Get to Know Jadagrace [Interview]

Freddie Fine

Yesterday, Jadagrace and grouptherapy. shared their latest single, “Brand New,” the third single since their incredible album Truth Be Told earlier this year. It marks the last of the string of solo releases, with each member getting their own chance to shine. Ahead of the release, I had the chance to sit down with Jada to discuss the impact of grouptherapy., their processes, and her ever-expanding abilities.

I'd love to start off with a bit of backstory about you and grouptherapy. I'm sure many are familiar with how you guys formed through your shared experiences as actors, so I'd like to focus on more of what the last four years have been like for you, growing and creating music together with the group.

The past four years musically has been the best experience. I feel like when we started grouptherapy. was really when I started to find my identity just as a person, writing with them and just being vulnerable and, our name is grouptherapy because that's our process, just talking to each other as best friends. We're always just helping each other out, giving each other advice, and we use that in our music when we write. And I just think that I've learned a lot about myself through this process and honestly, it's just been the best journey. Doing this with my best friends, with my family - I've known TJ since I was seven, and I've known Coi for over a decade now. So it's been an amazing journey and it's crazy to think that it's already been four years. Honestly it feels like it's been forever, but it's been really fun.

And how did knowing them when you were younger and doing solo music impact your dynamic when you all began working together?

Honestly, I think if we didn't know each other this well, I don't think it would work out, just because we always have to work together and you just need a certain type of chemistry to be doing that. Especially performing and being on stage, we're always really happy when people come up to us and they're like, "Oh, we love your chemistry on stage and the way you guys just support each other and let each other shine individually."I think it's really important, if you're working with the other people, to not have an ego and just be happy for the other person. That's all we want. We love grouptherapy., but it's if TJ popped off it would make me so happy just because he's my best friend and we've been doing this together, so it's a beautiful thing, honestly, just to be doing it with them.

I love it. And then 2022 has been pretty busy for all three of you, most significantly with the release of truth be told, which is still on repeat for me, it's one of my favorite EPs of the year. But how has it been dropping your first project in nearly two years and that growth between the album two years ago and now the EP?

When we dropped it, we honestly hadn't even realized that it had been two years since the last one. It felt like time went by so fast and a lot of that is due to the pandemic. But I think that when we were coming with the next project, we were just like, "Ok, it's time to be more vulnerable," and I feel like we wanted it to be more concise and straight to the point, which is why it was shorter than the last project.But this time around, I think we just wanted to be more experimental and care less about what other people thought, and just take all the opinions away that everybody else had and just figure out what we wanted to say and what we wanted to sound like. So I'm proud of that project for that reason. I think that when you listen to it, you can really hear the vulnerability and just us not holding back in any sort of way and being honest. I think it's our most honest project to date and I'm very excited for people to hear the next one.

Can you speak on the next one at all?

Yeah, we're trying to release another project next year and we're in the studio right now, just honing in and figuring out what we want it to sound like. And so far it's sounding different, which is funny because we never know what we're gonna make. People always ask us, "So, when you go in [the studio], what's the goal? Do you guys have anything in mind?" And honestly we try just not to overthink it because when we do, we're just zoned in too much on one thing and we like to just let the music speak and enjoy the moment. So I'm very excited for people to hear this next one.

I can't wait! I want to go back a bit to what you were saying about being more vulnerable with the EP. Looking back on it now, even though there's only seven tracks, it feels like you all talk about a lot. How does it feel now that it is all out there, and then how does that impact moving forward into the next project?

Well, I think it's something that we just always wanna aim for, being our most vulnerable selves on our songs. Sometimes it's easy to just wanna make a hit, and that's not the goal for us. I just think for this project we really want to hone in and think about what we wanna say, and that's always really important to us, to be honest and not hold back, because then otherwise it's like,"What are we doing?" If we have something to say, let's put it on paper, let's put it in the song, even if it's just a line or two that really speaks to us. So yeah, I think that that's just our goal in general

And as a consumer, is that something that you also like to seek out in others' music?

Yeah, I think that, when you listen to a certain project or a song that really speaks to you, you just connect with that song in a different way. A great example of that is Kendrick, with his last album. You can tell that he really just poured his heart out on this album and he wasn't afraid to not hold back. That's really important for people to see, because I think sometimes people are afraid to say certain things, like, "Oh, this is how I feel, but maybe I shouldn't put it in the song." But this is your music and you're the artist and at the end of the day, people are listening to hear what you have to say. So being honest is very important.

Definitely. And does this honesty ever materialize on the track differently from the solo tracks you all do within grouptherapy. compared to the group tracks?

Honestly, I don't know if that affects it because we're really able to be honest with each other. For example, "Mistake" is one of our most vulnerable tracks and we were all able to give something really important to that song, but obviously when one of us has a lot to say on one subject, we tend to just let that person take the whole song and somebody will do backgrounds or something, because we don't ever wanna force it. Sometimes it's definitely that tJ has something to say and we're "Just go ahead. We're just gonna listen." But we've shared a lot of experiences and we've been through a whole lot together, so usually we all have something to pitch in.

When it comes to those tracks where someone might just take it by themselves, is that usually how you come to make those tracks? Or is it a separate process?

I mean sometimes people just cook up on their own and then will just send us a song in the chat and it'll be a rough draft, but then eventually we get in the studio and we fine tune it. But sometimes it's just natural for us to have those solo songs because we are individual artists as well. We made sure to show that from the very first project that if we can make a fire song, it may just be one person, but it's still from grouptherapy. and we all had something to do with it. For me specifically, I really love writing even my solo songs with them just because they have so much great input and a lot of amazing ideas. And we don't ever like to be like, "This is my song, it all has to come from me." If somebody has a fire idea, put it on the table and we're gonna work with it. So it's always catering to the music and making sure that the song can be the strongest it can be.

Definitely. Then segueing into the solo track that you have coming in a couple weeks, what was the process of creating that song specifically, and is there anything that you can tell us what it's about or that we should expect from it?

This song is honestly just me talking my shit. It's funny because in real life I am very shy, very timid, and when it comes to music and being on stage, I'm a totally different person. This song actually was made a while ago and it was over a whole different beat and I just left it alone until I met with Solomon Fox and he produced this beat and I was, "Oh, I think that this could be brand new." So yeah, I'm very excited about this one. It's got some Missy Elliott 90s vibes and that's always my lane, I love that so much, and just excited for people to hear it. It's one of my favorite songs I've done to date.

I'm looking forward to being out! You will also now be the third member to do a solo single, since the EP came out. Is there anything else that you guys have in store for the rest of the year after this track?

We are thinking about throwing some stuff out there that people have been asking for. There's some songs that are just on YouTube that people are like, "Why isn't this on streaming services?" So we've been talking about releasing some stuff that people have been asking for before the next project, so we won't be too silent.

And then a bit of a different direction, I saw that you recently directed and edited the music video for Citizen Queen, which is just so cool. Is this something that you have much experience doing?

It's funny because I didn't know that I wanted to direct until I started having to direct my own videos just because of the budget that we had. It was like, if I have the concept and the idea, I'll just execute it. I think after "raise it up!" I really started to realize that I loved directing and I love visuals, so when I got to start working with Citizen Queen and working with other artists - I have one coming up with my friend Simone - it's very exciting. It's just something that I love doing on the side and now when I'm doing my own music videos, I'm so involved and I just really care about the visuals. It's just a really big passion of mine. So I'm glad people notice and people are liking the videos, it's been really fun to do.

I really loved the video and you also edited this one. Is that something that you normally do as well? Editing is in a different field, so how did you pick up editing as well as the direction part of it?

Well honestly me and Coi usually edit all the grouptherapy. videos, just because after we shoot it, we usually know exactly how we want it to pan out. For some reason I didn't realize that editing was not that hard, so I'm always in Final Cut as soon as I shoot a video. They will tell you, I go home and I take the footage and I just immediately start editing because I hate having footage and it not being a video, it bugs me to death. But I love editing and I love seeing the video come to life.

This is a little random, but I'm curious, are there any other fields that you hope to endeavor into, related to music or not?

I mean, I don't put a limit on myself. I love fashion, eventually I wanna be in that. But I also act and directing is the thing that's catching me right now, but I for sure will probably be doing a bunch of other stuff that I don't even know I'm gonna be doing right now. So stay tuned, because I don't even know myself. I'm very adventurous.

Do you hope to continue always doing music as well, or could you see directing taking over as the main thing?

I think that music is almost second nature to me. I don't think I'll ever stop doing music, even if I get old and I just don't wanna release it, I'll still be doing it. I also love dancing, my first thing was really dancing when I was four, and I just realized that I didn't wanna be a dancer, but I am very glad that I can mix the two in and do my music and also direct my visuals and also dance. It's just sort of my dream come true and I'm very lucky to be able to do

I love that. I just wanted to end the interview by asking where do you see yourself 10 years or 15 years from now? What do you hope to accomplish, whether that's through music or as a person or just in a general sense.

I think I wanna be in different lanes, just establish myself as a director, as an actress, as a singer, and as a performer. I really look up to Rihanna because I just think that she's been doing this since "Pon de Replay" and she was almost a child when she did that, and now she's built a whole empire for herself. The stuff that she does now, I never would've guessed she would've done when she first started. So yeah, I wanna build my own empire and just have my name in the lights and be doing what I love. I just wanna be happy, honestly. And it's been great doing this with grouptherapy. they're my family, so I'm very happy right now.

I'm glad to hear! Jadagrace Empire coming soon. Well thank you for taking the time out of your day today Jada! Hope you have a great rest of your week, and congrats on the new release!


Check out Jada and grouptherapy.’s new single below!

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