INTERVIEW: Jade Hassouné Debuts as J4DE With His First Single “Insta Story”
With Shadowhunters coming to an end, our favorite seelie, Jade Hassouné, takes on the music world as J4DE. His new single, “Insta Story” debuted this month and is now available in Apple Music, Spotify and several other platforms for streaming. Learn more about his music below!
Welcome back to Defective Geeks, Jade! Or shall we say, J4DE? We’re so excited for you and your debut EP. How are you feeling about releasing your music to the world?
Hi! Thanks so much! Makes me very happy. I feel so excited about this new phase in my life. I won’t lie, it was quite the vulnerable feeling when I put my music out there, I felt unsure about how it would be perceived. It’s one of the first time I’ve put anything that was completely mine out there into the world, especially something so personal and where I made artistic choices that were very bold like the super pop-y style of music and the auto-tune vibe of the song which to me represents the filters of instagram. I do love me some auto-tune though but some people judge it. And since they have nothing else to compare it to, it might seem like a mistake or trying to make myself sound good. But I had a vision and I stuck to it, and the response has been very positive! Besides, the fans is who I am doing this for anyway. This is just the beginning and it is picking up momentum which I am very happy to see!
“Insta Story” is so full of soul and incredibly catchy. What inspired this particular song and where did the title come from?
Thank you!! That means a lot to me to hear that. I laugh because the song gets in people’s heads and my friends tell me they can’t get it out of their mind and I can’t help but smile. The story of “Insta Story” came from a heartbreak I had, I met someone who I spent a few beautiful days with on my trip last year and even though we shared some great intimate moments, the person didn’t love me back the same way. And when we left each other, I kept seeing the insta stories showing me that this person was fine without me. Watching these hurt me but I kept clicking on it because I wanted to stay in touch with this person’s life. I soon realized that for my happiness, I had to stop looking at the stories and posts, and the only way I was going to be okay was to let go of the attachment I had. And so one night I took my power back, and I wrote this song.
“Not gonna think of all the dope things then that I did with you” “That’s why, I’m not gonna click on your icon to watch your story…Cus I know it’s gon’ hurt me.”
I can tell there is so much sincerity behind your music while listening to “Insta Story”– what is it like putting your own soul out there? Who or what do you think about when you’re singing and creating music?
I felt very vulnerable I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how people felt about the music, especially my peers who also make music. I was very aware that I had created a very packaged pop song, auto-tune and all, because that’s how I had heard it in my head. But everyone has their opinion of that, and the people who know me told me things like “why did you put auto-tune in your song, I know you can sing, why cover it up.” But I stuck with it because that’s how the song sounded in my head, and I wanted it to sound like a metallic version of my voice, an “instagram filter” of who I am.
I stuck with my creative vision and when they hear the full EP, it will make sense to them. This is just the beginning and even though I felt like a baby in the world of music, I am starting to regain my confidence. My second single is all about owning yourself and not listening to people’s negative criticism. It is useful to hear people’s feedback, but when it relates to a past aspect of yourself, it’s kind of pointless to look back and judge a past creation, especially when you’ve grown and moved on to become a better artist with your next creation. That what my next single is about: moving forward. “To the Next”.
Who did you collaborate with when creating Love Letter To A Fandom?
All the songs are produced by my best friend of 10 years: Dylan Gouze (producer name DLN) in Montreal, Canada. He and I have been working together on music for a while and have been talking about it since we met in theatre school. When I came back from my Shadowhunters Conventions tour last year, I was so full of inspiration and passion and had such a clear vision that he jumped on board to create this project and we focused on it all year long. We worked with different mixing engineers from our home city Montreal, and some mastering studios in Toronto. Both DLN and I wrote parts of each song, or I would come with a song written and he would complete it or give me ideas to make it better. We compliment each other very well. In the next EP I will be collaborating with other singers and producers and expand our horizon.
Did you find it challenging to switch gears from being an actor to a musician, or did it feel natural? What advice would you give anyone else who might be having doubts about pursuing creativity outside their comfort zone?
Music has always been something I did, and so it was natural in the sense that I always knew this day would come. What was new is writing and performing my own songs, instead of interpreting other people’s songs in covers, for example. It was more about believing in myself as a songwriter, as a story teller and just creating something and deciding that it was done, that I would stop obsessing over making it perfect. Art can always be improved upon and everything can be worked on in infinity, but it’s just about finding trust in what you create and not judging what comes out.
Each song is its own little work of art, and I think what makes art interesting is the little imperfections and scars that are part of the art / story. I’d say just create stuff for the joy of creating, put it out there, and move on to the next creation. With every new creation you become a better artist, and so spend less time judging yourself, and always reach for the new, for the more.
Your fans are obviously very loving and loyal to you. How have they responded to J4DE and the music? What are you hoping they’ll take away from when the full album is released?
They have been so incredible and everyday, new ones discover my music. It’s been so cool to see that they are listening to it across the world and that they believe in me. My wish was to have them listen to the music in their day-to-day adventures, like going to work/school, traveling on the bus, driving around, while they drew art work or studied, while they partied with their friends. And I’ve been getting wonderful messages saying just that! I have also been so touched to hear that the song is relatable and that they connect with the story or that it has helped them during a difficult period. I wrote this song in a very sad state, while I was coming out of a heartbreak and I feel like my job is done when I hear that it has helped even just one person. I love hearing people tell me that their baby has stopped crying or started dancing when they heard the music. Makes my heart sing.
You really connect with people on your Instagram in a very fun way. Do you find this closeness and instant reaction on social media with your fans pretty rewarding?
Yes! That’s why I released “Insta Story” first. It’s because we all connect through instagram the most and I wanted to tell a story that we can all relate to in one way or another. We are so lucky to have this connection and to auto-support each other in this way. I cherish them very much.
Do you have any plans on connecting your fans with your music more and more in the future through live tours or events?
Absolutely!! I am working on making this happen for sure. But before physically doing shows around the world, I have created a whole Patreon platform subscription plan that will allow us to connect on a closer level, way beyond what we can do on social-media, where meet-and-greet and live concerts will take a digital form online with live video chats. And as the audience and subscribers grow, it will allow for a budget to create a tour to create events to create concerts in the cities where they are the most. There are so many options, be part of my inner circle and receive VIP access to merch, events and concerts.
I’ve also created a documentary behind-the-scenes series of my transformation into J4DE, my process of creating the music, rehearsing, and also footage from my Europe Tour that I am shooting as I go right this minute, that they will also have access to on Patreon. You’ll get an inside look at my day-to-day life. The docuseries episodes will be some of the first content included in my page. I’ll also release never before seen videos from my phone, scans from my note book where I wrote the songs, drew some sketches, voice-memos of when I first invented some tunes, they’ll have first access to new tracks and advance announcements of many projects that are to come. Stay tuned for the launch of my page coming soon!
Lastly, do you have a message to your fans about your music that you would like to tell them here?
Thank you for believing in me! The more you share the music with your friends and loved ones, the more our family will grow and the more chances we will have to meet across the world and sing together. Follow me on Spotify or Apple music or Deezer, join me anywhere you can and we will continue this connection we have had since Shadowhunters and we can continue to live and love together. I am so excited for you to hear my next single called “To the Next” which is coming out in July! The song is all about doing your thing no matter what people say or think of you! But first you’ll get to watch the “Insta Story” music video coming really soon! I love you!!!