“Speak Your Mind!” Jada Kingdom Interviewed

The Jamaican born star is relishing her uncensored success...

Jada Kingdom is blossoming into a fearless young woman with the world at her fingertips. Born and raised in Jamaica with a rocky upbringing, the promising force took life into her own hands and switched it up for the better. Now based in Miami, Jada has become one of the hottest artists in her lane with a sound that spans across dancehall, R&B, and pop. On a continuous mission to prove why she’s next up, her fearless outlook and determination has surpassed what her younger self once dreamed of.

Journeying back to the release of her debut single ‘Love Situations’ in 2017, the following years consisted of Jada stumbling across pockets of viral success through various releases including ‘Banana’, ‘Heavy!’, ‘Dickmatized’ and more. Not one to shy away from telling it how it is, she’s inspired many women across the world to show up for themselves, and more importantly, stand up for what they believe in. Gaining further exposure that’s lead to collaborations with an array of hit-makers from Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, John Legend, and Skillibeng, Jada’s grown a cult-like following, and the now-independent artist is ready to put her foot on the pedal.

Clash got the chance to catch up with Jada Kingdom whilst in London with 1508 to discuss her latest music, growing up in Jamaica, becoming independent, and more. Tap in below to see what she had to say.

Let’s take it back to the beginning. Talk me through your early years and growing up in Jamaica.

Jamaica is Jamaica… it’s rough. I didn’t have it easy of course, my childhood was fun there though despite the living conditions. I only started to see the beauty of Jamaica when I started to travel, I didn’t really like it growing up! (laughs) 

How were you introduced to music? I believe that you originally started out by writing poems.  

Yes, that’s correct! I am a writer at best. Poems and songs, initially being an artist wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. I just wanted to be a writer and I guess it worked out! (laughs) Poems eventually turned into songs, I recorded them and started getting recognition. Over time it became Jada Kingdom… 

The rest is history! 

Yeah, right! (laughs) I never planned this. I always knew I would be something in the music industry, but I wasn’t expecting it to go as big as it has!

You started a swimwear line and did various other jobs when you were younger, at which point were like OK I’d love to try and take my music somewhere? 

I mean, when I realised that people liked my songs, my image and everything, I was encouraged to keep on going. I still have my swimwear line as well but it’s not something that I really focus on anymore. I might do some exclusive drops, but I don’t think I could give it 100% in comparison to when I started. The music has all my focus! It’s honestly still shocking when I see people sing my songs and stuff, I have that wow moment every time! I really stand and think “How do they know this thing?!” but they’ve obviously been listening to it and relate to it. I think that’s why my fan base is so strong. I am very relatable. 

What made you want to move to Miami? Was it because of the industry just wanting a change?

There was no specific reason to be honest! I really wanted to get out of Jamaica. I was in a weird situation there and staying wasn’t going to take me where I wanted to go. I wanted to focus more on my craft! 

You’ve mentioned before that you don’t want to be boxed into dancehall music, which does tend to happen with artists from Jamaica. You’ve shown your versatility over the years, and genres are slowly becoming a thing of the past. What do you want people to takeaway when listening to you? 

The majority of my music is very self-explanatory and very direct. Sometimes they [fans] will take whatever they want from it. However, I would like people to come away and think yes, this girl is very real, she is going to tell it how it is and speak her mind. It’s always a vibe! If this song isn’t for me, then maybe the next one will be. I am very versatile, I’m not shy when it comes to genres! I’m into Afrobeat, R&B, dancehall, and pop music. The whole nine yards! It doesn’t really matter. Saying that, I would still be considered dancehall only because I am always myself and I keep to my roots on every track. I speak in my own dialect, if I want to switch it up I can but not for the whole song, that’s not me! It’s down to how I project myself with my delivery and everything. 

You’ve had a few releases recently! One of which is your ‘Understanding’ freestyle which I’m obsessed with. Talk me through this release and what inspired it. 

Well, at first the song was just for fun! That’s most of my songs! (laughs) I was having this conversation with one of my friends recently and told them how I would want somebody in my life to be. Talking my shit! I thought let me freestyle, which is something I give my fans from time to time. Something for the streets, something they can bop to, you know? It’s different to the singles, ‘Understanding’ is a vibe but also letting a guy know, if you want me then you know what to do!

Amen to that! 

Yes! (laughs) 

You’ve also just dropped a song with The 9ine called ‘Turn Me On’ which has a bit more of a seductive and sexy energy about it! How did this collaboration come along?

I love that song! They reached out to me with the idea, and I instantly went to the studio and got it done. We shot the video the next week, he is very easy to work with and a great artist. He’s versatile as well. We were having fun with it as always – if it’s not fun then it’s just not going to work! It’s already accumulated over a million views in four days, it’s crazy!

You inspire a lot of women in particular; you have a very fearless outlook and aren’t afraid to take risks or push boundaries where needed. What advice would you give to younger women, or women in general that would like a career in music or creative fields? 

As I always say, put your foot down and don’t take shit from nobody! Speak your mind, don’t ask for too many favours and wait until you can do certain things YOUR way. We don’t do ass kissin’, no time, no day! Keep going and don’t spread your legs! If you can’t get it done now girl, do it yourself a bit later. Don’t let these people have their way, tell them to fuck off and do your thing! Nothing is going anywhere; time is the master! 

Putting the music aside, what do you like doing for fun? What makes you happy?

I love painting, I paint a lot! I still write poems; I fool about with instruments when I am bored, go swimming and go to the beach. I like to think I can dance… 

So do I! (laughs)

Haha! I’d say I like dancing and just living in the moment. I like doing whatever I feel to in that moment, whether it’s good or bad I will get it done. Hopefully more good than bad, I just like a free life! (laughs) 

What else can we expect to see from you this year? 

I have loads of performances coming up! I’m focusing a lot on my project that is about to drop. I have Dexta Daps on there and a few more features which I will leave as a surprise but it’s going to go crazy! I have a lot of singles coming out including another one at the end of the month and my project will follow that, I am trying to press gas this year!

You’re keeping busy! 

Yes, I am an independent artist now give thanks. Now it’s really time to shake it up! You guys are the first to know that as well. It’s really great news!

Words: Elle Evans // @elleevans98
Photography: DIJ // @yungdij

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