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:: Spotlight :: Jade Macrae - Charting Her Course

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Jade Macrae returns after a recording spell to release her new album “Get Me Home”. She demonstrates a renewed passion and enthusiasm for her craft and this album sees her in fine form; her soulful singing, insightful lyrics, and very good production values combining for an album she should be proud of. I recently met with Jade to discuss the latest phase of her career.

Q. This album was put on hold from twelve months ago. Tell us about the circumstances?

A. There were various reasons why we didn't release the album last year. We released a single and figured it wasn't the best time. I then had some things happen in my personal life - relationship break-up, amongst them - so it took time to get back to a positive place for myself. I took the opportunity to revisit the song list - making changes, adding new ones. So, here we are now, ready to go with it.

Q. Were there any major technical features you wanted to change?

A. This album delves into electronica. My singing style is still the same. I've been influenced by soul singers and R&B. I wanted to try a different combination. It explores another texture and another sound. It was really fun to do. It's a more grown-up album than the last one. The issues that I've addressed in this are slightly deeper emotionally.

Q. The latest single “I Wanna Be In Love” is catchy and should do well for you. What inspired it?

A. I actually didn't write “I Wanna Be In Love”. I've definitely been in that position before. It was easy to connect to a song like that. It shows a different side emotionally.

Q. I believe you made the video overseas…

A. We made a video for the single in Los Angeles. I met with a video director who was out here. He heard the song and indicated that he wanted to make the clip for it. It seemed unlikely at that stage due to various commitments. But then I ended up in Los Angeles and met with him and his team of producers and stylists. The whole crew was terrific. It was a real treat having them work on a big video for me. I was quite nervous. They had been working with many established artists at the top of their game. It was encouraging for me and they were fully supportive.

Q. You've been quoted as saying that you don't wnat people to see you for what designer dress you wear at big parties… Has it felt uncomfortable at times?

A. I appreciate being recognised in that way and I've enjoyed that part of the industry. I'm hoping that, with this new album, people will see me more as a singer, a songwriter, and a live performer, not just a fashionista or party-goer. It is meant to be complementary to the music but unfortunately it is more known for that.

Q. How do you view your career so far, particularly in being known for your urban/R&B music?

A. I don't want to detach myself from the urban/R&B scene. I'd just like to cross over more. I really think that, since my first album, the Australian hip-hop scene has grown a lot. There hasn't been many great R&B releases recently but, as a community, the scene is still strong.

Q. Are there any new/recent singers that are inspiring you, or are still listening to the great older artists?

A. I still listen to the great soul singers of the past. In the pop world, I think Chris Brown is a great all-round performer; such a terrific dancer. He is so talented and so young. Rihanna is doing great things too. I'm not really crazy about any other of the current artists. I do like Robyn's album and a few hip-hop albums, but they are few and far between.

Q. Have you been writing more in recent times?

A. I am still writing, though not as much as I'd like to be. After the first album I stopped writing for a long time. It is another reason for the lengthy spell in between the albums. I don't want to really let time slip away too much this time. I'm going to try and write a variety of styles. I'm keeping an open mind.

Q. Are you a better all-round performer now?

A. I'm definitely a better singer and performer now. It's all due to experience. You never stop learning but I've done a lot of performing over the past few years.

Q. Will we see you on tour more in the short term?

A. I'd like to tour more extensively, even into the regional areas of Australia. I'm focused on Australia at the moment, rather than overseas. Next year, I'll go overseas to promote the record.

"Get Me Home" is out now through Roadshow Music