Songtrust Spotlight: Lady Nade

LADY NADE started writing poems and songs as a form of healing from grief, performing in venues across her native city of Bristol. Her work developed into a calling to connect with her fans on a deeper level and help lead them through life’s complicated tapestry with the healing power of music. She pours creativity into every song, often lavishing them with a recipe to match. Lady Nade has learned that loss and grief isn’t something one can recover from alone and with her music and recipes she creates a communal experience that everyone can enter into on their own terms.

Her latest single release ‘Ain’t One Thing’ was nominated for UK Song Of The Year at the UK Americana Awards, held in January 2021 and released late 2020, promotes well-being, positive body image, anti-bullying, and anti shaming through musical expression. The ingredients to her follow up third album “Willing” are simmering away nicely, and will be brought to the table on June 18th 2021.

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Who inspired you to become a musician?

I grew up listening to my grandad’s rock’n’roll and americana records, it was me dancing around my room to his mixtapes. I listened to a wealth of various artists. Growing up I went from rock’n’roll and americana to The Spice Girls, and I think the early influence of listening to varied music then sent me on a journey. While all this stuff was happening, I was writing poetry and began writing songs influenced by the music I was listening too.

How would you describe your style of music and performance? How would you describe your philosophy and style as an artist?

Often described as an Americana / Folk Singer-Songwriter, one thing that’s always at the centre is staying true to my art regardless of the genre.

I’m passionate about health and well-being, and advocate music as a fundamental part of this, community and connection. My style is not restricted by pure forms of any genre. I like to champion and use my platforms in a positive way, whether it’s raising awareness to charities like Penny Bhron or as a recent Patron of Music Venue Trust. I love getting behind a good cause. My latest single promotes well-being, positive body image, anti-bullying, and anti shaming through musical expression.

What drives you to create, and how do you define success for yourself in music?

Everything and everyone: real life experiences, love loss, and hope are common themes in my lyrics. My forthcoming album "Willing" is a collection of stories about love and friendship, both regular subjects for me. Songs that explore self, loneliness, and all of those emotions, or that bring you a sense of finding and losing those feelings, many people can relate to this, especially now during these strangest of times. Success for me is regular connection and collaboration with the community of artists and fans, which I’m so grateful to have.

How do you think the music industry can develop into a more equitable and inclusive environment for women music creators?

Transparency, honesty between industry and artist, and artists with each other is important. There is space for us all to thrive, we are stronger if we work together! We need an environment that allows all women to feel safe; to make their own decisions, be able to do the jobs they want to do - like producing and engineering - to do them without having imposter syndrome, to feel comfortable and equal in the space that men have had the lead in for so long.

I hope that other Black female artists can feel empowered in whichever genre they connect with within the music industry. That they feel they can express themselves through their art and not feel diminished by others due to their gender, race, sexuality or disabilities. I hope for equality.

Do you have any advice for young women musicians just starting their careers, based on what you’ve experienced?

Communicate, reach out, and use the networks for women in music and women in business. If you're shy, then find just one other person who you can be accountable with, practise self-love and gratitude, know you are enough, and that there is a seat at the table for you.

From your view, what other kinds of marginalization and erasure does the music industry need to ensure we don’t enact in the name of gender equality?

I think we need to strive for equality inclusion across the board. It needs to be an environment where everyone feels safe, able to speak out, and be themselves. To achieve this we can't strive purely to bring women to the forefront without considering how we include non-binary and differently-abled as well as mental health and race equality. We need action that has a long-term plan and results, not just signposts.

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