Jade Mya – Hopeful Romantic

Photos by Matt Barns

Jade Mya is not your average country singer. Though a self-professed “stereotypical country girl,” this girl-next door with an edge is anything but run-of-the-mill.

The bilingual country-pop artist grew up in Luskville, Quebec, true farm country complete with chickens, cornfields and houses separated by about a kilometer of space. “Country music is kind of rooted out there…I was born and raised on it,” says the singer. That background is what drew Jade to the genre. “I’ve always been in love with country music.”

Though she’s been singing since she was six years old, Jade only started singing full time about six years ago, never knowing that she could make a living from her passion.

But it’s a career she was definitely made for. She completed an undergraduate degree in law as a backup plan, but when her song “Lies of the Lonely” became a hit on country radio, it gave her to boost she needed to pursue her dreams.

While her first album, “Heartbreak Country,” was mainly composed of covers, her sophomore 10 track album is completely original. To be released later this year, it has yet to be titled. “I’m so excited about it,” she exclaims. “It’s going to be all my work…all stories from my life that make for a really rootsy kind of sound.”

One of Mya’s main goals for the album was for it not only to be original, but also to be a major departure from her first, showing that she should be considered a serious artist with the ability to create a voice that was all her own. Her mission was definitely accomplished.

The industry couldn’t help but take notice when “Dirt Covered Rhinestone” was released.  There was no hesitation when selecting it as her first single off of the new album. “Honestly, it was a no brainer,” she says. “It was completely different.” Co-written by the artist herself, it’s already a success on Canadian country radio. The accompanying music video was released today, created in partnership with CMT acclaimed producer and director, Stephano Barberis.

The album features contributions from many well-known writers and collaborators, including legendary producer Justin Gray.

Much of the inspiration behind the tunes she wrote for her second album was sourced from what Mya considers to be her first really serious relationship with her past-boyfriend.  “He motivated me for pieces of the songs on this album,” she reveals. “It was this happy place.” While the relationship ultimately went in different directions a lot, it provided a range of experience for her to pour into her music. “You’ll notice that in the album; the story kind of changes,” says the singer.

Her next single, entitled “Can’t Stop Loving You,” comes out next month leading up to her future tour, chosen because of how deeply the artist related to the lyrics. “I think country music fans will really fall in love with it,” she says.

One of the hallmarks of Jade Mya’s music is that is doesn’t shy away from the truth, instead opting for an empowering message of self-love. “Country music is a very honest genre and a lot of the time it’s very sad,” she says. “But the beauty about it is that it’s so honest and you can do that and people can relate to it. This album is going to have some honest moments because this is the truth of life. As artists you are able to release music and the great thing about it is we can write about our experiences and people can say gosh I wasn’t alone.”

Days before performing at Festival Western de Saint-Tite this past Saturday, one of the largest country music festivals in the province, the shock still had yet to sink in. “I haven’t done anything like this yet… I have no idea what to expect,” she states. “Every time something happens in my career, I still get that wow factor every single time; that feeling never goes away.”

Travelling through Ottawa and Montreal on her way to the festival, the artist used the rare stretch of free time to relax and enjoy herself. One of her non-negotiables? Eating poutine in Montreal.

The self-confessed hopeless romantic is looking forward to being able to write more happy love songs and to embrace an uplifting voice. “I would love to write a song called ‘I Do’!” she jokes. “It’s so hard to be in this career and juggle a relationship… It’s hard on me because it’s hard on them….I get so much momentum and strength from being on stage in front of a crowd but I also get it from a relationship…I want to be able to do this like I am now and have somebody that understands what comes with being in this field.” The future definitely seems hopeful.