We recently interviewed Jade Helliwell and chatted to her about her current ambassadorial role for Firestone’s ‘Road to the Main Stage’ competition. This is a grassroots music competition and open to all genres. Entries close on October 4th 2018 so get them in over at www.firestone.roadtothemainstage.co.uk.
CL: Why do you feel it’s important to be the face of Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage?
JH: I felt it was important as I really believe in what Firestone’s ‘Road To The Main Stage’ is trying to do in supporting emerging artists. Also, as I am an unsigned emerging artist myself I feel that it is important to show the authenticity of the competition to the competitors.
CL: How difficult has it been for you to get where you are now and in hindsight, what if anything, would you do differently?
JH: It’s been a lot of years of hard work and a lot of rejection. I think you need to take rejection to get used to it and push yourself even more. If I could do anything differently I would’ve made myself push myself more when I was younger (enter more competitions/travel further to play etc)
CL: Why did you choose country music?
JH: I started listening to country music a lot when I was around 19 years old. That was the same time I taught myself how to play guitar and began writing my own songs, so I think it just naturally influenced my writing style. My voice has a natural ‘country’ sound to it so it was a perfect fit.
CL: What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in music?
JH: I would say to go for it! Try take every opportunity you can and put yourself forward for everything possible.
CL: What was the 1st song you sang in front of an audience?
JH: The first song I sang in front of an audience was when I was 9 years old on a family holiday. I sang ‘Greatest Love of All’ by Whitney Houston.
CL: When did you start performing in earnest?
JH: After my performance of Whitney’s song on holiday I came home and recorded an album of cover songs and started performing regularly at my local Rugby Club (Batley Bulldogs) on match days. I went on to perform at charity events and private events over the next few years. It wasn’t really until I was 19 and began working on my own music and playing instruments that I started to think about it as a serious career choice.
CL: What was your most nerve wracking performance, C2C Festival at the O2 or Nashville Meets London?
JH: Out of the two I would say Nashville Meets London was the most nerve wracking. This was due to it being a bigger audience, the pressure of being the first on and not knowing if people would come catch my set and also, I had wanted to play the festival so badly that I didn’t want to mess it up now the chance had come!
CL: What do you do to calm your nerves?
JH: If I’m nervous before a show I just take time to myself side stage to breathe a little and calm myself down. I don’t often get nervous but when I do it disappears at the drop of a hat the moment the music kicks in. Sometimes I think I confuse the nerves with excitement.
CL: Where would you most like to perform?
JH: There are lots of places I’d love to prefer at different levels. I would love to perform at Leeds First Direct Arena as it’s my home city arena. I would love to perform at The Grand Ole Opry just like every other country singer! I’d also love the chance to play festivals like Glastonbury, British Summertime and Leeds Fest.
CL: When do your best ideas come to you?
JH: Weird as it is, mostly in the shower! Or when I’m out. Most of my ideas come from conversations I’m having or overhear.
CL: If you had the opportunity to perform a duet, who would it be with & what would you sing?
JH: On a huge scale I would love to sing with Celine Dion – I love ‘Tell Him’. I would also love to duet with Laura Oakes – I love her voice and she’s so lovely.
CL: Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
JH: Hopefully in 10 years I’ll still be doing what I’m doing. Performing, making music and writing songs.
CL: On your website and Facebook page it says you supported T-Rex but Marc Bolan died in 1977 before you were born?
JH: His ghost joined the gig? Just kidding! I opened up for them in their new form with the original drummer Paul Fenton. He still goes out as T-Rex and they play their songs.
Jade Heliwell Photo Credit: Colin Jones