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Jade Alice low resWinner of the 2015 Melbourne Music Bank songwriting competition, Jade Alice is a young Australian singer-songwriter who grew up amidst the extraordinary noises of a musical household. Her musical stories are bubbly amalgamations of electro-pop, indie and folk fusions that draw on her encounters with first-love, fantasy and food. She finds inspiration and influence from the incredible works of Kimbra, Joni Mitchell, Broods and Taylor Swift. On February 18, Jade will officially launch her single “Kick Drum” at Shebeen in Melbourne. While in preparation mode for the show, Jade set aside some time to do a little Q&A with us.

What was your first gig?
My first official gig would have been performing my original song ‘Beautiful Earth’ at an Oxfam function when I was 14. ‘Beautiful Earth’ was the first song I wrote when I was 12, and when you’re 12 you don’t have a whole lot to write about apart from maybe your crayon collection or cats. But I was inspired by my grandmother – an environmental activist and biologist, and was concerned to hear about how our planet was sick, so I wrote about it.

What microphone do you use on stage generally?
SM58s are my go to, reliable stage mics for sure. They are so great for live environments and basically indestructible. I was watching this documentary once where they decided to throw SM58s off a 3-storey roof to see how sturdy they were… they still worked when they tested them afterwards!

Is it the same for recording?
I co-produce all of my songs at my father Michael Ingvarson’s studio (Big Hand Studios) and we’ve found our favourite mic for my voice is the Beesneez T1 condenser, it captures such a full, warm sound with great quality.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
My latest song “Luminosity” was recorded at Sing Sing studios! The song started out with me sitting on the ground creating resonant frequencies with a wine glass… I spill a lot of water but we got a good take out of it! I hope to be back at Big Hand Studios recording in March.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
Lately I’ve been playing bars and pubs, venues like that. I think they can be some of the most challenging gigs when you have to perform to a loud room full of people who are trying to talk or shout over the music to each other and you sort of become the background music. Once you can master your focus in that environment, I think that is a real skill!

Most memorable gig?
Undoubtedly, the most special performance for me that I’ll never forget was playing my original song with an 80-piece orchestra in Hi-Sense Arena! The vibration and energy of the room was just incredible and sharing one of my little stories with 20,000 people was pretty cool.

Worst stage nightmare?
I haven’t had anything too bad happen yet, once my keyboard sustain pedal reversed itself and my dad had to sit under the keyboard while I played and try to control it. I do have this irrational fear of one day doing a gig and having really uncontrollable hiccups while trying to sing and perform, haha!

Album that changed your life?
Kimbra – The Golden Echo. What an intense mother of an album that was! I think Kimbra is such an incredible force of nature, and her music fuses soul, pop, jazz and electronica together in the most incredible ways! I hear something new every time I listen to that album, it really inspired me to stretch out even more and try new things with my music. She treats her voice as an instrument and manipulates the textures and tones in it with such unique style, I sometimes forget to breathe when listening to it!

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Right now I’m focusing on my single launch for “Kick Drum” at Shebeen on the 18th of Feb! You can buy tickets now on the Shebeen website and I might even attempt a stage dive! I probably won’t but it will still be fun!

A vocal tip for the kids?
Remember to relax when you sing and try not to push your voice or hurt it. If you feel a little tense, just loosen up your hips and do some hula-hoop motions – think loose-y goose-y! Another technique that works wonders for controlling your breath is just bubbling your lips like a horse to the melody of the song when you practice – you may look a bit funny but it really helps.

Check out Jade’s Facebook page

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