Edward Burnett talks to Edmonton singer Kaeley Jade about her songwriting process, her early musical memories and her love for karaoke.
RnRR: Hi! Would you mind introducing yourself and your act to our readers?
UK: Hey Ed, nice to meet you! My name is Kaeley Jade, and I’m a folk-pop singer/songwriter from Edmonton, Canada.
RnRR: So Kaeley, when did you first discover folk-pop? Who were your inspirations and what is your earliest musical memory?
UK: While my parents listened to some 60s and 70s folk growing up, I started getting really into folk and folk-pop maybe seven or eight years ago, and I found as I started getting serious about writing music and discovering my sound, it’s what I was really drawn to. While my own music is inspired a lot by what I’ll be listening to at the time, some of my all-time favourite artists are The Lumineers, Vance Joy and Mt. Joy. My family has always been really into karaoke (which is something we still do in the evening at our holiday gatherings). We used to have one of those handheld machines you could plug into the TV, and I remember singing Celine Dion and Avril Lavigne on it as a really little kid.
RnRR: Some great tunes there from your family. If you had to take part in karaoke right now, what would you sing?
UK: My go-to songs are for sure Under Pressure by Queen and Grace Kelly by MIKA, especially if I’m singing with someone else!
RnRR: Good choices! So moving to your own music, what song of yours would you recommend to new listeners which really sums up Kaeley Jade?
UK: I feel like ‘Bittersweet’ really balances on the line between folk and pop, and it’s honestly my favourite track on the album. I wrote it during a transitional period of my life, so it’s very special to me.
RnRR: So focusing on ‘Bittersweet’, do you feel that if you, the artist, has a greater personal impact on the song’s meaning, the song benefits?
UK: I think it definitely depends on the project, and I can only really speak to my own personal process. For me, the music I write is almost always inspired by my own relationships and experiences, and do I feel that some of my best work has stemmed from the most impactful moments in my life. Songwriting is very therapeutic for me, and good lyrics are just a positive byproduct of processing an emotionally challenging experience. Usually, the deeper my feelings run, the stronger my lyrics are.
RnRR: Great reasoning there, so with that in mind, where do you want to go from here? What are your plans for the future? How has the pandemic affected your plans?
UK: I’m actually hoping to get back in the studio in the fall! I’d originally hoped to tour my first album this year, but with the pandemic that’s no longer a possibility, so I’ve been trying to write a lot and learn a lot in the meantime! I’d love to start playing festivals when the time is right, too, but for now, I’m going to focus on building my career in other ways. Alongside my music career, I also work as a film and theatre actor, so I’ve been trying to grow my craft in those areas as well. The pandemic has really launched performing artists into uncharted territory, so while my immediate plans for the future have been derailed, I’m slowly learning how to move forward in our new reality!
RnRR: Crazy times we live in now, indeed. So staying on the same topic of the future, where would you like your act to be in say 3 years time? Would you like to be performing gigs across the world or have several studio albums released? What level would you aim to be at which you’d consider to be successful, personally?
UK: I mean, if in three years I could be touring the world and playing for thousands of fans, of course that’d be pretty sweet! Realistically, I’d like to release my first LP by then, and I’d love to start opening for some bigger artists, and maybe even set up my own North American tour. I find success such a tricky subject to nail down, especially being part of a society in which it is often defined by fame and fortune. On one hand, if I am able to live comfortably off of my artistic endeavours without having to work a joe job, that would be a pretty great feat. On the other hand, I’d love nothing more than to be at the level of artists that sell out Madison Square Garden, or are headlining major festivals. But at the end of the day, if creating art is my full-time job, I’ll consider myself extremely lucky. In the meantime, I’m going to keep focusing on my craft and pushing myself to see just how far I can go.
RnRR: To be grateful for what you have and to be able to enjoy performing as well is a great attitude to have with regards to your future. Finally, there is the most important question of all which we ask all our guests. If you were moving to a desert island and could only bring one album to listen to for the rest of your days, what would you pick and why?
UK: Oh man, that’s a tough question! If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions. That album has gotten me through some tough times!
RnRR: Imagine Dragons are always a safe bet! We will be sure to update the page whenever news from your camp drops!
If you'd like to stay up to date with news and releases from Kaeley, you can find links to all her socials below: