Interview: Jade Bird – one of the UK’s finest, funniest and talented artists

If you are unfamiliar with Jade Bird then I highly recommend that you get familiar. Jade is a UK Country/Americana singer/songwriter with a raw, edgy , melodious voice and songs that are beautifully written and lyrically clever. Jade released her debut EP Something American in July and it is beyond brilliant. If you ever get a chance to see Jade live then you must. You will certainly get more than a show as Jade is also hilarious. Jade’s on stage presence and banter has me laughing so much every time I see her that I find myself still laughing hours later. A sweet, charming and adorable woman, Jade has a unique way about her that is instantly captivating.

I had a chat with Jade a little while back which was more of a friendly discussion as she was so easy to talk to and quite frankly, I could have been in her company for hours.

I hope you enjoy!

Hi Jade, how are you? What have you been up to lately?

I am very well, thank you. We released the EP Something American and I have been glued to my phone hoping people would like it, and we have had a really good reaction.

How would you describe yourself as an artist, for those who are unfamiliar with you?

Quite strong and ballsy, haha – honest! We tried to not put any synths or anything on the record – we have kept this EP really raw; it’s all real instruments. We had Matt Johnson who played drums for Jeff Buckley – I kept having to pinch myself! I think my influences probably range from a lot of Country and Blues. There’s a Delta Blues cover on there and Son House is like my guy.

Last time, and first time in fact that I saw you, was when you were supporting Brent Cobb. How was that tour for you?

Incredible! After the London date we did Manchester and Don, his manager who I hung out with quite a lot, said come to Glasgow and write. So we went up and we wrote this track called Feet Off The Ground and I am so excited. I am going to Nashville to play a few shows with him – he is doing a tour with Chris Stapleton and I hope to get up to do backing; I don’t know.

Jade Bird on “Cathedral.”

I loved your set. Your music was fantastic and your stage presence was hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing. This performance in the U.S with Brent is called Brent and Friends right?

Yeah, at The Bluebird and we do a songwriters’ circle.

Have you ever been to The Bluebird before?

I have not. I have never been to Nashville before!

Haven’t you? Oh, you will love it!

I am super excited!

Well the Bluebird is tiny.
Do you watch the show ‘Nashville’?

Yeah.

They make it look so big on there, but it is tiny.

I dropped off after a couple of series as it became less about the music – but I found The Civil Wars from there.

Oh, really?

Yeah, they (Scarlett and Gunnar) did a cover of If I Didn’t Know Better on the show.

Oh, of course!

I am now obsessed with The Civil Wars.

It did become less about the music, but it is now starting to head back to a more music focused show, which is good.

Oh, good.

I love your song Good Woman with the lyric She’s cheaper than a dollar store version of me

Good Woman, yeah that is on the EP.

That song is fab; what inspired it?

I  wanted to approach it in a traditional Country sense in terms of songwriting from a female perspective. I have always admired that ‘cheating, done wrong’ female style like from artists such as Alanis Morissette. So I wanted my classic ‘cheating’ song, I always wanted to write that, so I think that was my response to You Oughta Know.

She is one person that I have wanted to see live since that song came out and never had a chance to.

She is amazing, isn’t she? That song is my karaoke.

Are you working on an album? Or is too early?

No, no. I have been writing since I was about 12, so I am an obsessive writer. I feel like it’s the same with anything; if you are a painter, you paint a hundred paintings until you get it right, so I am always writing. We have managed to move through things quite quickly, we don’t spend too long on tracks; it is all live – we record it all pretty much live.

I love that!

Yeah, we have pretty much got 70% of the record.

That’s so cool, can’t wait!
Will it be this year?

No, likely next year.

How would you describe yourself as a songwriter – you said that you are quite raw.

I like my traditional writers likes Townes van (Zandt), so I take a lot from that and Chris Stapleton. I also think from a young girl’s perspective; a lot of young girls write from an apologetic point of view or in a ‘he doesn’t love me’ kind of way and, although I kind of do that too, I do it in a more relatable way. Nothing is perfect in life, so I think you’ve got to reflect that in songwriting.

What do you like doing when not working?

I was thinking about this the other day, like what are my other hobbies? I have started reading a lot; otherwise I would just go insane! You get so worried about releases and stuff, so I read. I just read In Cold Blood. I love Patti Smith; love her two books. I get inspired by her words for song titles.

Who are your favourite artists?

Patti, Alanis, Loretta. I loved Coal Miner’s Daughter; I watched it and was really inspired by that story. There are such strong women in Country.

There really is, and I can’t understand why it is such a struggle to be a female Country singer in America.

They are so intelligent and people underestimate them – Loretta and Dolly, for example. Dolly came from a very conservative Country background and she used her appearance and talents in an intelligent way to get on the bill with male artists. Her journey is so inspiring; there is really something to take from that.

A lot of people don’t realise that she writes her own material.

She is incredible; she is phenomenal – she is a proper artist. She wrote I Will Always Love You and Jolene in the same night.

Wow!

Jade, thank you so much for chatting today, I cannot wait to hear more music and see you at more shows.

Thank you so much!

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