Toronto-based singer/ songwriter Jade Naraine is an emerging artist in the music scene. She writes songs to entertain, strengthen and inspire her listeners. Music is her life, love, and passion. Jade was noticed for her songwriting ability by various studios she would record her demos at when she was starting out. In 2012, she met top Toronto-based music producer Mike D who owned the label Voodoo Records and they began writing. Taking extra summer courses, she was determined to graduate High school early to keep young in a career where it’s better. Having no family support for her career choice, Jade was having difficulty balancing school with work she needed to finance her recording sessions at the time, so half way through her first year of University, she decided it was best to leave home and work full time on music.
Jade is also a songwriter who specializes in commercial pop tracks, she has written for local bands and artists of all genres, and was recognized by Sony music A&R in early 2013 for her skills. Struggling to maintain regular jobs a young girl does such as retail or restaurant, she found she just wasn’t cut out for it after going through 7 jobs and struggling to balance sometimes 3 at a time, to finance her music, so she worked even harder to impress people with her music as well as write new songs every day for herself and others. In a recent exclusive interview Jade gave us some insight into her work and thoughts.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Jade Naraine: I started out young, performing at weddings, banquettes and musical theatre. I then started writing and recording demos and looking for a music producer. Three years ago I met my current producer and we began writing and recording songs. I probably have over 100 songs written and recorded currently.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Jade Naraine: Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, TLC, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Britney Spears and the Backstreet boys (My first album), Destiny’s child were the albums I had growing up so those are probably my first influences I had growing up. Mainly Christina as I would listen to her every day.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Jade Naraine: I currently listen to everything. I love hip hop, pop, top 40 stuff to pop country and pop jazz, rock. I listen to a lot of pop and hip hop and R&B mainly. I really like Taylor Swift’s 1989 album right now. I also love Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. Especially her Unbroken album and her Demi album, with Made in the USA, Heart attack etc. Love her sound! I really want to collaborate with Gym class heroes. Every song they make as a duet is good. “Get yourself back home” with Neon Hitch, “Stereo Hearts” with Adam Levine, Rough water with Jason Mraz and “Fighter” with Ryan Tedder and I think our single would be sick!
- As a young lady, have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from family members on your career choices? And how have you handled that.
Jade Naraine: Yes. Lots. I have absolutely no family support for my career choices. Which is crazy to me. I think so many artists are lucky who have parents who see the potential in their kids and want them to do well as a pop artist. I can imagine it would be nice to have the help from parents in starting in such an already so difficult industry. For me, I don’t have much at all but its okay. I really just try to be happy and focus on music and my dreams. I know I am doing what I love and that’s all that matters.
- Do you consider Youtube and videos an important part in promoting and marketing your music and have you published any videos yet?
Jade Naraine: Yes I do. I will be posting lots of videos over the next while. It’s so important, for sure! I have been busy in the studio working on original music over the past year so didn’t have much time to post but I do have a Christmas Cover of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas as well as an Ariana Grande cover of Honeymoon Avenue. I am posting new ones as we speak as well as my music video for my first single, Cause I Can’t Take Missing You, out now!
- Songwriting and studio recording, or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Jade Naraine: Wow, Can I say I like both equal? Okay if I had to choose, seriously, I would have to say song writing and studio recording. I just feel so at home. It’s my core. I write all the time. Almost every day and when I get a good idea and words pour out I get so excited and when I get into the studio and we work on the music and arrangement I literally get shivers. Lately, doing more shows, I have been starting to fall in love with live shows more than I anticipated. Its like when your performing your songs for an audience and they are watching and you can tell they like it, they sing along or start screaming/ cheering and coming up after to tell you which song they like its incredible. I have always wanted to be a good entertainer. I want people to go to my shows and get a show. Not just see a singer boring on stage. They are paying to see a show!
- Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of the process do you handle? And do you also work with other writers and composers?
Jade Naraine: I don’t currently work with any other writers on my own songs. My lyrics reflect what I am going through and kind of sound like a story. The verses are like a story usually and then the chorus is just summing it up. II handle the lyrical content, the melody; though, my producer does make alterations if he thinks it would be more radio friendly a slightly different way; however, this is very slight. He is in charge of the production and music, which I give some input if I don’t like something, we can re evaluate. Then he also engineers as well as we send it to be mastered in NYC.
8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find, listen and/or purchase it?
Jade Naraine: Cause I Can’t Take Missing You is my current release and it’s available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre flooded with young artists trying to breakthrough?
I think what makes me unique as an artist is really for my public to decide. I really have a vision for who I am as an artist and its all me. I write all my own songs and can write just about any style as well as a lot of people would say I have a very angelic pop voice and I am really just a girl next door who loves writing and turning stories into songs.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Jade Naraine: Passion!! I love music so so so so much. I cannot describe it. Its like when I have a microphone and I am up on stage, I know I was born to do this. I can’t imagine it any other way.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making processes involved, excites you most, and which aspect discourages you most?
Jade Naraine: Nothing really discourages me. I just want to put out my music and if people like it, I’d be so happy. If they don’t I will go back to the drawing board.
- Do you play any musical instruments and how do you usually compose your songs?
Jade Naraine: No I don’t actually. Unfortunately, I had major trouble learning piano. I can play a little bit. But not too much. This probably comes from my lack of skills in math class as its very technical and I am very much a writer and artsy. I usually just listen to music or just relax and melodies of my own will come to me. Sometimes when I write a title of a song and a first line or chorus, I am able to come up with a nice pop melody and then the rest will follow.
- How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a home recording environment or do you use a professional sound studio and Producer?
Jade Naraine: I record at a professional studio in Toronto. Its called Voodoo Records. I really think having a good record producer is key to having songs that will be top notch and what people will like. Producers have been in the industry for years and worked with other great producers so knows what will sound good and sell. I have heard lots of home recordings fixed up by professional producers and the melodies sounded richer, harmonies better. Sometimes producers just realize something your forgetting.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Jade Naraine: The best piece of advice I followed is to move fast and work hard. Growing up my grandma would say if you are good a producer will find you and make you a star. I never really had any reality check growing up… and now it’s my fault I am not a child star. haha Its okay. I learned quick and I am still so young and I know now that I need to constantly be building my career every day. I don’t think I have any piece of advice I didn’t follow yet so that’s good. 🙂
- What are your thoughts on talent shows like American Idol, The Voice and the X-Factor etc. and the quality of the winning artists that come from these shows?
Jade Naraine: I think it’s a great show. You don’t even have to win. Honestly, sometimes its better if you don’t, so you’re not tied down to a contract and making no money. Great artists come out of that show, winners and non winners. Cher Lloyd is one of my favorites. Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Fifth Harmony. I do think it is a good start for artists to get a lot of publicity. A lot of major labels will be more willing to finance new artists if they come from a TV show whether it be Disney or nickelodeon or one of these competitions. That’s because they are investing money into a project that is already well on its way. Its unfortunate we don’t have those opportunities in Canada but it doesn’t matter. A lot of great Canadian Artists including Avril Lavigne, Drake, Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Beiber and Nickelback and more have all done well and have become huge major artists through hard work and the regular route.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media platforms, as fundamental to your career, and independent music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Jade Naraine: I believe it has done both. It has flooded the internet with mediocre artists but still, if something is really good and people like it, it will be noticed and rise above. That’s a fact. It was nice back when the music industry had “the stars” and no one could really become a star unless they went through these labels or done it without internet and Youtube but in a way its opened a lot of other doors. Now small labels, can push their artists and it gives everyone a chance to show what they have and market themselves inexpensively on the internet.
- How would you ideally like your sound and style described?
Jade Naraine: Pop R&B
- How do you currently market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team to help you or do you do everything by yourself?
Jade Naraine: I currently have a small team in place. I do a lot of it myself, getting on the phone and getting myself in as well as have someone at my label who does a lot of grinding for me as well to get me gigs and TV spots and auditions. And of course my producer who has connections he has built to open opportunities for me. I also have a team of dancers, video directors, makeup artists and stylists, as well as radio trackers.
- As you work your way through your musical career which more than any other, fires-up your determination and imagination – A Grammy Award, Multi-Platinum music sales, or the simple pleasure of proving all naysayers wrong?
Jade Naraine: haha hmmm that’s actually funny that last part. That would be amazing for everyone to see me as a singer that never thought I would be one, but really I would love to win a Grammy or any music award. I would probably cry and just be up there like omg life is freaking insane. I cannot even fathom being here haha. I honestly have only dreamed of being there my whole life and its so difficult and so to be one of the few artist who ever got a Grammy I know I would for sure break out on stage in tears. Actually I would probably be really awkward in nervous first and then break on in tears after. 🙂
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Jade Naraine: I don’t want to do anything vulgar. The music industry has become really vulgar right now in the videos and I never enjoyed those music videos. I don’t ever want to touch drugs or have drugs in any of my videos or promote any kind of vulgar sex or wear anything very provocative like a thong on stage for example. On stage I am not a stripper. I am a singer. It would be different if I was modeling for Victoria’s secret, which I love and is very classy and tasteful to me. I just find watching singers in underwear with a lot of things showing and stripper heels is a little bit unclassy. To each their own and I love a lot of the artists who do those things because they are amazing girls and the songs are great but Its not me and I wouldn’t wear it just because everyone else is for some attention. I also feel that it is short lived and there’s nowhere to go from there. I know who I am and I just want to always be myself and be happy. 🙂
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.jadenaraine.com/