Photo: courtesy of Glassnote Records
Jade Bird Talks Empowering Female Fans & Upcoming Tour With Father John Misty
Meet the English singer/songwriter who landed on 2019 "Artists To Watch Lists" before launching her self-titled debut album
"There are a lot of things [going on] in America [that make me] feel passionate about being able to give young women the strength and make them feel empowered," says British performer Jade Bird about how her passion for young womens' experiences comes together with her music on her recent visit to the Recording Academy.
"Since becoming 21 and playing these shows, [I've realized] that the message in my songs can relate [to young women] in a way because it's my life as a young woman," she continues.
Before launching her debut self-titled album in April, the Americana singer/songwriter's 2017 EP Something American and singles were enough to land her on several "Artists To Watch In 2019" lists, including for the New York Times and Nylon. She's hit the road with GRAMMY winners Brandi Carlile and Hozier, and in the fall she'll tour the U.S. with more golden gramophone winners: Father John Misty and Jason Isbell.
The Recording Academy sat down with Bird to talk the meaning behind her debut, her upcoming tour with Misty and Isbell, her love of jumpsuits, and what she's passionate about outside of music.
My parents always kind of played music and then when I was about seven or eight there were free piano lessons in school. So I was like, I'll go and see about that and then I started studying piano. But then when I was about 12 or 13, my grandma had the acoustic guitar. For a while she was learning kind of... well, she wasn't really learning, but a family friend picked it up and kind of introduced me to chords and a few bands like Mazzy Star and The Civil Wars, and just a few bands that came into my life, but I most liked the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. And I kind of got a little bit obsessed with the blues after that. So I started digging back to Son House, all the while trying to learn it on the dining room floor. So since then I started gigging when I was 14 and the rest is history.
Your debut album is out now. How does it feel to have that out?
It's interesting because you're left without any more songs to release, so then you've got to start immediately writing the next to feel safe again. It's fantastic. I'm so glad everyone can get an idea of who I am, not just by a certain dimension like guitar or piano. It's this culmination of work, so I'm pretty thrilled to have it out.
What does the album specifically mean to you?
This album is kind of like your biography in a way because it's everything to do with my life. It's naturally self-indulgent, I say, because your debut is always about yourself. So [for] every song I can imagine where I was, who I was with, who I was writing it about. And that's pretty special to have the memories in your head of good times and bad.
You're going to start a tour with Father John Misty and Jason Isbell. What are you most looking forward to?
I am a huge, huge fan of them both as artists. I love both their catalogs. Some of my favorite songs... "Elephant" by Jason Isbell, is just the most beautiful track I've ever heard. And Father John Misty, all his albums contain some of the best lyrics, I think, that have been written. So I'm just really looking forward to actually sticking around and watching their set and just playing in front of other crowds. It's a lot of outdoor shows. I don't play them apart from festivals. So, we'll see.
You're just starting your career, but I'm curious, what's been the most challenging aspect of it all so far?
I mean there's this kind of... not to talk about memes, but there is one that's kind of like a guy walking across the street going, "Yeah, I'm so great," [while] banging a drum. And then he's in bed kind of going, 'Oh, God, I hate my life." And I think the keeping of your self-esteem to a certain level you can create with, is probably the hardest thing. Because you kind of go through these things where you think everything's great and it could be the best it could possibly be, or everything's terrible. I guess that's just being a bit manic of a person. Every kind of artist I think you find is a little bit like that. So, probably finding calm.
What's something outside of music that you really care about?
It depends in what sense outside of music. Like, hobbies? I love writers and I love books. But something I feel really passionate about is probably just other young women. I think, especially since becoming 21 and playing these shows, and realizing that the message in my songs can relate in a way because it's my life as a young woman, basically, so there's a lot of things in American right now that I feel passionate about. Being able to give young women the strength and make them feel empowered; that's something I really care about.
You're a fan of jumpsuits. What do you like about them? Will we be seeing them as your merch any time soon?
I guess I was never really into fashion and I kind of just put on whatever's in the cupboard. And I think I found jumpsuits and it felt, like my friend says, like power dressing. And you just feel so confident when you just... because there's no ripples or anything. You can just zip it up and there you are. And I think being a kind of small individual, petite, 5'3", jumpsuits are just the perfect thing for me. And they will go out on merch very soon. I'm working on it, because the red jumpsuit's become a bit of a thing for me.
Awesome. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?
No. I guess the only thing I'd probably like to say is that fans can expect new music sooner rather than later. Hopefully this side of the year. I'm really passionate about writing more for them.
Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More
The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'
In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.
"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.
Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.
"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."
Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American.
"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala
Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage
Listen: Tame Impala Release New Track "Patience"
It's been four years since we've heard new music from Tame Impala, but their new release has come just in time for festival season
Tame Impala have released a new single appropriately called "Patience." The GRAMMY-nominated music project by Australian singer and musician Kevin Parker had not released any new tracks since 2015's Currents.
The long-awaited latest release embodies the exact feeling of having to wait for something: "Has it really been that long? / Did I count the days wrong? ... I've been waiting here / Waiting for the day to come," Parker's soft voice sings on the track featuring an equally soft piano.
Parker, who has come to fame for the psychedelic, dreamy pop sound he shares as Tame Impala, teased the single on Instagram last night. "New track. 1 hour. Speakers/headphones people," the post said.
"I'd be really disappointed if we didn't have something out by then." Parker told Matt Wilkinson on Beats 1. "I love playing the songs live, I love playing Currents songs I love playing Lonerism songs and everything but I think I'm ready to play some other songs live."
Lila Downs Announces New Album Paying Tribute To The Chile Pepper, Releases Tour Info
The announcement was made with the release of the first single, a cover of the Peruvian cumbia classic "Cariñito"
GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Lila Downs, known for her eclectic mixture sounds from Mexico and beyond, has announced that her latest album, Al Chile, will pay tribute to the chile pepper and will drop May 3. The news came with the release of the first single, "Cariñito."
Al Chile, produced by the GRAMMY-nominated DJ and producer Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr., who has worked with the Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson, is not a joke; it sincerely shows love for the fruit.
"Yes, the music is a tribute to the fruit that causes us so much craving and suffering, but that we really love!" Downs said in a statement. "We fry the chile, add beats from the city, then saxophones, trumpets and drums from the Mexican coast to keep the dance going. The village and the city are united by the same beat. With a mezcal in hand, we dream of a place with a palm tree where one falls in love and reflects."
The first single is Down's take on a Peruvian cumbia classic. The singer also released dates for the album's supporting tour that will take her to Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, New York City, Seattle and other cities across the U.S.
For more information on the tour, visit Downs' website.