Written By Kelly Holm
In these days of cancellations and isolation, it’s crucial to cling to memories from better times and take in each moment as it strikes, in order to have something to look back on when things get dark.
“Live performance” may have taken on a new meaning due to COVID-19, but Toronto-based singer-songwriter Jayde tells Elicit that she can’t recall her first real one.
“I think I blacked out on adrenaline, if that’s even a thing,” she says. “I sang ‘Stay’ by Rihanna, and I played a beautiful grand piano… [but] I was so nervous, though, that I don’t remember even doing it… I don’t know what happened in between the time that I sat at the piano and the time that I stood up.”
Fortunately, she’s had a lot more experience with crowds since then, and a handful of singles under her belt, too. With over 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Jayde’s latest releases include “Electricity” and “sad af.”
“It gets everyone, including me, in their feels and it just makes me feel so connected to everyone,” Jayde says of “Electricity.”
Driven by piano, its catchy hook will be on your lips throughout your waking and sleeping hours.
“Take down the city lights/And cut the wires/And make it hard to walk,” Jayde laments in its chorus. “I know you’ll never understand why you’re in the dark/Cause it feels like we’re losing electricity.”
“sad af” may be less than two and a half minutes long, but it’s still jam-packed with emotion. Written in March of last year, Jayde says this techno-laced track is one of her favorites she’s ever composed.
“[‘sad af’] was inspired by previous relationships and the feeling you get when it’s almost the end of said relationship… you know it’s going downhill but you haven’t admitted it yet. You keep coasting through these emotions and you’re just sad as f*ck about it,” Jayde said. “The production process was really different from previous songs because we started with an instrumental track that we wrote to, and then ended up completely ditching said track and going a different route with it. It was a lot of back and forth with different ideas.”
And her repertoire doesn’t stop there. Jayde promises that she’s “trying to get out as much content as humanly possible” in 2020 and will release a new single soon.
“A lot of my music is about sad things and hard times… so I hope that fans will listen and find themselves within those feelings,” she says. “[Being able to connect with fans] is so priceless, and I’m so excited to just grow with them and be able to look out at a show and be like, ‘damn, guys, we really did this together.’”
Jayde opted not to take the college route, instead investing her early adulthood years in advancing her career as a singer-songwriter. Once that aim is achieved, she’ll never work another day in her life, so the adage goes.
“Making music is never supposed to actually feel like a job, it’s supposed to be therapeutic,” she said. “I’ve found it’s super important to just trust my own heart and go with what I believe in and what I love… there has never been another option or a Plan B.”
But even though Jayde’s success is tantamount to what some people might consider “the dream,” she still has the same hopes, fears and struggles as many young girls and women today. She adores Harry Styles and Ariana Grande, and has experienced social media rejection: a cloud that, for her, produced a silver lining.
“I had this group of girls that I got really close with. We would hang out all the time, but then this [#NationalBestFriendsDay] hashtag rolled out,” she shares. “They had all posted this collage of photos, and a couple of them I had initially been in but they managed to crop me out.”
After talking it out with a piano, the experience produced Jayde’s first song, “Picture Frame.” And contrary to the glitzy trappings that the modern concept of stardom may invoke, Jayde took a day job to pay for her music supplies. She isn’t shy about the less camera-friendly aspects of how she got to where she is… and it’s evident to others, too.
“Someone once told me that they hoped their daughter would grow up to be like me,” she said. “I cried because it was definitely the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to me.”