Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Conversation With ... Jadea Kelly

Songwriting more and more is about revealing something of the author. Gone are the times when writers pointed a finger at another and masked the source. Taylor Swift goes for the throat. Beyonce gives the cruelty of infidelity both a visual going over and aural take down. Singer/songwriter Jadea Kelly pulls no punches in her latest, Love & Lust. Love hurts; break-ups happen. How to express that in poetic terms is the challenge.
I caught up with Jadea early week and posed a few questions:

Bill King: I first learned about you from the time you served with publicist Richard Flohil. Hardly a day went by he wasn’t singing your praises. What did you gain from the experience?
Jadea Kelly: I remember meeting Flohil when I was a business meeting. He didn't know that I sang or played til very late into working together ha ha. When we met he asked 'do you type?'  I laughed 'of course I type'....and I started working as his assistant the next week. Working for Flohil introduced me to sooooo many musicians and artists.

B.K: He’s serious about getting things right.
J.K: Flohil definitely has an amazing ear. For him, music needs to move two of the three following things. Feet, heart and your groin.

B.K: I noticed a video of yours online and your body is covered in words. What was that statement?
J.K: Our lyric video for 'Make It Easy' was directed by Gaelle Legrand. Because the song is about desire - and being ashamed of your desire - I wanted to physically lie in a bed and have the lyrics present on my skin. It conveys what the song means on an entirely more personal level.

B.K: There are so many ways to approach songwriting. Do you have a practiced method?
 J.K: For me I co-write a lot. I also record vocal hooks and lyrics into my phone. Many of my songs remain as complete nonsensical mumbling until the final recording day

B.K: On Love & Lust you narrow the song list down to 65 from demos. How did you arrive at these?
J.K: My producers Tom Juhas & Stew Crookes really helped me centre in on the song choices. We wanted the album to have a cohesive story...and we obviously chose the most memorable and heart-felt tunes.

B.K: Stream of conscious writing can at times be more effective than pen to paper – sometimes you have to let the brain empty without interference.
J.K: It's true. I think it's important to not forcibly write in order to confront certain emotions.

B.K: Break-up records can be most revealing and upsetting. Was this about a real relationship?
J.K: Yes it was. 

B.K: Iris DeMent is among the names Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline you list as heartbreak singer/songwriters. Iris DeMent is little known yet she has the big teardrop in the voice – a standalone artist who cuts deep. Have you seen her play live and do you own any of her music?
J.K:  Yes. I have seen Iris DeMent and Emmylou perform live. Absolutely breathtaking each time. Their voices are so delicate and vulnerable.

B.K: When you are internalizing and trying to express issues of sorrow/loss and pain do you try to give equal weight to both melody and words?
J.K: For sure. The melody and lyrics are one in the same region. I try to challenge myself with both. Inventing unique and odd melody lines are my game. I also want lyrics that surprise people and are surprisingly honest.

B.K: That Nashville writing experience. What have you gained from this and who are you writing with?
J.K: Nashville songwriting feels like the big leagues. It's professional and in constant motion. I have learnt a lot from my time there...especially with song structure and song clarity. 

B.K: Have you been able to place songs with other recording artists?
J.K: Not yet!

B.K: Album release date?
J.K: June 3, 2016

B.K: It’s a wild-west show with recordings these days. How do you see this release playing out? Are you a slow burn advocate or a strike quickly?
J.K: I'd like to burn slowly....and create a career with longevity. That’s my hope.

B.K: What’s the tour schedule looking like?
J.K: Summer touring then we're headed out on tour with Sweet Alibi in the fall....across Canada to a number of theatres....and into the United States for Americana Fest.

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