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Thursday, January 20th
The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Hana Pestle
Jada is an all-girl pop/R&B group out of Boston that was featured previously on Musiqtone in 2006. Very much in line with veterans Destiny's Child and En Vogue, these girls too have great harmonies and talent to go along with the requisite good looks. After years of toiling in the underground and then elevated to indie status, they caught the eyes of the A&R reps and scouts in the New Media Department at Universal and in late 2006, the girls of Jada signed their first major-label deal, landing with Universal Motown/Republic Records. The label, home to acts such as JoJo, Brie Larson, Stevie Wonder, Hinder, and Be Your Own Pet, now will add this multi-faceted and multi-talented group, adding to the musical resume that is Boston, Massachusetts.

Here is Alan's exclusive one on one with the girls.

Alan Ho:  Thank you for sitting down with us!  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

JADA: Hey! Thanks for interviewing us:) We are a pop/r&b girl group from Boston.  We just got signed to Universal/Motown Records and are in the middle of recording our very first album with producers like Swizz Beatz, Track Masters, JR Rotem, Toby Gad, Akon and Ric Poulin, to name a few! 

AH: Some of you aren’t originally from Boston; how did you all come together?

LAUREN: I am originally from Yardley, PA, but I was going to Emerson College in Boston at the time. I was rehearsing for The Rocky Horror Picture Show and saw an audition flyer saying: “Wanna be a popstar?” It had a tearoff section with the contact info., but of course I took the whole flyer! :) I was so excited and nervous, but I auditioned for the group and the rest is history! 
APRIL: I’m from New Britain, Ct and I actually knew JADA early on before I was in the group. I saw them at a show and thought they were really good. I started voice training at Bristol Studios and shortly after a spot opened up in the group and I was asked to audition.....And I got in! haha Obviously. 
JACYN: I’m from the lovely little town of Danvers, MA. Population about 47.5 heheh..Yes, a small town. I started out doing a ton of musical theater as well as singing in various school and community music groups. Eventually I ended up studying with Ric Poulin here at Bristol Recording & Voice Studios (where we work out of as a group). After a bunch of lessons with Ric, he asked me to be in a new female pop/r&b group that he and his wife Laura (our manager) were putting together. Needless to say I have been here ever since! It’s been such a great opportunity thus far! I am psyched for the future of JADA:).
ELLE: I was actually born in Le Havre, France and then when I was 8 we moved to Massachusetts and we’ve been here ever since. I always loved to sing so my mom and I started to look around for more of a Pop/R&B voice teacher, which is impossible to find. Anyway, I found it at Bristol Studios and one day I was leaving my voice lesson and my (now) producer, Ric Poulin, came up to me and said “You have great presence” and he made sure that I was going to audition for the group. I did and here we are!

AH:  How did the name Jada come about?

JADA: It was a name we made up.  We polled our fans on a few names and they liked JADA the best! Its short, sweet, and sassy!

AH:  Was music something you all wanted to do and as a group what was your first memory performing?

JADA: We are all drawn to music, it’s such a huge part of our lives. Each one of us wanted to do something with music.  One of our first memories performing was for the Kiss 108 concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston with Stacie Orrico. She was so sweet to us and is such an amazing performer.  We were so happy to be a part of the show! Elle’s first memory is of a concert Jada headlined for in Boston with Radio Disney. She was new to the group and had to learn/cram 10 original Jada songs along with full choreography in about 5 days. She was a bit freaked but pulled it off like an ol pro!

AH:  What is the typical day for Jada these days?

JADA: These days we have been really busy! If we aren’t on the road recording, we are at Bristol Studios in Boston rehearsing and dancing.  Bristol is an artist development company that our management owns and that is our home base when we aren’t on the road.  It’s a great place where we get vocal lessons from our vocal coach Ric Poulin and get to dance, work out, and rehearse our show.  Right now we are focusing on our album and have been recording here in Boston and in NYC with Ric Poulin,Toby Gad and Swiss Beatz to name a few.  Next we will be in L.A. writing/recording with JR Rotem and then in Atlanta with Dallas Austin and Akon!

AH:  A lot of our readers wonder, what is it like getting signed to a major label like Universal, how did it happen and the process and all?

JADA: It is an amazing feeling to be signed to a major label--especially one with a phenomenal history of creating hit acts/music! For us, it’s been several years in the making. Everyone’s process is different, but we definitely worked on developing vocals, image and our performance skills for a long time before getting this opportunity. It truly is a blessing and we are more than ready to rise to the occasion. We were determined to be a unique talent in that we envisioned an all girl group where all 4 were solid lead singers. This took real work and time. Once we felt confident we’d acheived this, then it was a matter of working with our management to network with music industry professionals until we met the right ones who were excited about helping make Jada “happen”. Prior to that, we performed hundreds of live shows,  did dozens of interviews, and worked on every aspect of being an artist today....choreography, songwriting and lots of promotional actions!

AH:  Every one of you has your own voice and harmony, how does it all come together as one?

JADA: Each of our voices brings a different attitude to the music we create together. The coolest thing is having our solo voices blend together. We come from somewhat different backgrounds as singers, but when we get together we are (as cheesy as this sounds) ONE! Much of our rehearsals are spent working on harmonizing and blending our voices, so now it’s second nature!

AH:  Who are the influences in your music and in your own career?

JADA: We admire many artists from the past. Groups like Boyz to Men, En Vogue, and Destiny’s Child inspire us vocally, because they bring a soulfulness to the pop music genre. We aim for that as well. We’d love to have the long and successful runs that those particular groups have had!

AH:  What is your philosophy on music???

JADA: That it is the highest form of communication. It makes you feel, it inspires you, and entertains you.  It is powerful. It touches everyone.

AH:  In a few words, how do your describe your music?

JADA: Soulful, funky, sassy and fun.

AH:  Now that you have been signed to Universal Motown, what advice do you have for those trying to achieve the same goal you are achieved?

JADA: Persistence pays off! As cliché as it sounds...you NEED to plug away every day on achieving your goals. You need to be willing to do what the average person won’t do. Also, you need to believe in yourself and listen to that little voice inside you...what do you have to lose? Just go for it!

It’s important to get feedback from professionals in the industry; find out what they like and don’t like about your music, or any other part of your “package”. If you hear similar things from a number of people, then you should listen, and then work on those things. It’s important to have excellent skills. And then you have to be very agressive about promoting your music...have a great website, MySpace and do lots of promotion on the internet to attract attention. But have something great to offer FIRST!

AH:  What’s your best and worst experience while touring?

JADA: Best would be getting star treatment here and there. We showed up at one of our earlier gigs at Pleasure Island in Disney World, and they had an entire room of food and drinks for us!! We felt famous! hehehe...

We’ve also shown up at gigs where there is NO food, NO drinks, and NO dressing room. A really funny gig was for a local television show with a crazy ol lady host in a humongously wide brimmed hat. She invited local “business owners” onto the show and kept asking our manager if she “owned” Jada. While we were performing, she appeared suddenly on stage to dance with us and even invited the other “business owners” up to dance. The only one interested was the local pet shop owner, who...of course...proceded to invite her large black poodles up to dance as well. We had to finish the song while poodles jumped all over us with the crazy lady stealing the show doing the waltz. I thought our manager was gonna pee her pants laughing. Thank God we all have a good sense of humor!! We have lots of other stories equally ridiculous. This is a crazy industry! So I’d say we’re ready for anything!

AH:  Finally, what are your goals long and short-term?

JADA: Long term- success as a musical group, both as recording artists and live performers. Short term-record a kickin album, get it out to the world and tour like crazy. Selling millions of records would be amazing as well! There’s acting on the horizon for some of us too! ;)

The Burn:

The thing or things you’d be doing if it weren’t for music…

JACYN: Baking, opening a coffee shop, and becoming a certified personal trainer. Honestly, I am gonna save that for my retirement..hahaha!!
LAUREN: I would be acting and opening my own boutique probably.  But music is in my blood. It is inevitable that I would do something with music.
ELLE: I would probably be modeling and still sneaking in the singing.
APRIL- I’d be bored! haha. I would be working with kids in some way or another. I’ve been a dancer my entire life and I would definitely be doing that. 

What’s spinning in your music player right now?

JACYN: Nelly Furtado, The Dreamgirls soundtrack, Janet Jackson 20 Y.O, Nickelback.
LAUREN: Lupe Fiasco, John Mayer, John Legend, The Roots, Christina Aguilera
ELLE: John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell, and Snoop Dogg
APRIL-Incubus & John Legend 

The things you can’t live without as a group

LAUREN: The JADA van!! Haha
ELLE: Our producer and manager Ric and Laura Poulin!!
APRIL- Lauren, Elle and Jacyn

What do you do for fun while on tour?

JACYN: We chill out...we go out for dinner, we hang out in our hotel rooms and watch movies..normal stuff..oh and sometimes we break stuff.
LAUREN: If we are really tired when we get back to our hotel room, sometimes we get crazy and go nuts!! Lots of jumping on the beds and screaming.  We’re crazy.
ELLE: We find ways to amuse ourselves. We can make any situation a good time. And we definitely like to eat!
APRIL- we cause lots of trouble! hehe. We have fun no matter what we’re doing.....we make everything into a joke so there is constant laughter.  :)

Your dream venue.

JACYN: The biggest arena in the universe!!!!! With us headlining!
LAUREN: Madison Square Garden!!
ELLE: Madison Square Garden or The Gorge!!
APRIL: Yea Im with the girls on this one. Live HBO special at Madison Square Garden.

Music none of your friends (or fans) expect you to listen to:

JACYN: Metallica
LAUREN: Probably Jazz. I love Kenny Garrett. 
ELLE: Country. I love Rascal Flatts. They are amazing!
APRIL- Classical, Linkin Park, Josh Groban.  

Which act or acts would you love to share the stage (or bus) with?

JACYN: Aretha Franklin.
LAUREN: Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Usher, Justin, Christina :) To name a few.
Elle: I would love to be on stage with John Legend, or Usher, or Rascal Flatts.
APRIL- Stage=Usher  Bus=Justin Timberlake (hehe)

Favorite city/venue:

JACYN: At some point I am sure it will be the T.D Banknorth Garden here at home in BOSTON!
LAUREN: I loved performing at the Hatch Shell in Boston
ELLE: I love outdoor venues, so I would say the Hatch Shell.
APRIL- My favorite city so far is New York. I love it there. You can always find something new to see. I don’t have a favorite venue just yet though. Ask me again in 2 years! Haha

Your nonmusical talents?

JACYN: Baking...I am trying to get good.
LAUREN: I love to act and I can ice skate..I’m lame, I know.
ELLE: I can burp like no one else’s business!
APRIL- I am extremely skilled at burning food. I burn practically everything I cook. I’m always so busy that I forget that I’m cooking and it burns.

Favorite movie?

JACYN: I don’t have one....lol.
LAUREN: I love Fight Club and We Hot American Summer..so good.
ELLE: I love “Walk the Line” and “Finding Nemo.”
APRIL- The Lion King

Favorite food(s)?

JACYN: Italian and sushi, but not together..ick!
LAUREN: My moms homemade meatballs and sauce...mmmm!
ELLE: I love Sushi and Lobster!!
APRIL- Lo mein and pizza. Not together though!

Your most embarrassing moment on stage.

JACYN: When I enthusiastically burst onto the stage at a summer camp show and no one was behind me...yeah I meant for that to happen.
LAUREN: One of my many embarrassing moments on stage was when I forgot the words to our song “Drives Me Wild” and kept singing “drives me wild” over my solo part because I couldn’t remember the lyrics!
ELLE: I went up on the stage a little too early cause I just got so excited that I just went up there and started to yell into the mic. When I turned around there was no one behind me so I quickly ran off the stage only to go back up 2 mins later (with the group).
APRIL- One time when I was 8 at a dance recital my costume fell apart and the strap starting coming off so I had to dance lop sided the whole time so I wouldn’t be exposed!!! I was so embarrassed.

Your final words:

JACYN: THANKS for being interested in us Jadas!! You’re the best!
LAUREN: Thank you Musiqtone! We heart you:)
ELLE: We love you guys! Thank you so much for interviewing us! P.S. JADA’s fans are the best!!
APRIL: I love you! And we’d love to hear from Musiqtone readers. Please stop by our sites to say Hi and to stay tuned on our album progress. Check out our website at www.jadamusic.com and our myspace page at www.myspace.com/bostonsjadamusic 

Alan HoAlan Ho is the chief head of Musiqtone. You can reach him at alanho@musiqtone.com.

(C) 2007 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Jada and Musiqtone.

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