Interview: The Twinkle of Jada Kingdom!
One of Jamaica’s most dynamic creators is Jada Kingdom. Beginning her journey as a model and building that angle of creativity to include making music, Jada speaks for, and to music fans who connect with her lyrics that she describes as poetry, and the end visual, her music video.
Creativity for Jada began in her youth thanks to her Father and Mother who surrounded her with music. Her painful childhood experience became the catalyst that unleashed the dynamism we see today.
Jada’s moniker is ‘Twinkle.’ Many of her fans interpret ‘Twinkle’ to mean magic and to that I do agree. Jada’s magic is her impact on our perception of art and entertainment. A photo with the caption ‘Twinkle,’ transports us to Jada’s world where creativity is electric and all who enter are electrified. Jada is the whole vibe, and her vibration levitates us to the place where we can accomplish our goals and get the push we need if we languish.
Focusing on Jada’s music ignites a range of emotions. Triumphant, sexy, and confident are some. My personal favourites are “Heavy” and “Perfect Timing.” Though the vibe of each song are somewhat opposite, both songs are motivational. My mantra for the first is ‘I know I’m heavy when I’m ready,’ aka I am the best. When I am frustrated with where things are, I know everything will work out in its’ ‘perfect timing.’
NVC: How did music nurture you and play a role in your decision to become a recording artist?
JK: Growing up was all music. My father was very musical and he sang a lot. He didn’t do it professionally, but he was always singing. I listened to a lot of Nina Simone and Etta James – you name it including the Manhattans and Temptations. In Jamaica you have Beres Hammond and Diana King so I love music all around. From a young age I knew I would be involved in music. Writing, producing, singing – everything music all around.
NVC: You mentioned your love of Jazz and Soul. You are very young to know about these
JK: I thank my Dad for that!
NVC: If it was possible for you to do a collaboration with Nina Simone, what song would it be?
JK: It would be closer to her song “Black Bird.” That song, growing up hearing that song, watching my Grandma hear the song and cry – it really opened my heart up in a different way. Nina is very poetic. She articulates herself beautifully in song. She knows how to word things and describe her pain in the most beautiful way. That topic would be perfect for me and her as well as “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” One of my favorites – that’s the type of vibes for me and Nina.
NVC: One of the vibes you present in your music is that of winning. The way you describe winning is ‘trying again.’
JK: To be honest, you can only lose if you give up. This is the only way you can lose. I put someone who gets up and tries over and over at a higher standard than someone who gets everything and feels the world should be wrapped around their finger and gives up because it didn’t work the one time. It doesn’t work like that. If you deserve it, there will be obstacles. There will be bumps in the road that you need to jump over.
The person who is driven is a winner. That is how you know. The person who tries again.
NVC: Your music making process! Does it begin with a producer sending you a riddim? Does it begin with your poetry? Where does it begin?
JK: It begins with my poetry. I began writing small poems. I had something like a diary where I wrote my things down and that’s how I started. Professionally I met a producer in Jamaica who believed in me (I give thanks because that is how lucky situations, best I ever had and my EP), so I always knew I wanted to do it. Coming into the industry I found him at the right time. Prior to that, I would walk to the studio, and no one wanted to record me – no one cared about what I was talking about. To watch people singing my songs (now) is insane.
NVC: Back to “Love Situations!” ZJ Sparks who was our Caribbean Editor, interviewed you years ago when the Love Situations music video came out. How involved were you in the making of the music video?
My manager at the time came up with the concept based on the TV show Dexter. I was very involved and very hands on with the creative process. I added my own twist to it. It was easy to be honest.
NVC: Coming forward to today, your music video’s see you in a softer sultry kind of way. How has your vision for your music and its presentation evolved over time?
JK: Every song has a story and I try to act out what I am already saying. I want the fans to see a different visual to what they are hearing. That is what is refreshing about my videos. If I sing about wiping a car you don’t need to see me wiping a car! The story line has to be dope, and I have to be super creative. It’s been easy so far for me to create because that is what I do.
NVC: Let’s talk about the ‘ish’ you made happen in the song “Heavy!”
JK: I didn’t get the recognition it should have gotten because the video was pulled down. But “Heavy” was vibe. The title itself speaks for itself. Yu see wha gwaan. Shout out to Verse Simmonds for helping me write that song.
He has been onboard with me writing. He is the only writer I have ever worked with and we have a different type of chemistry. Shout out to Fresh and my new team. I love and appreciate them so much. More music coming and more hot topics coming and more songs like the “Wins” and “Tricks” and “Heavy” coming. And “Budum” too!
NVC: Let’s talk about how you have affected Pop and Jamaican culture! What we see is your style, essence, flow and energy being duplicated on the Pop and Rap side and being celebrated in Jamaican Culture. How do you feel about young women saying ‘I want to be like Jada?!’
JK: Man! I feel amazing! For people to consider me to be the next big thing is wild! I feel honored and grateful … it is a blessing!
NVC: ‘L3’ is short for Life, Love and Lyrics. What general advice would you give readers on those three topics: Life, Love and Lyrics?
JK: Let’s start with Lyrics … don’t take every lyric you hear out there personally. Some of these songs are ‘cap.’ Next is Life; live it to the fullest. I know it sounds cliché but you gotta kick a person’s ass – you gotta live life and be happy. As for Love – spread it!
Congrats to Jada Kingdom who is now signed to Republic Records!