Jessica-Jade has certainly made the most of her time since picking up her first guitar, we were lucky enough to chat with the 21-year old Melbourne singer/songwriter about her career to date.
What made you first pick up a guitar at 15?
I was in a school assembly and there was a girl a few years older than me rocking out on the guitar playing The White Stripes and AC/DC. I thought it was the best thing ever and went home that day, grabbed my money box and bought my first electric guitar.
How would you describe your music?
It’s very diverse. I don’t think it really sits still in one genre.
If you could listen to an emotional rollercoaster, that’s what my music would sound like. There’s a lot of Up’s and Downs… It’s a whirlwind of emotions.
Can you tell us a little about the Tamworth Country Music College?
It was amazing! I spent 2 weeks learning from people involved in the music industry. Every day was different. I got to hear stories from some of the best Australian Country music artists like Troy Cassar-Daley, Travis Collins, Merelyn Carter, Adam Harvey and The Sunny Cowgirls and even jam with my tutors all huddled on the floor sitting on bean bags in a circle, just like a scene you would see in a movie, which was incredible. I got the opportunity to learn about business management, music marketing, performance techniques and music theory just to name a few. I made some amazing friends who are all incredible musicians like Tori Darke, Mickey Pye, Emma Barlow, Kaylee Bell and Kris Wason.
The Steps We Took is your debut EP, what can you tell us about it?
The EP is made up of a collection of songs that I have written over a period of time in my life, so it’s pretty much my musical diary. It’s filled with Love, Hate, Happiness and Sadness. I named the EP The Steps We Took because it represents the journey that I have taken with the people in my life, the people who have supported me, to get to where I am now. For me to have been able to record my EP in Nashville and continue to play gigs every week is a dream come true, there are a lot of amazing people who have supported me 100%, I didn’t get this far by myself that’s for sure.
You recorded the EP in Nashville, can you share a little about the experience with us?
It didn’t start off too well to be honest. The airlines lost our boarding passes, then once we got to Nashville mum and I found out they lost our luggage in Atlanta so we were without any change of clothes for 2 days. It gave us an excuse to go shopping. We got off to a rough start but it was definitely the highlight of my musical journey so far, that’s for sure. I spent 3 days recording with two of the best producers – Matt Fell and Sam Hawksley as well as Nashville’s finest session musicians.
I’m used to recording demos in my bedroom, so to be recording in a luxury studio in Music City – I was definitely in heaven. It literally blew my mind how quickly everything came together, I had never heard my songs played with a band before, so sitting in the studio listening to the tracks for the first time put a smile on my face that you just couldn’t wipe off. I love listening to peoples stories too, and to hear that the band on my CD have also played for artists like Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood and Josh Pyke, I thought was insane. My mum and I spent 10 days in Nashville, by the end of the trip we each had to buy another suitcase to fit in all the shopping we had done.
If you could share the stage with anyone who would it be?
If Johnny Cash were still alive – I would love to sing Ring of Fire with him.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Adele – 21
That album never gets old to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if it got stuck in my car because I never take it out of the CD player… is that sad?
How do you like to spend your ‘downtime’, what do you do to relax and unwind?
I love catching up on all my favourite TV shows and watching movies. I sometimes lay outside if it’s a nice sunny day and listen to some of my favourite albums and relax for a few hours.
Can you share a little with us about your Australian Idol experience?
It was definitely an eye opening experience! I was 16 at the time and sung I Caught Fire – The Used. I was fortunate to make it through to the Top 100. It was my first real experience entering a singing competition all by myself without a band, so I was terrified. I got to meet so many new people and make friends that I still have to this day.
What’s next for Jessica-Jade?
I plan to do a lot of touring and traveling, I would love to jump on the bandwagon of a touring artist/band and play as a support act and promote my new EP. I also want to open up my own singing school, so in my spare time I’ll be busy planning and organising that project to hopefully get it up and running by next year.
What does being a woman mean to you?
To me being a woman means to defy expectations. The freedom of being myself by embracing my own individuality.
Thanks so much for stopping to chat with us and best of luck!