Živilė Povilaitytė

VMU Bachelor’s degree in English Philology

I dropped all my work and decided to reach for the dream

Živilė Povilaitytė (a.k.a. Jazzyvile), singer, songwriter, BA graduate in English Philology

How does a singer benefit from studying English Philology?

I never went to a music school, though I did have some private lessons. My parents always thought that a good education is essential, whereas singing could be a hobby. I started singing when I was three years old. Eventually the parents couldn’t bear it, so they decided that I should be singing somewhere else instead of at home. So I was singing all the time, though at the same time I was learning and studying, later at VMU as well.

Did you think of acquiring musical education after you’d graduated in English Philology?

I had all kinds of thoughts, but it isn’t very easy to acquire such an education and it costs a lot of money. Even more, such a narrow education in vocal performance is not necessary for me. What I already have, what I’ve received from my teachers and from the music I listen to and analyse, is enough. I’ve had many such teachers: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey… Now I’m learning a lot from Little Dragon. These teachers are sufficient for my inspiration.

Was it difficult to juggle music and studies? Did you have enough time?

It was a very fun period, because I started performing on the big stage when I was a first-year university student. When I enrolled at Vytautas Magnus University, I joined a jazz collective called DixxBand. We went on very long tours with this band, usually during the exam sessions, before the holidays. There were even times when I’d be reading the materials while driving after a show at 5 a.m., because the exam was at 8 a.m. But it was fun for me. Of course, it was quite complicated, but neither of the two activities ever impeded my motivation to continue striving for my goals.

Was there any pressure from your friends and the society to quit singing and do “serious” work?

I did not feel external pressure, but there was my own internal pressure. There was a moment when I was thinking about what I should choose. However, singing prevailed, I dropped all my work and decided to reach for the dream: recognition in this field. I don’t know what will happen later. Perhaps the VMU diploma will come in handy.

You don’t think you’ve wasted four years on studying?

Actually, my future plans are related to VMU because I intend to start pursuing a Master’s degree in journalism here in autumn.

Is there a connection between music, vocals and your English Philology studies?

Indeed, there is a very close and direct connection. First of all, I write English lyrics for my songs. The English language has never left me since school. Sometimes it is harder to express myself in Lithuanian than in English.