Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spotlight on Jade, Local Musician

Happy Tuesday!  Today I would like to introduce you to a young friend of mine; Jade.  Jade is finishing up her junior year at my old high school this year, is a member of my old thespian troupe, and an active member of our Local Theatre.  She's a very talented, sweet lady who has been writing her own music for some time, as well as playing some covers of other artist's work.  I had no idea just how talented she was until her seventeenth birthday party this year, when she serenaded us all!  I knew I had to feature her here, and the time has finally come!  So, without further ado, here she is...

Jade singing at her birthday.  iPhone photo, sorry about the lousy quality!

How long have you been writing your own music?

Well I wrote my first piece when I was in the eighth grade, and I still have it, it's a piano piece. I actually wrote it for a project in my band class, but i'm still pretty fond of it. It's floating around the internet somewhere. So i guess about four years? But I picked up the guitar in the beginning of 2008 and didn't start writing songs with lyrics that were actually good and guitar that had any substance until probably late 2009, which is when I wrote "Tripping" and a song called "Beautiful and Broken" came in early 2010. That one never actually was seen by youtube or anything, I never even recorded it. It's somewhere in with the rest of my music. I don't know that I'd record it even if I found it though. It was sorta between me and the person it was 
written for I guess.

Jade.  via: heather bartlett art & photography

What artists influence you most?

I have a lot of them. Jason Mraz & John Mayer are big ones. I like to surf YouTube covers because some of them are really fantastic and give me some great ideas. I really love Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, Lenka and Adele; I guess they remind me of what I'd be like if I ever made it big, haha. Before writing this song I had actually been listening to "New Letters" by Company of Thieves, and had picked up the guitar with intentions to write a song like that one. Even though that didn't end up being the result, I'm pretty happy with what the result ended up being.

Did you take lessons on guitar or teach yourself?

I started generally teaching myself, but with a kick start - my step dad taught me "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd, not the solo but the chord part, and I took off with what I learned from that. I did take a couple months of guitar lessons but I don't think that they really helped me. I took about four years of piano lessons though, and played the flute for about four years as well. I've taken about 6 or 8 months of voice lessons and had to stop for a while, but I plan on going back soon.

Jade.  via: heather bartlett art & photography

Where do you get inspiration for your lyrics? How about your melodies?

Anywhere, really. Sometimes someone says something that starts it. Sometimes I see something written on facebook. Usually it's from other music, though. Other people's poetry and styles are generally what spark it for me. But sometimes they do just come on their own. If I have pent up emotion and really need to write a song, then I sit down and start plucking on the guitar and sometimes it just happens. As far as melodies go, I get those largely from other music, the inspiration at least. But with the musical composition it's also very much about the guitar and the words, and what I can do to make them work together. I was an instrumentalist before I was ever a vocalist (even though my voice is what i'm most comfortable with) so sometimes it's entirely about what I have to do to make it work. When I write a song, I generally don't know what I want it to sound like before hand because I don't always know what it's even going to be about. I just let it happen.

Jade.  via: heather bartlett art & photography

Where do you see your music taking you in the future?

I have no idea. I've been trying really hard to juggle and keep up both on the acting route and the music route, because I figure if I can get my foot in the door for one, there's generally an easy-access hallway leading from one room to the other. There are a lot of stories of musicians becoming actors and vice versa. I'm not all about making it big or anything (though it would be nice), in fact that really has nothing to do with it, I'd honestly be happy playing in clubs around DC and New York and making money off of it that way. But it is the artists like Lenka and Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor that give me hope on making it somehow, if not simply because my music style is generally similar to theirs, but because they did make it. I'm not sure where I see it taking me because I'm still not sure what I want to do. But I do know that if i could write music and make money off of that for a good chunk of my life, I'd probably be pretty happy.

Where can people find you online to learn about your latest musical endeavors? YouTube, or do you have your own blog or a Twitter account?

I have a YouTube that I don't keep up with, haha. I think my last upload on that was a cover uploaded in 2010 during snowmageddon. I think I signed up for a blog that I never used and I don't have a twitter. I think I'll go do all that when I'm done here. Check back with me in a week. :)

Jade & friend Deana.  via: heather bartlett art & photography

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring music artists out there?

To practice practice practice, and then just let it happen. As far as writing the music, like I said earlier, not once have I sat down to write knowing exactly what I was going to write about or what it was going to sound like. Sometimes I have an idea that I hope will end up taking some sort of shape over the 30 or 40 minutes it takes me to write a song, but I just let whatever happens happens, and songs like this are what come out of that. Even though i didn't write what I'd initially wanted to, a song that needed to be written far more ended up coming from it. And that's usually what happens. Honestly, it's usually the forced songs that come out the worst. And as far as performing it goes, practice practice practice. Nothing is more important than confidence, so that even if you do mess up, you can know where you're going and look like you know what you're doing while you're getting there.

Anything else you would like to say about yourself?

Uhhm...I honestly don't know what to say haha.

Jade.  via: heather bartlett art & photography

While her sound is definitely evolving and reminiscent of other artists, particularly those she draws inspiration from, I have no doubt that she will come into her own soon enough!  If anyone ever had drive and passion, Jade is it.  I can't wait to see more from her as time goes on!  Be sure to listen to a couple of her videos, it just may make your day...

And original song Jade for Bobby (his story is here):

An earlier original song by Jade (I love the cat cameo and dog barking!):

As you can see, all Jade's photos were done by Heather Bartlett, who happens to be Jade's mom.  If you readers are interested in more features of the local artists I am lucky enough to know... I smell a sequel...
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  1. I think this is a great idea! I love Jade :-)

  2. This was great Mary! Thank you! I loved reading this stuff about Jade - things I figured I knew but never asked. It's funny how you can live with somebody and be so close to them, but not realize the details. This was kind of a gift and I truly appreciate it!



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