ARIA Award-winning singer/songwriter and budding gay icon SAMANTHA JADE is about to release her new brand new single, Bounce. But not before speaking with the Star’s MIKE HITCH.
Samantha Jade – the Aussie pop starlet known for her smash hit singles What You’ve Done to Me and the ARIA Award-winning Firestarter – has written songs inspired by the highest and lowest points in her music career for her latest album, set to be released in 2020.
Returning to her authentic voice with the help of Sony Music, Jade told the Star that Bounce, the boppy lead single released this Friday 20 September, not only focuses on the spring step that comes from being loved but also centres on the personal growth that comes from loving another.
“Basically, it’s a song about love,” Jade emphasises with a grin.
“But it’s about that person you meet that puts a bounce in your step and makes you want to be better, and as it says in the bridge ‘love harder’ and do better, and just be a better person.
“I think that’s a very different love [compared] to that kind of obsessive love. It’s a better love.”
Jade also touched on her upcoming album without giving away too many spoilers, describing it as a symbol of her journey over the last 15 years, featuring tracks made for her and her fans to jam out to.
“This time ’round, I’ve asked: ‘What are songs I’d listen to?’ or ‘What are songs that I would save or put on my Spotify or Apple Music?’” she says as she counts streaming services with her fingers.
“There are a variety of songs on [the album]. We’ve got some ballads, we’ve got some ups … basically, it’s just an array of music that I love.
“That’s what we’ve really gone with. A lot of the time you chase radio and you chase a sound that’s out there [but] I’ve gone back to what I like and that’s really empowering.
She adds: ”It’s more about listening to my fanbase and myself. Just going, ‘What do my fans like to hear from me?’ and I’ve kind of gone back to a sound that I was inspired by. When I started writing when I was fifteen and moved to LA, I was writing songs because I loved Brandy and TLC and J-Lo, so it all made sense to me.”
Jade’s rise to pop stardom began at the age of sixteen after her family moved to Los Angeles, California in 2004 and she signed with US record label, Jive Records – who represented superstars such as P!nk, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
That year, Jade made her songwriting debut after co-writing Secret Love, which was later recorded by noughties pop-star, JoJo for the soundtrack of the 2004 film, Shark Tale.
Since then, Jade has wracked up a casual six Platinum single accreditations, seven Top 40 singles (including two Top Tens, one of which went #1) and a Gold self-titled album.
Jade has also gone on to be the first female winner of X Factor Australia and starred in multiple high profile television roles.
Most notably, she played Isla Schultz in the long-running Aussie soap opera Home and Away, and played Kylie Minogue in the 2014 TV miniseries, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart – for which she was nominated for a Logie despite never actually meeting Kylie. (Jade was just as disappointed as we are.)
However, while hits such as Firestarter established Jade as a fledgling gay icon, playing Kylie truly sealed that position.
Jade, slightly embarrassed, told the Star that while she’s ecstatic to have the support of the gay community, she was completely unaware of her queer queen status until recently.
“I was at a lunch recently and this guy was sitting across from me and not really saying anything. I’m thinking ‘Hmm, does he hate me?’ she recalls.
“He got some liquid courage and after a few of glasses of rosé said to me: ‘I love Firestarter, it’s a gay anthem. I was like “Oh my god! That makes me so happy!’
“I was taken aback, I didn’t know! Nobody told me. I called a few of my best friends after, who are gay … and they said: ‘I thought you knew!’ So, then I said: ‘Take me to Stonewall, immediately!’”
As well as the highs of her career, Jade also unpacked the time she was dropped from Jive Records and subsequently moved back to Perth in 2010 to recuperate with her family.
Now Sydney-based, Jade stares at her lap as she recalls how having her voice shot down by Hollywood at such a young age nearly broke her spirit.
However, she regains her posture, and her grin, as she discusses her family’s role in rebuilding her confidence – which only added fuel to the songwriting fire for her new album.
“It was like life just kept going and I never dealt with it. It wasn’t until I started to have meetings with other labels for another deal and that they didn’t happen, that I truly noticed I didn’t have a deal anymore,” she says.
“When I was writing the album, I had to bring all this stuff up and this was years after … but at the end of one of these meetings, this guy said to me: ‘I don’t feel like you have a star tone.’
“At that moment I thought, ‘I’m going home to Australia.’ For me, talking about my voice like that … I couldn’t come back from it, so I came home.
‘What got me through ultimately was my family. They’re my constant rock … they get it too, and not everyone else gets it. They’re the most real, normal people in the world – so I’m never worried to fall because I know they’ll always catch me.”
Samantha Jade’s new single Bounce will be released through Sony Music Australia this Friday, 20 September. Her new album will be released in 2020.