Jade LeMac is young but she's also wise. Her idols growing up range from fellow Canadians Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber to Bruno Mars and Adele. The kinship she shares with Bieber and Mendes, who came up through YouTube and Vine respectively, is reflected by her own rise to fame via TikTok. Social media proves to be an inescapable element of the pop star identity these days, and LeMac has done well to recognise its star making abilities. Nonetheless, LeMac has remained individual and grounded, as her debut LP release Constellations was released in early February.
Her work, which ranges from slow ballads with dark undertones, to airy pop hits, doesn't shy away from vulnerable topics, songwriting is a communicative vehicle for LeMac, one that allows her to understand herself better. The music process is therefore extremely instinctual for the 18 year-old, who knows a track is ready for release once she gets that fuzzy feeling in her chest. Unafraid of delving into topics around gender and sexuality, LeMac, who is queer, is a pop star for a new age. Constellations turns a new page in her artistic journey, of an artist who knows herself and is ready to share her work with the world.
Hi Jade, hope you are well! Thanks for chatting. For those unfamiliar with your sound, how would you describe your style?
Hi! I find it can be a little bit difficult to describe my sound simply because to me, my songs sound so different from each other – especially the content. Some are slower, more vulnerable songs, and darker sensual songs. But if I could try, I would say heavier pop with an edgy twist.
You gained popularity via TikTok, what is your relationship like with the social media platform?
Tik Tok has been a huge part of my journey as an artist. The app has helped me promote and share my music with the world, and has built an audience for me of which I wouldn’t have before. It has brought me to where I am today, which I am beyond grateful for.
Do you feel the pressure as a young artist to be marketable online? Is content creation tied into your musical practice?
I think presenting as “marketable” on social media is definitely a thing I constantly have to think about, and really do feel a lot of pressure to do so. Everything I do whether in person, or on the internet is tied to my music career, and it’s something I have to be strategic about. Sure it can be fun, but content creation is a job in itself and luckily for me it’s easy to tie it all into my music. But social media practically runs the world, and sometimes it feels as though it controls the music industry - so as an artist, it is so important to be active on it.
As a young artist what sort of directions do you hope to go in? What are some dreams of yours in regards to collaborations and tours etc?
I have big goals and big dreams, and I want to be as successful as I can be. I haven’t thought much about collaborations, but I hope to work with people who inspire me. There are so many artists I take inspiration from, especially people like Shawn Mendes or Justin Bieber who are both Canadian and have had similar beginnings. I am more than excited to start touring. One dream I’ve always had is to perform in Rogers Arena in Vancouver. I’m from there, and the first concert I ever went to was there, so it would be incredible.
Constellations, your big breakthrough hit, is an intimate love song, what makes songwriting for you such a useful processing tool for emotions?
Being vulnerable has always been a struggle. I have never been good at communicating. I get awkward and anxious, and I never end up saying what I actually want to say. But with songwriting, I sit by myself, wandering in my own thoughts and am able to write my exact feelings down. And there are also patterns in songwriting. You can rhyme, or need a certain amount of syllables. Having those certain challenges within writing can sometimes help me dig deeper and figure out or explain the way I’m actually feeling when I’m not exactly sure what it is. 
Who are some of your songwriting and singing influences? What music did you listen to growing up?
I listened to people like Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, James Arthur, Bruno Mars, Adele, and many more. One of my biggest songwriting inspirations is Sleeping At Last. I have always admired their songwriting and have thought it’s amazing. There is something about their lyrics and melodies that has me completely sucked in. I remember thinking to myself, “I want to be able to write lyrics like this one day.” The concepts, the metaphors, it all blows me away. It was and is very inspiring.
What does your songwriting process look like? How do you know when a song is ready for release?
My songwriting process is different for each song. Some songs are about personal feelings or experiences, and others are these completely fictional stories that I’ve made up in my head. Sometimes I start with the title, sometimes I start with a melody. Inspiration comes at different times, in different ways, from different places. I know a song is finished when I have that fuzzy feeling in my chest when listening to it. Music is all about feel to me, so when it feels right, then I know it’s right.
The music video for Aimed to Kill is lots of fun, what was the filming process like?
The filming process of that video was extremely fun. I had 3 of my cousins with me, so they all got to watch how making a music video works. One of them, Kieu, did my make up for the video, and I loved having her be part of the project. I remember it was such a long shoot, and we didn’t finish until 5 or 6am, but it was definitely worth it. We shot in this old motel room in east Vancouver. It was crazy to see how the crew fit so much equipment in a tiny room, with everybody in there as well! It was such a great time.
How do you see your queerness influencing your sound and style, which flits between genres? How does music allow you to express these different dimensions of self?
I’ve always been very open with my sexuality, and once I got comfortable, I began incorporating it into my music. Sometimes, it is very obvious, but sometimes I make it a little more subtle so that it’s open to interpretation and more people can relate, no matter the gender or sexuality. I think by doing that, I can express who I am and what I am feeling, and leave room for other people to resonate with it.
Meet you in Hell, has both a chill and normal version, what was the thinking behind recording two versions?
I do enjoy making a chill or piano version for a lot of my songs. It brings out different emotions, and a different feel. You can hear the lyrics and melodies a little bit more, and I think they can be more vulnerable.
Your album, Constellations has just come out. What can listeners expect from your debut?
They can expect 2 new songs, and to be able to see the journey I have been on as one whole piece. This EP is the first chapter of my story and I think it showcases how I’ve grown as an artist and songwriter. The differences between the songs feel major to me, and it reflects on how much I’ve learned over the past few years as I was writing it. I am very excited for people to hear, and for them to be able to give them these pieces of my mind.
Reflecting on the past year, what were some key highlights for you? What are you looking forward to in the year to come?
I think releasing Aimed To Kill was a big thing for me. It was my first ever darker song that I had released, and it had a really good reaction. I spent so much time working on that song and to see other people enjoying it as well felt amazing. Another big thing for me in this past year was getting signed to my record label, Arista, as that was obviously a huge step in my career. And, I am so excited for what the future holds. I am already working on more music, so I think that 2023 will be a very fun year!
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