Media Magazine - Article draft
British singing sensation, Jade McClune takes London by storm at Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball 2012, just weeks before releasing her new album. Jade was first bought into the media eye after reaching over 400,000 views within 3 weeks of posting a video on YouTube, but her career really began when she came onto ITV’s Opening Act UK. The 18 year old Urban artist was hunted down by the team of celebrity judges on the show and was chosen to open for Rihanna on her UK tour. Our Base correspondent was able to interview the singer, backstage at the Jingle Bell Ball to get the exclusive details about her first year as a credited Urban artist. Music has always been a huge part of Jade’s life (her grandmother was a singer and her grandfather was a music teacher at a local school). Her family claims that while the other children would go to the park or watch cartoons, Jade would be sitting in her room listening to music or playing the piano. ‘Music was her best friend, and that made her very easy to handle. I would just turn on the radio and she would be occupied for hours’ says her mother -but McClune’s innocence didn’t last long. As she grew older and formed her own tastes and opinions, Jade seemed to prefer urban music to the classical Bach and Mozart that she was bought up with. At the age of thirteen, she insisted on her mother enrolling her in hip-hop dance classes and would request her piano instructor to teach her more modern, contemporary songs. ‘When she first started I thought to myself ‘oh boy, this little girl definitely won’t have the attitude needed for hip-hop’ but as soon as the music started playing, she was in her own little world and that attitude was bursting out of every step she took’ says Lisa Freedman, Jade’s dance teacher. However, Jade’s inner singing star stayed within the four walls of her bedroom. Her love for music was evident, although her shy personality kept her from showing off her talents to the rest of the world. ‘I was always too shy to take part in the talent contests so I would sit at the back of the class with pen and paper and start jotting down lyrics instead. It’s like my voice was my own little secret and I was afraid of letting people in on that.’ When Jade was 17 years old, she decided to tell her best friend about her hidden talent. Pleasantly surprised, her friend dared her to post a video on YouTube, ensuring her that the feedback would be positive. The girls made a deal that if Jade didn’t reach 50 views within 2 weeks, she would delete the video and her singing talent would be their little secret. To her surprise, Jade got over 140 views within those 2 weeks, so was forced to keep the video up. Many viewers posted comments asking for another video and requesting songs for Jade to sing as well as endless amounts of compliments. ‘That definitely boosted my confidence. I was like ‘Wow...they like me! These people actually think my voice is good’ and that just gave me the courage to post more and more videos. The next thing I knew, singing on YouTube became a part of my every-day life.’ That was when Jade McClune, the Urban artist was truly born. Her confidence grew with each video she posted and her passion for the Urban genre was clear. At the same time, producers at ITV were scouring the internet in search of new armature singers for the UK version of hit TV show, Opening Act. One of the celebrity judges came across Jade on
Neha Raithatha YouTube and pitched her to the rest of the crew in a meeting. After listening to her rendition of Jessie J’s ‘Price tag’ and Beyonce’s ‘Listen’, the producers were sold and decided that she would be the perfect opening act for Rihanna’s 2012 UK tour. Jade’s mother was contacted and gave consent for the show to go undercover and confront her daughter about performing on the tour. ‘It was a terrifying decision to make. I was scared and worried about my little girl going on tour, working so hard in rehearsals all day then performing all night, and most of all being in the eye of the public and the media. But I knew that it would be a dream come true for Jade and I knew in my heart that this opportunity could not be missed’ That December, Jade was working at a department store in her local shopping centre, when she was confronted by one of the producers of the show, undercover as a customer. ‘I went into the store, pretending to be a normal customer who was buying a Rihanna CD as a Christmas gift and said ‘she has an amazing voice, doesn’t she? How would you like to be the opening act for her UK tour?’ A very confused Jade laughed off the question until she saw the camera’s come out from behind the shelves. The producer then introduced himself and explained to Jade that she was on a show called Opening Act and that they would like her to perform on Rihanna’s tour. Of course, Jade agreed straight away and the rest of that episode documented the five days up to the first performance at London’s O2 Arena. During that tour, Jade’s face was splashed all over the newsstands and her voice was heard on every radio station. ‘The attention was so weird to me. I had never had anyone talk about me or care about what I wore and where I went. I found it very difficult to cope with the paparazzi at first and I would get so pissed off that they were invading my privacy, but my manager kept telling me that I would have to get used to it. It’s just the price of fame.’ But McClune found the media scrutiny more difficult to cope with than she had imagined. In March 2012, she was close to giving up her career after she was involved in a car crash due to the paparazzi frenzy surrounding her car. Luckily, no one was badly injured, but Jade’s anger at the media was increasing. ‘It wasn’t just the paparazzi, it was also all of the magazines and papers claiming that she was anorexic and ‘too thin’ to be Urban’. However, that May, Jade was signed to Syco record label (owned by Simon Cowell). That was when the artist’s music career really took off. McClune was performing at various events (including a charity gala where she got to meet the Queen!) and on well-known TV shows like The X Factor throughout the summer of 2012, whilst spending long hours in the studio, working on her first album. When talking to Jade, she claimed that the first year of her career had been ‘a complete rollercoaster’, saying that she had to ‘hold on really tight to make sure I didn’t fall off’. However, with opening for a world-famous artist, meeting the queen, performing at the Jingle Bell Ball and releasing her own album under her belt, we think 2012 has been a pretty impressive year for Miss McClune! When questioned about the album, Jade said that it is called ‘Stronger’ and will be released on 21st December. ‘It’s a representation of me and all the other teenage girls out there –it is a passion for music, love and heartbreak - with a bit of added attitude!’
Neha Raithatha ‘Stronger’ represents Jade’s determination to succeed as an urban artist and how she won’t back down no matter what happens. Jade McClune, dubbed as ‘Britain’s singing sensation’ has definitely won the hearts of her fans. She is a refreshing, respectable, young artist with a passion for music and the true Urban swag – we see a long and very successful career ahead of her. Jade’s album ‘Stronger’ will be released on December 21st, but will be available for pre-order on iTunes from midnight on December 7th.