For 19 year old singer-songwriter Jade, nearly weekly drives from Phoenix to L.A. on the 10 Freeway, an arrow-straight stretch of highway that requires almost no conscious thought to navigate, provided ample time to think. With her friend, producer and ReThink label head, Jordan, at the wheel, and 385 dusty and bland miles ahead, conversations unsurprisingly turned toward reflecting on and refining her newest EP PINK and the steps to realizing her dream.
Until just a few weeks ago, Point B, L.A. was just a six-hour-distant location to take meetings and finish her music. Now, Jade has jumped in with both feet and made the move to L.A. (with Jordan still firmly at her side). She says, “Everything that once tied me to Phoenix has let me go. To actually be here, actively pursuing what I've always dreamed of… There really is no other place I'd rather be.” Now settled in L.A., Jade is full speed ahead on the release of PINK.
The EP symbolizes the end of an era for Jade, who has now come to embrace the contradictions that used to confound her. She says, “PINK is where I landed after going through the phases of growing up and changing to accept myself.” Basically, she had “hated” the color pink her whole life because it was “too girly.” One day she realized, “I'm pretending I don’t like it, all because I want some stuck up ahole to think I'm cool? No way. Now I want pink everything." It took her writing and recording all the songs of the EP and exploring all the different phases and mindsets to realize a new acceptance for who she is.
Vocally, there’s a tenderness and soothing rasp to Jade’s delivery, which some have described as being reminiscent of Halsey or Maggie Rogers. The songs from the EP range from traditional acoustic/singer-songwriter arrangements to synth-pop ballads – and all possess a whimsical, atmospheric vibe created by her harmonies.
Jade’s lyrics exhibit an insight beyond her years, all while still being firmly engrained in the experience of being young. It’s about learning life’s lessons for yourself, while living in the moment – it’s about making mistakes and (hopefully) learning from them. For example, "Find a Place" is about being in a relationship that seems destined to fail, and as she says, “while everyone knows it’s no good, and you know what's eventually going to happen, so you both just pretend it won't.”
The acoustic track "Empty Love" is about Jade’s struggles with body image issues and how they directly affect her everyday life. Of the overarching EP’s themes she explains, “Every day I learn something new about myself, sometimes I wake up and realize ‘hey I don't believe that anymore’ or ‘this person doesn't really fit with me like they did a year ago.’ I know that there are people out there who understand how that feels. I hope when people listen, they think ‘damn, I know exactly what that's like.’"
Next up, Jade (vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele) is putting together a backing band to begin playing live shows to support PINK. Touring is a life that has been on her mind since she first started writing songs at age 8 and continued through her high school years. “I've never really had a backup plan,” she explains. “Honestly, I had so much trouble in school because all I would do is sit in class and daydream about what life will be like when I'm touring.” She thought, “grades don't matter, none of this matters, one day I'll be so far away from it all, no one will care if I know the square root of X or not.” And, if it doesn’t work out? “I've never stressed too much about it not working out, just because why put that doubt in my mind? The thing that motivates me is not being scared of failure, but being excited by success.”
Last summer, Jade had amassed more than 100,000 views, as well as thousands of shares and comments, within just a few days of releasing the video for her song “Yesterday.” Her excitement coming into the summer of 2017 is even more intense. In the past year, on those drives back and forth through the desert, Jade targeted that this is the year to achieve many more of her goals. With the release of PINK, dropping the single and the video for "Find a Place,” the time is now to set those plans from the 10 Freeway in motion.