Jade De LaFleur is no stranger to the music industry. The Louisiana native got her start as a member of Sophia Fresh, an R&B group soon discovered by singer/rapper/producer T-Pain. Though her tenure in the group wasn’t long, Jade soon began focusing on her solo career. That’s when she landed a gig as a background vocalist for Solange’s.
Fast-forwarding to 2013, Jade’s buzzing single “Jaded” was featured on Solange’s compilation album, “Saint Heron,” which showcases talent from rising alternative R&B singers.
“With Saint Heron, I really wanted to celebrate and continue to cultivate the community for genre-defying R&B artists,” said Solange. “I’ve personally connected with all of these extremely talented artists, and I’m really excited for us to come together through the compilation as a new movement for music.”
With her “Jaded” EP set to release on January 21, we recently caught up with the Rated Next Artist. In our interview, Jade talks her about her musical influences, leaving Sophia Fresh, learning from Solange and her “Jaded” EP.
Check out our interview below.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Some of my musical influences range from Sade, Donnie Hathaway, Billie Holiday, Frank Ocean, Sir Elton John, The Beatles, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston — just hanging on the street in Louisiana, honestly, anywhere and any type of music you play outside (laughs).
Being from Louisiana, has it had any influence on your music?
Of course. You have blues right in your face all day every day…walking down any block in New Orleans is like a live concert. It’s beautiful and it’s real and it’s so organic.
You were a member of girl group Sophia Fresh, what led you to leave the group to become a solo artist?
That was kind of like one of those things where nature took its course. At a moment, we just wasn’t working anymore. I went my separate way. From there, I started working with Solange and went on to meet some of the best moments of my life — like travel the world and singing with somebody that was amazing to learn from and just have fun with.
To not take yourself seriously (laughs) and to just have fun and speak your mind. Always value the things that really matter in life — family, love…she’s very clear about what she wants and what she believes in from start to finish. I’ve always loved that. I’m very fortunate to have had that experience with her.
You worked on your “Jaded” EP for a couple of years. What’s the concept behind this project?
When I moved here to New York I really experienced different sides of life that I have never before. I was just going through a really bad breakup. I was in a relationship for like five years. Every girl knows when you go through a big breakup like that you need your friends and your support system. It just so happened that I was moving here at the same time . [I didn’t] have a job. [I didn’t] have shit. I sold everything I had to come here and I was just really out on a limb…I did what I had to do but “Jaded” is just about my experiences. I started to keep a journal, which I entitled “Jaded” because that’s just how I felt from the things I was dealing with — having to still keep faith and keep moving and keep moving and shaking ..that’s what it’s about — my struggle, my joys, my pain.
Out of all the songs you recorded for your EP, you decided to use the title track on Solange’s “Saint Heron” compilation album. Why that song out of all the others?
That was one of the main songs that I knew I was going to write even before I knew that I was going to do an EP…and because it was so real to me — but yet it wasn’t — It just developed everything I was going through at that darkest stage of my life.
What’s next for you?
I’m always performing — doing a few pop up things here and there. I do have some things coming up with the Saint Heron clique, which I’m really excited about (laughs). I’m really excited about putting an album out. I worked on it really hard. I’m looking forward to performing and just keeping it up.
Follow Jade De LaFleur on Twitter @JadeDeLaFleur and make sure you get her “Jaded” EP on January 21.