After years performing at gigs and concerts, local emerging artist Jade Soul aka Jade Peterson is onto something with her debut single ‘Lost to be Found’. The song, which began as a forgotten journal entry and now thrums with folk, jazz, and soul influences, was recently picked up and broadcast by ABC Radio’s Matt Webber.
Jade tells us why she makes music and a bit about the process of developing a piece.
This is your first professional single. When did you start writing your own music?
I always wrote poetry, like in school and stories. I just always loved writing. And singing as well. I’d come up with melodies, but I didn’t learn the guitar until I was in high school. So, it’s hard to know, like I’d write my own little songs but then I integrated the guitar into that when I was probably around 15.
I was just fiddling around and didn’t take it too seriously, and then when I left school I really took it a lot more seriously. I wrote a song for my friend’s wedding, when I went up north and lived in my car! I think that was my first ‘song’, I guess. Whereas before it was just dabbling, I realised then that that was what I wanted to do.
What does it mean for you to create songs?
Well I think it’s using language in a way to communicate your experience to other people. And I think it’s really liberating because sometimes you can’t get through to people through words and talking. So music kind of gets through that barrier that we have, and goes straight to the heart. Straight to the point. Like you can feel it but you’re not necessarily intellectualising it when you’re listening to it.
So I feel like it normalises experience. It makes people feel understood, or whatever it is that they’re getting from it.
You found the song lyrics for your single in an old journal. Can you tell us about the process of making it into what it is now?
So I was writing a poem in this old journal of mine. It was kind of in retrospect of being lost and then being found again, and that journey. It just kind of came out really organically – and also coming out of a very challenging relationship. And so I was just kind of reflecting on that, and kind of left it by the wayside for a bit. Sometimes you kind of go through things and you reflect on your life.
And I found that poem, and I kind of thought I’m going to turn that into a song. And I sat down and started playing around with some chords. It just organically unfolded over time. At first it was really raw, it was just me and my guitar. And then I got my loop station and I started to add layers and use vocals to create that dynamic. And then it just evolved over time, really.
It was like a lost poem that I found again as well!
So you tend to add things as you go when you write music?
A lot of my songs are like that. I don’t really force myself, it just kind of evolves. And I don’t really force myself to be like, “I’m going to do this and that.” It’s kind of like the song plays me, you know what I’m saying.
What’s next? Have you got any more songs in the works?
Oh yes! There’s a whole EP coming up. So this is one piece of the puzzle. I’ve got five on there. And there was one song I was going to include, but I don’t know about that one!
What does it mean for a song to be played on the ABC Radio? How did ‘Lost to be Found’ end up there?
I was actually invited by Matt Webber to go onto the show like, last year. He somehow found me – because I’m just an emerging artist, you know, and he just happened to find me and invited me on the show on my birthday last year. And then I had his contact, so really we’ve just been in correspondence, keeping in touch with what’s happening. And every time something’s happening I’ll be like, “Hey, I’m about to release this,” and then he’s on board.
So he’s been very supportive of my journey.
What role does art play in your music? I see on your Instagram you’ve done some art and photoshoots for ‘Lost to be Found’.
You want a visual representation for your song. The painting element, the visual element is very important. So to be able to express that through art is really cool, to be able to have that ability to visualise things.
So, while a lot of artists might outsource their graphics, you make yours?
Yeah! Because I have the ability so I thought, I might as well. If I’ve got it in my own mind and I can visualise it, I might as well articulate that instead of getting someone else to do something that I’m really clear about.
Can you tell me about your musical background and influences?
Probably from my childhood, probably a bit of Joni Mitchell, some old jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. So that’s kind of filtered into the way that I sing and the way that I express. And then there’s also the neo-soul like Erykah Badhu and Lauren Hill. And some folky elements as well from newer artists.
An impending EP means there’s more to look out for. Follow Jade on Insta @jadesoul.music for updates.