Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jade Alice is beating her own drum

If you've ever had the pleasure of chatting to the 2015 winner of Melbourne Music Bank Jade Alice, you'll understand her easygoing, I'm-just-talking-to-a-friend-about-food attitude is no act. She really is just that cool. Although she would absolutely disagree.

Currently studying composition at the prestigious Victorian College of the Arts, it's hardly a surprise to learn that music is in her blood. "My parents are both musical...when I was little and they'd be performing I'd just sleep backstage." Which is why, she explains, her family are the first to hear her music. After her pet dog, of course. "They are all musicians. I want an honest opinion [from them], I don't want them to be biased."

After spotting Melbourne Music Bank's advertisement by chance at uni, Jade became the poster girl for 'I'll give it that a go'. Currently also competing in Telstra Road to Discovery and Nashville's SongDoor, Jade is seemingly unimpressed by her ability to be above average in all three.

"I accidentally got to final four in all three, so I kind of had to choose which one I really wanted," she explains easily.

And of choosing Melbourne Music Bank?

"I think I made the right decision."

Jade describes winning the competition as though she is still in a state of shock. As though her catchy, quirky song is not an instant stand out. (It is.) "I'm so over the's all happened quite fast."

'Quite fast' is probably the most accurate description of the whirlwind Jade has found herself in the eye of. The win has offered up the mentoring, publicity, recording and music-video-making package that is the stuff of musicians' dreams. With some of Australia's finest coming together to help Jade along her way, she admits that in some ways it's hard to give them ownership over her music.

"[I'm] so used to doing things myself [it's] hard to hand over the trust."

Despite her nerves, Jade is easy to heap praise on those that have assisted her. "Having this team is really be believed in by these prominent people in the industry is really amazing." With her confidence only increasing because of her recent win, Jade says having people want to help her musically is an amazing feeling.

The song that won over the judges at the competition finale is a quirky, up-tempo number that stays firmly lodged in my memory for a borderline ridiculous amount of time. Kick Drum is the result of a "weird dream" and a lot of tweaking musically.

"It started out as just guitar and vocals."

What is left now is far more than that. Heavy on the kick drum...well could they really not include it? Guitar is still a feature but it is Jade's own airy-yet-strong vocals that really shine. As they should. It's not hard to see why this track was ultimately what crowned Jade as victor, after all who else could write a song with the hook "kick drum, I kicked the drum, I kicked the kick drum with my kick" and turn it into a pop song that you actually want to listen to. And on repeat at that.

When I ask about her gig upcoming gig (February 18 at Shebeen if you want to head along) she puts it simply.

"I'm really excited!"

With an intimate venue and a mix of covers and originals up her sleeve, Jade's plan of attack is simple too. "I might try a stage dive. Probably I won't though." She laughs, but it isn't very far fetched, she seems like the type to actually follow through on that promise.

I ask if she ever feels nervous to share her work, is it ever too personal.

"I suppose that's what the music is really for. Music conveys things that words just can't otherwise. [Although] I have songs that I probably won't ever show anyone. Maybe I will, but probably not."

Jade is the first to admit that she hasn't really thought about how far she'd like her music to take her. "I make things up as I go along...maybe an EP would be the obvious next step." Despite her love for both fashion and writing, which she says she hopes to incorporate into her music and future tours, music is her true career soulmate. "Music is a rock.

"I want to do it for the rest of my life."