"I was very honest and vulnerable on this record and with that I feel a sense of peace in unveiling my weaknesses" We chat with Jade Jackson
We were big fans of Jade Jackson's debut album, Gilded, so were dead excited to hear the follow up a couple of months ago. Just released into the wild (excuse the pun) on 28th June, Wilderness is a very personal record. We caught up with Jade to find out more about the making of it.
Hey Jade, can you tell us a bit about you, what do you do for fun?
Outside of music, I’m very passionate about health and wellness.
Your last album Gilded, was recorded a year ahead of its release, what has been the process for Wilderness?
Wilderness was also recorded a while back, but this time I was less shook up by the delayed release. I trust my team and their reasons for waiting!
What can you tell me about the album?
Compared to Gilded, it’s much more autobiographical. I was very honest and vulnerable on this record and with that I feel a sense of peace in unveiling my weaknesses. Funny how I’ve found in doing so I’ve become stronger.
If people could only hear one song from the album, which are you proudest of?
This varies from mood to mood, day to day. At this very moment I’d like to share 'Loneliness' if there was only one I could choose.
This second album seems to have been born from a more personal space, what made you want to approach it differently than your last?
It happened organically. During the lead up to making this album and up until now I’ve been on a journey to love myself. I was always so focused and concerned with making sure everyone else was okay and wanting to be liked and accepted. Once I learned to let that go, and trust me it’s an everyday practice, I felt empowered, shameless and free to be unapologetically myself. I am responsible for what I say and how I say it, but not for how people respond. I think in discovering these life lessons I became unafraid to tell my story and let people know my truths.
What did the songwriting process look like this time round?
Songwriting for me hasn’t changed much from when I first began. I write all of the time. It’s my therapy and it offers me a sense of fulfilment and relief I’ve found nowhere else. There’s never been a recipe or a routine. The stories and sounds evolve just as I do.
And were you 100% prepared when you went in to record, or did you add songs, play around with arrangements, etc, in the studio?
My producer had me do a couple rewrites in the studio which was difficult because I wasn’t in a creative space and it didn’t feel natural with the deadline and budget in mind. I’ve always written quickly and impulsively when inspiration strikes. Most of these songs were written in less than 30 minutes and after completed them, I let them be. For the next record I plan to spend more time refining my songs, so if I’m asked to do a rewrite, I can explain why the lyrics are there and stand behind them with more conviction.
What can you tell me about ‘Bottle It Up’? It sounds like the statement song for the album.
'Bottle It Up' was written when I was out on a run. After the sixth mile my mind started to drift into a meditative state and the sound of my feet hitting the ground became the rhythmic pulse that the song fell into. I wrote it in two miles and when I arrived back home, I found the chords that matched the melody and showed it to my band.
I love the drive and power to ‘Now Or Never’, what’s the story behind that song?
Thank you! So, this song is a collaboration with my drummer and former bass player. We actually wrote this song the day we found out Gilded was going to be shelved for a year before it’s release. Since then we’ve changed the lyrics in the verses but the chorus remained the same.
What’s the key to writing a damn good song?
Ask Bruce Springsteen and then tell me what he says so I’ll know!
How does songwriting work in the band? And how much do you play about with the songs when you’re in the studio?
I’ll usually bring a song to the band or my producer and whether they love it or not usually determines if it’s on the record. From there, my band and I musically build it together.
Which song on the album has come out most different to what you thought it would sound like when you were writing it?
‘Dust’ was originally written with banjo and harmonica, so that’s changed a lot.
You live in the fantastically named neighbourhood of Santa Margarita, what can you tell us about it?
As a young teenager I disliked it. Now I’m grateful for having grown up there. It’s quietness and lack of things to do built up my imagination and lead me to music.
Obviously, there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, it may be difficult to summarize, but what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I definitely have felt like I’m a woman in a ‘boys club’. I think equality is important and I support the women and men who are moving these mountains.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
It always changes. I love a good sad song.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
I’ve been listening to Jade Bird a ton these last few weeks.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
You asked great questions!!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
With a splash of non-dairy milk, stevia and sometimes a tablespoon of mct oil or some mushroom cordyceps.
You can buy Jade's new album, Wilderness, from all good music stores (online and off), or you can stream from the usual; Tidal stream below. To find out more about Jade you can visit her website or check out her socials.