INTERVIEW: Samantha Jade

The last two years have all been about Samantha Jade re-finding herself again as a singer-songwriter. Through the release of a disco themed covers album and a traditional christmas record, she was able to highlight different sides of her artistry that people may not have been previously familiar with. Leading back to the beginning of her career and to the source of her roots, she is currently having a full circle moment. 

During her massive national ‘Best Of My Love Australian Tour’ she was surprised when her debut single pre the X Factor days ‘Step Up’ received such a huge response from the crowd. With people coming to her after the show and asking her to return to that RNB-pop sound, she listened and rediscovered her early roots. Diving back into that RNB-pop sound her forthcoming new record is a mixture of intimacy, nostalgia, high emotions and a whole lot of fun. 

Her new single ‘Bounce’ is one of the more carefree moments from the collection which hears her proclaiming that she’s head over heels in love. With her recently announced engagement, this song embodies the happiness that she currently has radiating in her personal life. 

I recently chatted to Samantha Jade about the romantic feelings that are embodied within her playful new single ‘Bounce’, the full circle approach to her re-finding her roots in RNB-Pop music and reflect on addressing her struggle with anxiety while on tour last year. Check out the chat HERE; 

TB: Bounce’ is a playful new song that welcomes you back with a very catchy hook that is going to get stuck in peoples heads instantly. So was this a song that came together very quickly for you, or how did it originate? 

SJ: Yeah, it did actually come together quite quickly. I was in Perth and about to go on stage for a corporate gig and Jacqui who is one of my best friends and dancers was like “I have got a really good idea for song”, and I was like “okay! Tell me”. And she was like “what if you talked about someone putting a bounce into your step” and it actually really resonated with me. 

Usually we reference bouncing to be jumping up and down or something to do with your butt *laughs* so I thought it was a really cool take on the word “bounce” and bringing it all back to love and that feeling that someone makes you experience. 

After she said that I started singing the melody “bounce in my step, in my step, in my step” immediately and I called my voicemail to leave it so I wouldn’t forget it. 

I then flew to Los Angeles the next day for a writing trip and I was in the studio and I was like “I have this really cool idea that I want to play with” and I sang it to Carmen Reece and she was in. 

We literally wrote it within an hour. It was so fast! It really wrote itself. 

TB: There are a few comparisons being drawn to the likes of Ariana Grande with the polished pop meets RNB elements and it kinda goes back to the sound you were working on pre-X Factor. So what was inspiring the production and feel behind this track? 

SJ: For me I’m just going back to what I’ve always kinda known and done, so it doesn’t feel like a departure or a new thing. When I first moved to LA to work on the album that I thought was going to come out on Jive, I was inspired by Brandy, Jennifer Lopez, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Usher and those kinda of artists. I’ve always written in that vain and I’ve always sang with that kind of infliction. So for me it’s just going back to what I know and love. 

TB: The lyrics are so playful and hear you not taking things to seriously and just having a whole lot of fun. So what is your favourite lyrics from the track? 

SJ: I love the bridge! “Love harder, love faster, I know where we are going is father” because you’ve found someone who you really love and puts a bounce in your step and encourages you to grow and work on yourself to be better for them. 

You love them harder because you love yourself harder in those moments. 

You love faster and it moves quicker, because you know deep down that they are the right person. 

And it moves farther because this is not just a few months to you, this is it, this is your future. 

So yeah, I love the bridge because it really says everything the song represents. 

TB: Last year you put out two themed records, the disco inclined ‘Best Of My Love’ and the classic Christmas styled ‘The Magic Of Christmas’. So from working on these two records while also working on new original music, what was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself through these records as an artist that you’re taking with you into this new era?

SJ: I feel like it’s important to know what purpose those records serve. For me it’s always going to be about original music because that is all an artist wants to do, we want to put out our own music. 

So the disco record definitely served a purpose in showing a different side of me and Christmas is one of my true loves, so it felt right to do it. 

But original music is the best and I’ve noticed that over the years it has changed how I sing which I think is because it comes from a very personal place and comes from the ground up. I’ve also learnt that the way you sing your own music can be any way because you’re the one creating it. 

TB: You recently premiered a couple of the new songs from your upcoming album to some of your most loyal fans in the studio. With some of these songs detailing your most personal material yet, how did it feel finally sharing it with people? Were you worried with how it was going to be received? 

SJ: Oh my god, one hundred percent! I was actually really nervous that day because my fans are very important to me. They’ve followed me through a lot and it’s been a few years since I’ve given them something new. 

I really do listen to them, so when I do go into the studio I do take on board what they’ve said to me previously. I was really desperate for them to like the songs and deep down I knew they would because they have got to like them as they are good *laughs* but at the same time I wanted them to love them because these songs mean a lot to me. 

You’re always nervous when something means a lot to you. 

TB: Last year also saw you do your first ever extensive national tour which saw you celebrate everything disco, your greatest hits and some old favourites like ‘Step Up’ even had a special little resurgence. So what was the biggest struggle you went through putting this show together and executing it every night because this was your first time articulating a full live show like this? 

SJ: It was so nerve racking in general because it was my very own show and something I had never done. It was also something I had thought about doing for so long that I almost had too many ideas for what I should do. So when it came to actually executing the show, it was really about sitting down and going “what songs need to be heard?”, “when have people followed me from?” and “what do I wanna say?”. I think that was what really made the set list. 

It was important for me to do ‘Heartless’ because that was a game changing moment for me on the show and it was important for me to do ‘Step Up’ as it was the first song I had ever released as an artist. So it took a lot of time. The setlist changed at least 10 times before the first show *laughs*. 

TB: Touring can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very crazy, strange and exhausting. So what was one of the weirdest, most memorable or eye opening experience you had while on the road last year for the ‘Best Of My Love Tour’? 

SJ: I have struggled talking about this for a very long time but I finally feel comfortable enough to open up about it. I actually had a pretty bad spout of anxiety around the time of the tour. It was actually at my Brisbane show when it came on very intensely. I was really nervous about having to perform. And I’m only talking about this now because at the time I couldn’t. 

If I’m honest with you, I was quite crippled with it at the time. I was about to walk out on stage and I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could pull through. When you’re in that zone it’s really tough to do anything else but sit on the couch. So the whole situation became bigger than Ben Hurr in my mind and I didn’t want to go on stage. But my band were like “there is going to be people in the audience tonight who are dealing with this too. And I think it’s really important you go out there and do this because there may be something in the show that someone might take away to help them through that tonight” and it really hit me. It was so powerful because if I could make someone smile from this pain right now then that would be the most powerful thing in the world.

I remember coming off stage and being so grateful that I did that show as it gave me that push I needed to work through it. 

TB: Your fans are so passionate and some have been following you from pre X Factor days when your songs like ‘Secret’ and ‘Turn Around’ were on weekly rotation on Video Hits. Some have got tattoos, some have travelled around to multiple shows and some have even created street team initiatives to get your music played on radio. So what do you think it is about your bond with your fans that has become so deep and supportive over the years? 

SJ: I am so grateful for them. When you’re a singer and you’re trying to get your music out there and you’re in that zone, all that you want is someone to listen to your music and connect. And now to sit here and know that I have such an empowering group of supporters behind me is a really unbelievable feeling. 

I think what makes the bond strong between me and my fans is that I do listen to them. I ask them questions and I listen to what they’ve got to say. In this new phase of this record you would not believe how many people have said to me “please go back to doing songs like ‘Step Up’” and asked me to do more RNB Pop. And I listened to them. They inspired me to get re in touch with my roots.

They are the reason I get to do this as my career. If no one is buying my music then I don’t have a job as a singer. I make sure that they are apart of my team. 

TB: Another relationship that has really strengthened throughout your career is the one with the LGBTQI+ community. You will be performing at Brisbane Pride Fair Day on September 21 as well as the after party at Fluffy to celebrate Brisbane Pride Month. So why do you think it’s so important for the country to embrace equality and support one another more than ever before? 

SJ: It’s mind-blowing to me that we are only doing that now. I think that’s ridiculous. I cant believe that the community can only get married in the last couple of years, it’s just insane to me. 

I just think everybody should be able to be who they are, when they want and how they want. It’s insane to think any different. At the end of the day it’s not your life, leave it alone *laughs*. 

I was brought up in a multi-cultural home. Both of my parents were from overseas, so me and my brothers were first generation Australians. While growing up I noticed that my dad would receive a lot of racism because he wasn’t Australian, and that’s another thing I never understood. Any discrimination, I don’t support. 

My parents always, always, always told me to never judge anyone and never make anyone feel less for who they are. So I’ve always lived by that.

I’m SO happy that the community has embraced so much because I am so obsessed with performing at all the Mardi Gras’ and pride days.

TB: I feel like you’re just one of us now 

SJ: *Laughs* Yes! I love that! Well I’ll tell you that whenever I perform at Fluffy or Beresford Sundays and I hit a high note, the screams and reactions are so different to other shows. Everyone is like “Oh my god, yas girl” and Im like “Yes, that was really hard, thank you” *laughs*. The respect is there and I think that’s really cool.

TB: With these live performances, this will also mark one of the first time’s you’ve performed ‘Bounce’. So how do you envision this song to feel and look in your live set?  

SJ: Oh my gosh! You should see the choreography, it’s so fun! Matt Lee is doing all the choreography and I’ve been a fan of his since he was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance Australia and have followed him through his unbelievable career. So when he said he would be apart of the project, I was so excited.

What he’s done with the choreography has just taken this to another level! 

TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I’m going to ask you some questions that you just need to answer with the first thing that comes to mind…

SJ: Yes!

TB: The emoji that best describe my new single ‘Bounce’ is…

SJ: The one with the love heart eyes!

TB: My pre-show pump up song is…

SJ: ‘Drunk In Love’ by Beyonce 

TB: If I could have any super power it would be

SJ: To heal people

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

SJ: Fine with me

TB: Most mornings I…

SJ: Can’t be happy until I’ve had my coffee *laughs*.

‘Bounce’ is out now! And you can catch Samantha Jade at Brisbane Pride Fair Day in New Farm on Saturday September 21 and at the official afterparty at Fluffy later that night. 

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