Jäde | Porsche SCOPES

As the Mistral – the wind of the Northern Mediterranean – swept through the city of Marseille last weekend, Schön! headed to Porsche SCOPES festival for the ninth edition of this mobile event, held for the first time in France’s Southern capital, after instalments in Tokyo, Stockholm and Warsaw, among others. Showcasing a host of multidisciplinary talents from music, visual arts, tech to performance, the festival, held over three days, brought the best emerging voices to the stage – with a large majority of the artists programmed being women.

There, Schön! met Jäde, one of France’s most promising upcoming voices, who sings in her very own hybrid of R&B and hip hop. She’s just done her sound check in the venue when we sit down to discuss her album, Les Malheurs de Jäde – which could be translated as “The Misfortunes of Jäde.” We discuss self-irony, London, and live shows, getting insight into the 28-year-old’s artistry.

Is the 18th District in Paris still home? 

It’s been 10 years, I’m originally from Lyon, but I’m Parisian now, yes. 

What does Marseille represent for you? 

Holidays ! [laughs] I don’t really come there very often. I come down from time to time in the summer, to stay with friends. 

We’re here at the Porsche SCOPES festival, where you’re playing. Are live shows something you enjoy?

It’s very different from the studio and writing. It’s the moment when you share the most with the audience. It’s very different. But since then, especially this year with the album, the fact of doing a real tour and meeting the public really changes everything. I’m well surrounded on stage, I’ve got a mini band: synth, guitar and myself. We get on really well together, so it’s good to have those memories of touring too. I really like it.

You went to London to write and produce your album, Les Malheurs de Jäde. What does the city represent for you? 

London represents versatility, an exploration of things that are a bit different from what I’ve done in the past. I wanted to venture into all things D&B and Garage in London. I met some producers, but above all I was inspired to write the lyrics for the album. The fact that I was elsewhere, wandering around a cool city like London, enabled me to write half the tracks while I was there.

The desire to cross genres came from this desire to really experience the city. I blended genres such as R&B, hip hop and rapped verses. There are a lot of different musical genres. But all in all, I wanted to bring an electric, grungy touch. It’s not electro – but there’s something that’s not smooth, and that comes from London. I’d say it’s hybrid. 

How was the experience of releasing the album, after two years of work on it? 

It’s true that the pressure’s been easing off, really, over the past few days. Everything’s coming down. I have to keep in mind that I want to defend this album for another year. You have to keep on working, people expect more. I was very, very focused on the concerts. We did the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, which was sold out and went really well. The feedback from the audience was really cool. I tried out a lot of new things, so they were quite surprised for people who’ve been following me for a long time. The aim now is to defend the album and reach out to people who don’t know it, because there are still a lot of them out there [laughs].

The album talks a lot about love. A journalist said you were pessimistic about love -would you agree? 

I mean, the album is called Les Malheurs de Jäde, which is rather pessimistic, yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m a depressed or downbeat person, because in the album, which talks about sad things, everything is written in the second degree, and a lot of distance. It’s based on irony. The self-mockery prevents it from being too heavy and harsh. And in life, I’m a bit like that. 

“Fuck la psy – Fuck the shrink,” you could say – was a highlight!

This is one of my favourites from the album. Also, because it wasn’t about relationships or love, but it was broader. Think of it as music as therapy. 

Music-wise, what would you say are your current references?

When I was growing up I listened to a lot of things. Nowadays, I’m a bit less curious, but I listen to a lot of R&B voices from the US, in England, like PinkPantheress, SZA, Doja Cat. I really like that kind of women artists. And a lot of French rap. I love French rap – Luidji, Alpha Wann, Hamza – kind of the big names of today. I always have this in-between thing of doing something that’s a bit sung and a bit rapped. I always put a melodic spin on it. It’s never pure rap. The flows are jerky, but there’s a lot of flow.

What’s your relation to fashion?

I’m not very extravagant, but I always like to work on the image on my project, whether it’s the overall creative direction on the album. I’m not very familiar with the world of fashion, but I do do some modelling. 

What comes next for you?

Right now, we’re steaming ahead on my headline live shows, and then it’s onto festivals. There are a fair few lined up, I’m excited. 

Listen to Les Malheurs de Jäde here.
Discover more on Porsche SCOPES here

words. Patrick Clark
Images courtesy of Porsche SCOPES.

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