Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Close Up Interview with Singer, Pianist & Songwriter -Jade Leonard

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I’m a singer, pianist and songwriter about to launch myself out of the jazz and cabaret world into the electro pop circuit.  Big jump!

Art Melbourne 2010

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
I have so many inspirations, but I’ll try and boil it down.

Musically, right now I am listening to Sia, I Blame CoCo, Robyn’s acoustic recordings at Cherry Tree and Janelle Monae.  Also Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole and Nina Simone.  I’m going back to study piano this year so I’m inspired by these singer/pianists.

As far as business goes, my biggest inspiration in Tim Ferris of ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ fame.  His philosophies have changed my life forever.

I am inspired by anyone who strives for brilliance in their chosen field like Anton, of Anton’s fashion, Lisa and Julie from Pinkalicious women’s night or Mary and Enzo at Polly bar.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you sing  and perform?
Lately, I’ve been connecting a lot more to universal energy and giving myself over to some higher power.  That sounds weird.  I’m not a spiritual nut bag, but I have a level of gratitude now that I didn’t have in my early twenties. Now I think, I’m the captain of my own ship I don’t always feel like I’m the one in control..  Does that make sense?

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Colourful, driven, obsessive, quirky and fun.

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
I was employed by my uncle in his hair dressing salon as the shampoo girl for $6 an hour.  I thought I’d hit the jackpot, plus I got free hair cuts and colours.  I was 14.  No wait, before that I worked at a horse riding stable and because I was under age they paid me in horse riding lessons.  I cleaned up horse poo all day and got a free lesson at the end of the day.  I loved that job. Seriously! I love being around horses, the smell, oiling leather saddles and straps and eating carrots dipped in molasses. I’d do that job again any day.

Then I did stuff and became a singer.

Describe a typical day in your  creative business?
Gym, breakfast, shower, emails, Facebook, rehearsal, write a song, lunch, practice for gig, send out CDs and press releases, recording, dinner, out to shmooze with other arty types, peanut butter, bed.

As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?
That there is no clear career pathway, like being a doctor.  You get a music degree then there’s no job.  I love it and hate it. I wish there was some sort of creative version of the corporate world where you were guaranteed weekly gigs and pay, international success, fame and fortune.

Tell us about how you prioritise your work space.
Less is more.  Keyboard, desk, Mac. Amazing city views.  That’s about it really. And good quality tea.

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your audiences (i.e. how do you network)?
Social media certainly plays a big part now, but I find face to face connection is still vitally important.

Just last night I attended the Pride March Victoria launch and reception and was able to spend time with three key people in my field.  Facebook can’t do that, but thanks to Facebook I was invited.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?

Get good, really good.  Make sure you actually have a product to sell that people and critics hold in high esteem.  Then read business books and get your head around how your area of the artistic world works.  Find out who is making money and how and why they are.  See if you can create without compromising your own standards, but still make enough money to live without having to get a day job.  Not easy, but very rewarding. Be the person at the party asking all the questions, find the most interesting people and ask them 5 questions.  Don’t be so quick to want to talk about yourself.

Tell us about your  plush toy “The JadeMonster” & how it comes about ?

Plush Toy- JadeMonster

The read more about JadeMonster  click the link above

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
To make enough money from sales of my music so I can keep creating more music.

What is your proudest moment so far?
Every day.

Who do you most want to meet and why?
Oprah.  I have so many questions for her.  She is a wonderful model of success whatever your view of her is.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
Work smart and not hard.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Body.

Where do we find you and your  service?

Do you have a special offer for ArtSHINE readers?

You can now download all of my music now on iTunes, including ringtones for iPhone! Yay!

Jade's MP3 Albums & Ringtones

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