INTERVIEW with Jadea Kelly
Described by CBC as ‘one of the shining jewels in the crown of Canadian songwriters’ (Tom Power, CBC) Jadea Kelly spends her time writing and living between rural Ontario Canada and Los Angeles CA.
Jadea Kelly, has co written and toured (as opener and backing vocalist) with the likes of Justin Rutledge, Whitehorse, Judy Collins, Catherine MacLellan, Royal Wood, Kelly Prescott, Sweet Alibi, Peter Katz, The Digging Roots, Leela Gilday and Joey Landreth. She has also performed and showcased her music across Canada, The United States and Europe, performing at the likes of Americana Fest (Nashville TN), Winnipeg Folk Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Edmonton’s Interstellar Rodeo, Metal Toronto and Peterborough Folk Festival. Despite her Americana influence, she is also the featured vocalist with JUNO award-winning metal group Protest the Hero (Kezia, Scurrilous and Volition).
In 2016 Jadea was awarded ‘Contemporary Singer of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her 2016 release ‘Love & Lust’. Its featured single ‘Beauty’ was placed on the Lifetime Network feature ‘No One Would Tell’ and the 2017 CBC Rio Paralympics, a viral opening montage portraying the life and struggle of Terry Fox. Her most recent EP (MWI / 2019) received ‘Best Score & Music’ accolades from the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards. MWI is the official soundtrack for ‘Met While Incarcerated the Film’, which aired on the Documentary Channel and CBC in March 2019.
She also spearheaded the 2018 collective ‘Canada Covers Tom Petty’, featuring an impressive collection of tributes from Matt Mays, Terra Lightfoot, Dwayne Gretsky, Molly Brown and the Redhill Valleys. Jadea also hosts a semi annual Canadian songwriter showcase in Los Angeles through the celebrated Hotel Cafe ‘Monday Monday’ concert series.
Following a pandemic pause, Jadea Kelly returns triumphantly in 2022 with her long awaited fourth studio album. Titled ‘Roses’ and released on March 4th, 2022 (Darth Jadea Music / Tonetree). The album was produced by a collection of artists, including Aaron Goldstein (Matt Mays / Daniel Romano), Joel Schwartz (Dionne Taylor), Rich Jacques (Lisa Loeb) and Joe Moralez (Skyler Day). Featuring 13 new original tracks, Roses perfectly showcases Jadea’s heartstring-tugging songwriting, all highlighted by her stunning vocals. Songs like lead single, Driveway, immediately evoke a sense of longing and nostalgia, while heartwarming songs such as Any Old Boat and latest release, Happy, reflect on love, connection, and the freedom to do whatever brings you joy – themes that run throughout the entire record.
TORONTO, ON – September 12, 2022 – Following her current European tour, award-winning singer-songwriter, Jadea Kelly, is thrilled to return home to Ontario, where she will bring the songs from her latest release, Roses, to life on stages across the province. Kicking off on September 22 in Hamilton, Jadea will travel from west to east and back again throughout the month and in to October. See below for full details.
DEB: Q. 1. Do you recall that pivotal moment in time when you realized music was going to be a huge part of your life?
JADEA: “Yes! The first time I witnessed a performer was at age 6 or 7. My grandparents invited their friend Kathy Whalen to our cottage. She took out her guitar and played on the patio while my
cousins and i swam. I remember thinking ‘wow, that sounds like the radio!’. It was especially
important for me to see a woman singing and playing an instrument.“
DEB: Q. 2. What was the best advice you were giving about the ins and outs of the music industry?
JADEA: “The best advice I have received is to settle into the quiet time. There are seasons to being
busy, so enjoy the time off before things blast off. Also, be ready. Always.“
DEB: Q. 3 I noticed we have quite a few friends in common, our very own Royal Wood, Justin Rutledge, Kelly Prescott and Peter Katz. Being an opening act and backing vocals for multi-award-winning Canadian gems such as these, what is your most fond memory of these magical moments?
JADEA: “All of the artists you listed have been instrumental in my development. They all believe in me and my music, which is all you could ask for.”
DEB: Q. 4. ‘one of the shining jewels in the crown of Canadian songwriters’ What does it feel like to be acknowledged this way by the King of on-air celebrity personalities, CBC’s Tom Power?
JADEA: “Honestly, that’s my favourite quote ever. Tom was the FIRST DJ to play my music on cbc.
This was long before he fronted Q. He was still an early 20s east coast boy!”
DEB: Q. 5. Have you seen or felt a major shift or change in music today outside of Covid, compared to when your career initially rocketed forward?
JADEA: “Absolutely. In fact, booking this run of Ontario dates was super tricky. Many venues didn’t
survive the pandemic and many were unsure of their reopen date. We all had to cross our
fingers and hope for the best. I knew I would be impacted by COVID-19 at some interval of
the tour. And I was. I was Covid positive the first day of my European tour and had to cancel
many dates. I’ve spoken with many of my Canadian peers about the shift in audience attendance. We all notice it and we are all being impacted by it. At every level. I think audience members are
still nervous to go out to shows and may be experiencing a financial strain because of the
DEB: Q. 6. Who are your influences and does your performance style model anyone specific?
JADEA: “My top songwriting nfluences are John Prine, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Iris
DeMent. My performance style is very much within the songwriting storytelling realm. I don’t
have stage tricks or smoke machines. I like keeping things simple and interacting with the
DEB: Q. 7. In March of this year, 2022, you released your 4th studio album with your 1st release being Every Little Piece of You. I assumed that this album was created during the pandemic, share with us your method and songwriting process, what it was like to write and record an album during such unprecedented pandemic times, and how both album and single came to be.
JADEA: “Creating the album during the pandemic was actually really wonderful. I finally had time to slow down and concentrate on the direction and keep writing. Many of the songs on the
album were written at the end. Including happy, which is my favorite song on the album. There was a time when I was physically unable to return to Canada, because of Covid restrictions. So my Los Angeles bubble of friends helped me finish it. It was a really special time.“
DEB: Q. 8. Have you different arrows within your quiver to write with Jadea, as I hear various musical styles presenting one unique piece after another, not one song sounding similar to the next?
JADEA: “I don’t understand this question. Maybe some typos?“
DEB; Sorry for the confusion Jadea. When I asked if you have different arrows within your quiver, here is what I ment. This is an idiom meaning that this idiom is used when talking about one of a number of resources or strategies that can be used to achieve a goal.
DEB Q. 9. Would you say your songs were based primarily on your personal experiences or your life in general?
JADEA: “The songs are most definitely based on my life and the lives of people around me. For
example, i wrote the happy during a nanny shift. While watching my two nanny girls play with
their friends I started reflecting on the path of women and young girls. I feel like young girls
today have more options and arent fed the same narrative of being partnered or being a
mother being a wife.”
DEB: Q. 10. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Does your music touch on social or political issues??
JADEA: “One of my favourite quotes is by Toni Morrison. She said ‘this is precisely the time when
artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no
room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal”
I truly believe that artists are healers and are able to create massive change through their
work. This most recent album does touch upon the suffering and resilience of humanity
(when i fly) while commenting on ability to uplift and transform our reality.“
DEB: Q. 11. What does success mean to you?
JADEA: “The pandemic changed my definition of success. Success to me is being well-balanced and taking care of myself, above everything else. There was a time when I fed every single
penny and ounce of energy into my career. That no longer matters. Or at least it doesn’t
matter as much. I still have the same dreams and expectations for my music but there are
other things ‘that make me happy” 🙂
DEB: Q. 12. Pretty impressive Ontario tour this fall. What can fans expect at your performances, especially with dates in our very own neck of the woods, in Peterborough on Sept 28 at Jethro’s as well, another stand-out location, my hometown of Bracebridge on Oct 1?
JADEA: “The Ontario concerts will be a mix of full band performances and more stripped down
acoustic concerts. I was apprehensive to book an entire Canadian tour, because of Covid, so
this Ontario run is a modest re-introduction to post-pandemic touring.”
Thanks, Jadea, for your time and fabulous answers during this interview.
Have a fantastic tour and much fun in my home away from home in Peterborough and in my hometown of Bracebridge, I will surely share this with our readership, fans, followers, and my personal friends up north.
LISTEN TO LATEST SINGLE HAPPY https://tonetree.ffm.to/happy
and WATCH below
THE BEAUTIFUL NEW VIDEO FOR THE TRACK HERE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mdCSZxTUvs
- Temporary Farewell
- Stupid Goddamn Face
- Pitch Black
- Across The Stairs
- Any Old Boat
- Room For Me
- When I Fly
- Picking Flowers
- Ten Roses
- Running To You
“I ended up tracking a majority of the album in Toronto with my Canadian friends and bandmates, in person and virtually. It felt full circle to record in Canada after 4 exploratory years in the US. I love California with all my heart. It is my new found home and has provided a playground to rediscover my confidence, my freedom, my voice and a collection of songs that truly reflects my journey to health”.
The first single ‘Every Little Piece of You’ (featuring Ryan O’Reilly) was released October 15, 2021 and earned an impressive Apple Music / Amazon features and playlist placements with ‘Folk & Friends’ (Spotify) and ‘Breaking Singer / Songwriter’ (Apple Music).
“I composed these songs between Ontario Canada, Nashville TN and Los Angeles CA over the past four years. A massive musical delay and musical pause but a necessary one. Life, happiness and health came first. Including the pandemic. Feeding money and time into artistic pursuits can often feel like feeding coins into a broken parking metre. I hold so many incredible musical memories in my heart but it also took its toll. I therefore took my time with these songs, the production and processing of the emotions. Roses was a complete joy to compose and truly reflects my journey to a conscious and balanced state. To me, Los Angeles is a gift I gave myself. It was a blank slate to finally confront my emotional, physical and financial health. The result is Roses. The result is abundance and joy. I’m holding the light up now, and roses are falling all around.”
TOUR DATES THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
KICKING OFF IN HAMILTON ON SEPTEMBER 22
WATCH LIVE PERFORMANCE VIDEO OF PICKING FLOWERS
FROM ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT IN L.A.
“With folk tunes that will squeeze your heart, Kelly is bound to become an artist that will have you falling in love with her songs.” – eTalk
“I’m truly grateful to return to touring and my home province,” exclaims Jadea. “This pandemic time away has shown me how necessary, healing and meditative live music is. The European leg of the tour is going great too. Currently driving through the alps to a concert in Zermatt, Switzerland with Ryan O’Reilly. He’s based in Berlin and opening my Ontario dates.”
Jadea celebrated the spring release of her stunning new record with a special live performance at LA’s Desert 5 Spot. Taped in front of a live audience, the concert was Jadea’s first full band public performance in over two years. Have a look at Jadea’s live performance of Picking Flowers from the concert for a taste of what’s to come on her fall tour.
TOUR DATES: WITH SPECIAL GUEST RYAN O’REILLY
September 13 – Denzlingen, Germany
September 14 – Ravensburg, Germany
September 15 – Mainz, Germany
September 16 – Diest, Belgium
September 17 – Karlsruhe, Germany
September 22 – Hamilton, ON – Mills Hardware
September 23 – Prince Edward County, ON – The Eddie
September 24 – Ottawa, ON – Redbird Live
September 25 – Cobourg, ON – House Concert
September 28 – Peterborough, ON – Jethros
September 29 – Napanee, ON – Elenas Cafe
September 30 – Toronto, ON – Revival
October 1 – Bracebridge, ON – Bracebridge Hall
October 2 – Oshawa, ON – Biltmore Theatre
Stay in tune with Jadea Kelly at:
One of the most musically explosive, magically addictive sounds are revving up their mystical engines northbound for an up close, intimate tour of performances, make sure you grab your tickets soon before they are sold out!