Tell us about yourself. Where were you raised? Where did you study?Where do you currently reside?
I’m a Philly jawn all the way, lol. I was born, raised and educated there. I still live in the area…South Jersey, actually.
Have you always known that you wanted to perform? When did you realize that your heart belonged to the stage?
Yes I’ve always wanted to perform. I can remember being completely in love with the idea of performing as early as 2nd or 3rd grade. Those school concerts were SO important to me! I was the annoying kid who was bossing everybody around like, “No, you did that wrong! Get IT RIGHT!!” lol…I probably wouldn’t have liked me if I met myself as a kid, lol.
Do you write all of your own music? If so, where do you get the inspiration?
I definitely write my own music. I collaborate with other writers sometimes but for the most part, the songs I sing are from my own heart. I’m always inspired by my life. I have the most random experiences and my friends tell me I’m pretty interesting, lol. I figure it must be for a reason. So I channel that into my music.
Who is your music idol?
I have a couple. I love that Beyonce has managed to maintain a great career, family and private life. As a woman, that can be one of life’s greatest challenges. I also love Sade for her longevity. She’s so smooth and timeless!!! She’s also managed to stay true to what she does and be epic every time! I would love to mimmick that in my own career. I love Kanye’s honesty and soul. You can’t fake that. I appreciate that in his art.
I had the opportunity to listen to your music from the past. I immediately attributed your early work to that of Aaliyah. It was innovative, futuristic and it seemed to deliberately steer away from the typical sounds of R&B. That music was never released. Do you feel at all intimidated or out of place in the music industry dominated by deliberate superficiality and cookie cutter styling?
I do! That’s why I’ve chosen to stay independent all these years. I’ve had labels approach me but they’ve always wanted me to “fall in line.” I could not bring myself to do it. I think when the time is right and my music finds that balance between “ahead of the curve” and “right on time”, I think I’ll take a more mainstream route as far as promotions. But either way, I’m comfortable in my own skin and with my art just as it is.
You and your sister created an awesome blog (JadeandJas.Com) together. You both seem to have strong creative talent, drive and pursuits. Were your artistic talents fostered by your parents as children? Do they still continue to support you? How do you handle the pressure and expectations of success from those closest to you?
My parents nurtured our creative selves by never really pressuring us to be anyone other than ourselves. Jasmine just recently tapped into her creative self. She was more like “I’ll just go with it, until I figure out what the heck I’m going to do with my life.” Either way, my parents just provided us an environment to just be…and in doing that, we both really just naturally took this route into the arts.
I recently learned from your instagram that you suffered a scare from myocarditis. I feel that your testimony is needed because everyone faces fear, obstacles and setbacks within their lives. What keeps you excited, grateful and grinding against all physical and mental odds?
Being diagnosed with a heart condition was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face other than the idea of not pursuing my dreams. So when I was faced with something so dark, it was a natural reaction to try to find the light in it. I had to find a way to make it all work regardless. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to be so transparent with the situation. I had accepted that I could die, but in accepting that I found such great peace! That was extremely exciting for me! This experience overall has taught me that when you accept things just as they are, everything will always be ok. There is a great peace in that.
Jade and her sister Jas
When you envision success in your life what do you see?
I see a happy, healthy family. I see myself exploring the world and sharing my gifts along the way. That includes my music, my art, my love, my joy, etc… I see myself happy! That would be the greatest success!!
What do you feel are the responsibilities of the young, gifted and black?
I think the biggest responsibility is to accept that we are all in a position of influence. We all have a flock to be shepherds to. No matter how big or small that flock is, I think the most important thing is to own that responsibility and act accordingly. I see so many people in positions of influence saying that they aren’t role models and that they’re just living their lives. I honestly think that’s selfish and cowardly. That’s like a mother saying, “I wasn’t ready to be a mother so I’m just going to do me, and leave my kids to fend for themselves.” To whom much is given, much is required…so own it. Don’t waste your blessings just on yourself.
What are you currently working on? Any new music?
I’m working on a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to raise money for my 1st album. It’s always been a huge dream of mine to complete an album but I honestly didn’t think I was ready. After facing a life threatening illness, I decided that life was too short not to at least TRY for my dreams. I didn’t have the finances to do it though, especially not after trying to cover medical bills and not being able to work. So Kickstarter was the best option. When the campaign is done, I’ll be recording some new music for sure! The album will be very acoustic compared to my previous work…mostly live instrumentation. I’m excited about that!
SUPPORT JADE’S FIRST ALBUM”WE WILL LIVE” BY CLICKING THE LINK HERE