Navigating the industry and targeting many facets has proven the Katako Records CEO and first artist, an inspiration. The University graduate not only emphasizes the importance of schooling but for ladies here’s a wake up call that corporate America is now buzzing with female Bosstress’s. With an innovating and captivating sense of style and music classified as pop, soul, rock and a beautiful persona, Nya Jade combines her worldly experiences and talent to connect with fans. With support from Atlantic Records past president, Ron Shapiro–this hailing beauty has managed to appear on popular music broadcast networks and on stages alongside prominent artists. 2007 is more than just a year for chart topping hits as Nya Jade recently also launched a jewelry line in collaboration with Red Start Design which will benefit the NYA Foundation.
Singersroom: After previewing some of your music, it’s safe to say that you have such a unique sound and stand out from other artist–which is really good. How would you define your music & personality?
Nya Jade: I’m a fan of different styles of music. I consider myself a fan of music first. My style is a blend of pop, soul with some rock.
Singersroom: Are you originally from California?
Nya Jade: No, I’m originally from Ghana…I was raised in different countries.
Singersroom: Where you also raised there?
Nya Jade: I was actually raised around the world.
Singersroom: Aside from being scouted and signed, you did a lot of work on your own, and you launched your own label Katako Records. How did this process come about & who was involved?
Nya Jade: I approached Ron Shapiro who was the former president of Atlantic Records for management. Along with him managing my career, I received investments from Silicon Valley Investments to jump start the label.
Singersroom: Your track titled “Live” really had thoughts circulating in my mind. What is the general idea that you are trying to get across to fans and listeners?
Nya Jade: That in life you just have to sort of remember; remember to see the day and live for the moment type of thing.
Singersroom: “My Denial” is the title of your Debut CD. What inspired the name of the CD and the songs included on it?
Nya Jade: We took the title from one of the songs on it called “My Denial” and it’s just like one of the songs that took the longest for me to write. Its like a moody reflective piece about just the journey through life and just what you do…its one of those things, like in life, your in denial about something. Whether it’s a love gone wrong, whether it’s a job situation or whatever the situation is. It kind of encompasses that.
Singersroom: Many people including children, not all–but a good amount, do not know the importance of education in any profession. For you as a college graduate, what can you say to aspiring artist about the importance of schooling?
Nya Jade: I think it’s very important. I got an undergrad and a master’s degree – I’m not saying that everybody needs to go get masters but I think school gives you the ability to start and finish. It teaches you the tools of completion, setting goals and finishing things. Kind of like a completed thing when at the end of four years or three years or however long the program is and it symbolizes not only the fact that you’ve learned a lot but you’ve also been able to survive. It makes you understand the fact that you can do things and it’s important for people to go to school to just broaden their horizons in terms of education but it’s also a way to discover yourself and make a commitment to doing something and following through. You make it happen; it’s like a life tool.
Singersroom: Falling back onto that question, what was it like when you realized that you had to pick between being a pre-med student and staying loyal to music?
Nya Jade: I always knew that music wasn’t gonna just disappear and so it was just a matter of finishing school. I decided not to go to med school just because of some self reflection. I want to help save the world but medicine’s not the only way to do it. So I finished with an undergraduate degree in economics, so the point is I still finished school cause knew I could always do music.
Singersroom: So I heard you opened up for Maroon 5, how was that experience for you?
Nya Jade: It was great! I mean, those guys are so nice! They put on a really great show. They got really great fans, it was very intimidating to open for an act that has there own set of loyal fans but it was great to have people really embrace me and my music and who I am.
Singersroom: Your voice has been mentioned in line with another great singer that we all know as Sade by the LA Times (laughs). How does it feel to be greatly appreciated and commented on with such interest?
Nya Jade: I think everybody always wants to be compared to someone who’s been successful and great. Know what I mean? I guess its sort of validating, if that’s the word– it makes you feel like “oh ok.” Like you always have to believe in yourself at first but it’s always nice to have those accolades, whether it’s an online blog, magazine or something like the LA TIMES…so its like “oh people get it” and they appreciate what I do, makes it more worth while.
Singersroom: By the way, I checked out some of your tracks and the vibrant rock tunes on “Molasses” was hot. Who are some producers you worked with?
Nya Jade: I worked with an upcoming producer who’s from out of state, his name is Tone. Tone worked with a bunch of people whether its production or engineer. He worked with Carlos Santana, Green Day, and a bunch of other people who right now I’m forgetting (laughs). For old school 70’s type vibe, I worked with a producer named Jack Douglas whose more kind of rock oriented. He earned a Grammy working with John Lennon from the Beatles so he definitely has that really old school way of producing things. He can definitely get that vibe more.
Singersroom: What kind of future are you looking for as you progress with your company?
Nya Jade: I’m just hoping to keep putting out new music that people relate to and I think the cool thing about the album is the mixture of pop, rock and soul. I can go in any particular direction and people will be surprised with the next record. The next record is more like a soulful R&B type of thing, people are gonna be confused if I decide I want to do a completely rock album. I’ve introduced different sides of my personality. It’s kind of like a menu and maybe the next album may focus on a particular course.
Singersroom: As you said previously, you traveled a lot growing up. Have you been to any particular place that you really just absolutely enjoyed?
Nya Jade: Everywhere has its own unique flow to it. I think I’m partial to island life. I spent 8 years in the Bahamas. My family was in Puerto Rico for four years after that. I like the laid back island feeling. Because of that whole background I’m like a big Bob Marley fan. Kind of just the way of life. Your shorts, your flip flops, your reggae and the beach (laughs).
Singersroom: Besides your music of course, what else are you currently listening to in your radio, I pod, car…sound system, anything that you play music in?
Nya Jade: I listen to XM Radio so it depends on what’s on at the time. It’s everything, I listen to Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse…a whole bunch of different bands and acts that I’ve been listening to– I kind of just went back to some songs I used to listen toâ¦went back to John Legends first album, he has a “Refuge”, I love that song, put that on repeat for a little bit (laughs). I listen to a whole bunch of people.
Singersroom: You’ve came to the realization that the industry is based around survival of the fittest & if you are not “youth marketable” you may run into issues. Your music isn’t “cookie cutter pop” and you are also about artist development. What would you like to say to those out there who’ve been struggling to get signed to a machine label and haven’t had any progress because they aren’t marketable?
Nya Jade: I think the whole music process is an evolution. I don’t think anyone ever starts off knowing exactly what their voice is. Its like the reason, if you know a particular artist that you like and you go back to all there records and stuff, they don’t necessarily put out the same record twice because who they were five years ago isn’t necessarily who they are now, you know? So you keep writing and if your gonna change and evolve, your changing for yourself, not because someone told you to sound a certain way. Cause then you kind of feel like your not who you are. At a point you connect to people and its a good process, like its amazing now I get emails from people saying, “such and such is a good track that changed their life” or “their gonna get married to this song.” It’s sought of really inspiring, like a journey so you have to like, love what you do. Stick with it.