a little edgier. The thing that excited me the most though is when a pop/rock track I love inspires me to write – it seems that when this happens, it sparks a cool, unique creative buzz in me and the product is always one I am happy with as it has merged two different genres together. This is the gem of country music at the moment – it is such a broad genre now and sooo far from the Johnny Cash, Emmy Lou day’s! One of my major missions is to be influential in steering a change in the way Kiwi’s think of country music. So many still believe that the meaning of country music pretty much starts and ends with “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers!

Modern country music is such an exciting genre that needs to be explored more by New Zealanders!



4. With your new single Tattoo (which is coming out June 20th on iTunes) do you have tattoo’s yourself?

Hahaha, I am going to get good at answering this question I think! The answer is probably quite surprising to you but no I don’t have any Tattoo’s! I don’t think I will ever get a Tattoo either. I prefer clean skin myself!  The lyrics of Tattoo are a metaphor. “Wrap your self all over my skin…….” – this is what a Tattoo does but also what I am needing from someone to help heal my pain – it has double meaning. I feel it pulls people deeper into the song – it certainly did with me when I was writing it with my co-writer.

5. Do you get nervous going out on stage?

Yes I do!! Nerves is a part of my job. At times it can be a little scary when it is a higher pressure gig like Live TV or a huge crowd but it is always worth it in the end! When I come off that stage – the feeling is amazing. Adrenaline I suppose! I think there are good nerves and bad nerves – I think I tend to only suffer from good-nerves now that I have been doing this for a few years – but I feel these nerves actually help my performance! I t’s the way you think about it – nerves can be a good thing!



6. Aside from your lovely voice, which instruments can you play?

Oh thank you!! Guitar and piano (my song writing tools) and a little bit of drums – although its been a while! I generally just use instruments to write with and avoid performing with them as I don’t really like having something between myself and the audience. I like to move around a lot on stage and really get the audience egged so they fee like I am performing to them in their living room!

7. What do you always keep in your makeup bag?

I always have all the essentials….concealer for the odd blemish/pimple that still pops up! Blush, a light and heavy foundation. I usually need a heavier foundation if I am performing on stage otherwise the stage lights can melt it all off! Its gets quite hot up there! Mascara, all sorts of eyeshadows! Primer, eye brow brush and the rest! As I get deeper into my career I seem to be accumulating more make up! As well as shoes!!! Nothing out of the ordinary really! Just the same as any girl I would imagine.

8. Can you give us one of your best makeup tips which you swear by?

Dipping your eye shadow brush in water before applying eyeshadow to get the slightly wet look and it lasts longer!

9. Where are some of your favourite place to shop?

To be honest I don’t really have a favourite. I give every shop a chance because you just don’t know what you may find! I have never really been one to follow the current trends or fashion – I tend to make my own up! If I like something I will buy it, if I don’t, I don’t. I do do a lot of shopping online though. ASOS can be great and affordable!

10. Name your favourite place to eat?

This would have to be a toss up between a wee French Restaurant in my home town of Wanaka called Bistro Gentil or Wild Earth in the Kawara Gorge near Queenstown. I love organic, fresh unprocessed raw food and eat this where I can.

11. Favourite season – summer or winter and why?

SUMMER! If I could I would totally live summer to summer. I just love the heat and I prefer water sports over snow sports! I live for water skiing (and singing of course) in the summer. I love to be tanned (as long as its done safely with the use of sunscreen!) and my hair gets blonder in summer which I enjoy.


Tattoo is due for release on June 20th and is available to pre order from iTunes now.

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