Australia’s favourite pop star Samantha Jade has had an incredible journey since winning the X Factor over three years ago. The songstress has released her highly anticipated new album ‘Nine’, an awe-inspiring album that tells the messages of encouragement and empowerment. Spotlight Report spoke to Samantha Jade about her creative process, her rollercoaster journey in the music industry and how to deal with social media trolls.
So your album ‘Nine’ comes out tomorrow – can you tell us about it?
Basically, this album is very personal to me. You know I kind of went through a very tough year with my family and I started rewriting the whole album after that experience. So it is very close to my heart and it is dedicated to my mum and it’s very very personal to me.
Why did you choose your song ‘Nine’ to be the title track of the record?
Well nine is a really special number to my family and I and weirdly keeps coming up in my family. My brother was born on the 9th of November, and my other brother was born on the 19th of the 9th month of the year and I was born on the 18th and 1 and 8 together make nine. So its kind of like all these weird things coming together. So that is kind of why it’s called ‘Nine’.
Obviously, this is an incredibly pop album but what are some of the not so obvious influences of the album, that we might not think of immediately hearing your tracks?
Well ‘Nine’ in itself is a little bit more organic musically, it’s very simple. It’s not your usual pop track at all, it’s actually very different, and so is ‘Wait For It’. That track is a bit urban, I think there are a lot of urban influences on this record, especially with the 90s sound that I love and I was kind of really inspired by that when I was writing this album.
Yes, that’s right about ‘Nine’ and tracks like ‘Castle’ that are a bit more organic and simple and that carry messages of empowerment and are quite encouraging. How do you get a good balance through the album of super catchy pop and than tracks like Castle?
Well basically my whole idea for this record was a positive spin on negativity and I learnt that lesson in a very big way last year. I learnt how to wake up every morning and either chose the positive or the negative path and which one was the right one to go down. So for me that is where ‘Castle’ comes from and it could have been a very very bitter record but instead its intense thing written in a very positive way and how to see the light in it and that what the lyrics are. It’s about turning hate and any kind of criticism that you get into being constructive and being positive.
The press release sent out by Sony Music wrote “She isn’t a just a pretty young popstar on the rise, Samantha Jade is a woman of experience, determination” – do you think that really changed the way you approach music and the creative process of your album?
Yes, I think for me I have been in the industry for a really long time and a lot people from shows like me obviously do shows but they have come a different background, you know they might come from a normal job or whatever but I have come from the industry and I have been knocked down before so I really understood it and it left a big scare and music was my life when I went on the show. I think it is a really great way to be spoken about and I really am grateful for that because I do feel like I am respected and that’s kind of the only thing you can ask for in the world of music, is to be respected.
So you have collaborated with some amazing artists recently like Stan Walker and Pitbull, what is it like to collaborate with such people?
That’s probably the most fun experience ever because when you collaborate with other artists that are as passionate as you, it’s just so exciting. And it’s very rewarding, you learn from each other and it’s you know if they are nice, which most of them are, it becomes really nice to hear their story and their journey and someone like Stan is just such a lovely person. He has been in the industry for years, he won one of those first shows around so he is a great person and he is one of my favourite people to collaborate with.
What is one piece of advice that you have been give by some of these collaborators that you could take on to your own music?
Guy gave me a really good piece of advice. He is a good friend of mine and was my mentor on the X Factor and he once replied to a comment that was a hate comment and all his fans that have written nice things always say that all they want from him is just a reply and he ended up replying to a hate comment and all those nice fans were saying that it was so disappointing because he has just written back to that person and given them the time of day and so that really changed how I look at social media and how I react.
What a great piece of advice? I suppose social media can really be a negative place sometimes…
Absolutely. I think that social media is hard to understand at times too. People in the social media world can turn on you as quick as they love you. It’s very hard to understand where it is going and how to post at certain times. There is so much that goes into thinking about it but I just think that at the end of the day, there is a lot of keyboard warriors out there and they are behind their computer just saying something and unfortunately that was happening forever but we weren’t able to read when social media wasn’t around and now it is just in our faces a lot more. But that’s why you’ve got to be best friends with your ‘block’ button and that’s all I do – just go around and just block.
Through all the negativity online, and the rollercoaster journey that you have had in the music industry, and you often said that the X Factor was sort of your last chance – what keeps to motivated to continue to create music?
Well I am motivated by so many different things but I think it’s mostly my family and the X Factor was kind of my last chance personally because I felt that I didn’t have anything else. You know I have been in the industry and I worked with the biggest names, I was signed to the biggest pop label in the States and it still just didn’t happen for me. So for me it was about getting to the people and that is something that I didn’t get to do when I was signed to Jive, you know that really properly came out. So the X Factor was a chance to be in people’s lounge rooms and get people to understand and know me as an artist and who I am and that is how Australian’s work, they like to know that. We are quite a personable culture and so you just have to keep good people around you and not just ‘yes’ people but honest people and just work hard and understand that hard work is the base of all of it.
If you could give any advice to up and coming musicians to achieve longevity in their music careers – what would it be?
Hard work pays off. A lot of the time you work so hard and you just think ‘oh, I’m not going to get anywhere and I’ve done all this work’ but it does pay off, it always does in one way or another. It may not in the perfect way but it will pay off and you will have the moment of ‘oh, thank God I did all that for a reason’. That moment will come around.
Not sure if you heard the amazing news that Australia gets to participate in Eurovision again next year, we absolutely think you would make the perfect entry for Australia – if you were asked to participate would you?
Off course I would and thank you! I would love to do Eurovision, I think it would make an incredible experience and what an honor to go represent Australia in another part of the world but off course if they asked me I would be packing my bags right away.
Lastly, where has been the strangest place you heard your song being played and what was your reaction to it?
Oh wow, I’m trying to think of it. I have heard it in so many random places. Probably the weirdest place was when I was getting a spray tan and one of my songs came on and you know you are pretty much just in your underwear and that was pretty awkward. (laughs)
Samantha Jade’s latest album ‘Nine’ is out now via Sony Music Australia
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