If you’re not familiar with rising Toronto pop artist Spade, get acquainted because her beautiful voice and touching lyrics will stay with you. The young artist first made a splash in 2016 when she sung with Alessia Cara at the MMVA’s and she’s continues to hone her craft ever since. Spade has spent time in Los Angeles working with producers such as Bantu, Tommy Brown, and Soaky Siren to name a few. While working hard at perfecting her vocals by working with vocal coaches such as Julia Barrettsmith, Lorraine Lawson, and Mary-Lu Zahalan. Spade has an immense amount of talent and it’s time the world got to hear her powerful lyrics, which are raw and emotional. We chatted with Spade about her latest EP and what her journey has been like so far.
Where did you draw inspiration from for your single, Hardest Thing?
“Hardest Thing” was the first song I wrote with my amazing team in LA like I had mentioned before. I had a very clear vision of what production aspects I liked. I came super prepared by doing my research, knowing what sounds I wanted to explore, and what kind of methods of inspiration I was going to pull from. We began writing based on a quote that I brought in. My quote was “It’s hard to walk away from something you want when you know it’s not right”. I wrote that in my book because I was reflecting on the losses in my life and how similar they are. Love, friendship, death, you name it. There was a time in my late teens when I was really going through it all. I then began to realize how that also connects to such a positive place. Not wanting to leave or let go of that person because it’s so hard to move on from those good times and memories. The track became so light and up-beat that it kind of surprised me. I guess I just didn’t expect it to take that turn. The depth of the lyric is still there. The heartache and pain of having to let someone go is there. Listeners can artistically interpret the song to their own depths and experiences because the vibe and energy invites them in. Also, who doesn’t love a good bop?
Do you have any techniques or rituals for getting into a creative headspace?
I love to take a second in a quiet space or corner and say some mantras aloud to myself. I believe if we feed the mind what we want to accomplish or feel, it will listen. By doing this, it allows me to let go of judgement and have an open heart for whatever is to come.
How hands on are you with the music you create?
I am super hands on. I love doing research before coming into the writing session. Educating myself on the production value and writing concepts I want to explore, helps me feel a lot more confident when creating. I always come in with at least 7-10 concepts for a song to set a goal and vision. I love collaborating and working together with my team.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve been faced with as breaking out as an artist?
I think the biggest challenge has been the idea that anyone can judge your music because it is out in the public. It is definitely a foreign feeling, but it’s the risk us artists take by sharing our work. There’s positives and negatives to it.
What artists did you look up to growing up?
I really loved Michael Jackson as a performer. His energy every time he set foot on stage was electric. I also adore Celine Dion. Her voice is unreal and so healthy. I love how she connects to the music she is singing and makes you feel something. I also find her warmup routine so fascinating.
How did your upbringing shape you as a musician?
I grew up in a very musical family. It inspired me to try new things with very little judgement and to explore what felt good and what didn’t. It taught me a lot about myself as I got older. I was able to take more risks without being scared. Trying new things can be nerve wracking. It’s important to fail, learn, and grow. It only makes you better!
You’re releasing a new EP, can you tell us what we can expect?
Yes! My EP is actually officially out! You can find it on all streaming platforms. I think you should expect to feel very connected to each song. Every track has a story. I wanted it to feel relatable to others while creating music that’s catchy and fun to listen to!
What do you hope listeners will take away from your music?
I want them to feel something. Whether it’s relating to it on a personal level or on a creative level. I want to connect to listeners through my past experiences. Music can be such a great outlet to feel emotion when things can be tough.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as an up and coming musician?
To not be afraid when trying new things that are out of your comfort zone. Like I mentioned before, it is a scary thing to do. Trying to be perfect all the time messes with your psyche and can get in the way of your creative process. Learning to let go has been such a hard thing to do as an artist. I still face it sometimes today. Being kind and forgiving to yourself is so important when creating and trying things that feel foreign.
How is what’s happening currently with COVID-19 impacting your career plans for 2020?
It is very unfortunate what the pandemic has done to not only my-self, but many other people in the music industry. Despite things being postponed or canceled, I really hope people are taking the precautions they need to take and are staying safe. This has changed some of my plans for the near future. In terms of live events, things might not happen till the end of 2020 depending on our current situation and how it plays out. I am grateful that social media is still around. I have time to now create some new content in terms of videos, images and much more. I just know this will all eventually be over. If I have to postpone my plans for the safety of others, it is definitely worth it at the end of the day.