by Tracy Darlington
Jade Harrell Interview
"In seeking the Lord, not only do you find Him but you also find yourself." --Jade Harrell
Jade Harrell counts Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, John Mayer, Israel Houghton and the Zombies among her favorite artists. Given she enjoys such a disparate group of acts, it makes sense that the singer considers herself much more than an R&B/hip-hop styled chanteuse.
Growing up in Middleburg, Fla., about 30 miles Southwest of Jacksonville, Jade struggled to find acceptance among her peers. She was teased because of her distinctiveness and far-reaching interests, while being made fun of for her firm stance on abstinence. Jade’s experience lent itself to inspire the title of her label debut.
Tracy: Can you give us a little background on how you got started in music?
Jade: I began singing background for a lot of local artists when I was about 12 or 13 years old. When I turned 16, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and my producer, Mo Henderson, decided that he wanted to take me under his wing and develop me as an artist. For the next 4 years, we just recorded songs in the studio trying to find my sound. Eventually, I met Grits through Mo and became a part of the Revolution Art crew!
How did you know God was calling you to pursue music as a career?
You know how you without a doubt know that you’re either a male or a female? That’s just how sure I was that I was called to be a recording artist.
Talk about the time when you didn’t succumb to peer pressure. How did God reward you for it?
When I turned 16, I decided to commit to abstinence until marriage. It was really hard at first because I was in a relationship at the time. I started to lose myself and what I stood for, so I ended it. Thank God I did because ever since I let that relationship go, the Lord just began opening up doors left and right.
Tell us about your album “Class Reject”?
This album is my baby!! It shows my fun side, my emotional and vulnerable side. It’s my introduction to the world.
What message do you hope people will come away with when they listen to “Class Reject”?
I want young people especially
to understand that they’re not in this
alone. I want them to understand that it’s okay if the world doesn’t
accept you. Be different! Be unique and have fun!
What was it like to work with Ayiesha Woods on the song “Who You Are”? How did that come about?
She was awesome, and I’ve officially adopted her as my new big sis! She complimented the song so well. I’d wanted to do a collaboration with someone who had an edgy sound like me, so I recorded the song and sent it to her. Fortunately for me she loved it! She wrote her verse and it came together like hot wings and ranch!!
What prompted you to remake the Doobie Brothers song “What a Fool Believes”?
It was such an awesome song, and a lot of young people don’t even know who the Doobie Brothers are, so I thought it would be cool to bridge the gap between old and new.
What’s your favorite song on the project and why?
If I had to choose one, it would be “The UnSeen” because it’s so relevant for me right now. You can get so caught up in the world sometimes and lose yourself. It’s a dog track almost. The dogs chase this mechanical rat thing around the track that they’ll never catch, and if they do catch it, it won’t satisfy their taste buds. That’s just what the enemy does to us! He dangles these cheap thrills in front of us disguised as something appealing, and it’s really not what we think it is. Grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
What’s the biggest obstacle in your life God’s helped you overcome?
Low self-esteem. I don’t really remember a time when I felt like I belonged. I was picked on in school and teased about my weight so much that I really believed there was something seriously wrong with me. I really didn’t like myself at all, but God ministered to me through my own music. He also put people in my life that ultimately helped me to see that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. They were misfits just like me.
What’s the coolest prayer God’s ever answered for you?
He brought my parents back together after 7 years of divorce. My little brother and I prayed every night the same prayer. “Lord, thank you for bringing our daddy back home.” He did it. I’m so blessed to have both my parents in the same home. I don’t take it for granted at all!
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to reach their friends for Christ?
Love them and be a living example. They’re watching your every move whether you know it or not. Sometimes, it’s going to seem like nothing you say can reach them. But prayer is powerful!
Are there any steps you take to stay on track spiritually?
My church is a big part of my life back home. Sometimes, I don’t want to be there, but there’s always a word from God that seems to read me like a book. I was born and raised in the church, so there’s no getting away from it. In the Lord’s Prayer it says “Give us this day our daily bread . . .” It’s saying God please give me whatever I need to keep from giving into temptation or whatever is going to get me off track. He’ll definitely keep you if you want to be kept!
Do you have any advice for teenagers who are not sure what to do with their lives?
In seeking the Lord, not only do you find Him but you also find yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Step outside the box! Your comfort zone will hold you back from running through open doors.
If you could say one thing to this generation what would you say?
It’s time to step up and stand for something great. The world has labeled us as irresponsible, careless, simple-minded party animals. We have so much more power and influence than they give us credit for! Tomorrow is not promised. What will you be remembered for?
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d have dinner with Adam and Eve and ask them what they were thinking eating that fruit! Because of them I have to endure child labor . . . it’s really not fair.
What’s the most memorable place you have ever played?
Universal Studios. It was the first time I performed in front of thousands of people.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with TitleTrakk.com readers?
Go get your copy of “Class Reject”! Satisfaction guaranteed!!
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I monologue when I’m alone. Also, I’m a country girl at heart. I want dirt roads instead of pavement, and a nearby creek instead of a pool.
When you’re not singing, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m hanging out with friends, going dancing, bowling, you name it!
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I actually missed breakfast this morning. (Slap on the hand)
Three things always found in your refrigerator:
Lettuce, tea, and a relaxer kit.
You’re next in line at Starbucks. What are you ordering?
A tall French Vanilla frapp!
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.