TransVocalizers — Jade London

| Oct 8, 2012
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Jade London

A while back, Miss Jade London was brought to our attention in one of the This Week In Transgenderism listings. At that time, she had won the Ottawa’s Next Drag Superstar Competition. Since then, she has also won the Miss Ottawa’s World 2012 competition, just recently in September.

Jade London has been a very well known Canadian drag entertainer for several years, and is also a fashion designer. As with most drag artists, she started by lip syncing. However, she is moving towards using her real voice and has worked on a music video. She has plans for an upcoming full length album, although no release date has been made available.

This is a young lady whose career in drag is taking off in a big way, and who is in the process of re-inventing herself as a vocalist. Along with her fashion design work, she has also worked as a dancer professionally. Jade has been gracious enough to submit to our interview process, and we’re happy to introduce Jade London to TGForum readers.

TGForum: I read in an article that you first started doing drag in 2008. Prior to that time, what was your background?

Jade London: Besides school plays and choir, I have taught and danced for Soma Selepak traditional Cambodian dance for 11 years. I also was a dancer/instructor with Future Shock and Culture Shock, non-profit organization for 8 years, traveling all over Canada and the U.S. A.

TGF: What lead you into drag in the first place?

JL: As a backup dancer for Robyn De’Cradle, she requested me to do it in drag for Ottawa Pride. After agreeing, the love respect and attention really caught my interest.

TGF: How supportive is your family?

JL: Well, there was always a lack of communication and understanding, especially having them coming from a foreign country. Progressively, they are getting more and more supportive, having them see me more happy in my life.

TGF: What’s the GLBT scene like in Ottawa? How well accepted are transgender people/crossdressers?

JL: The GLBT scene is very mixed. I find in any community or scene, you will have a lot of differences in it, but in the end of it all, we all want the same thing. There are a lot of people who don’t understand the whole aspect of drag and trans and I feel we need a lot of help within the GLBT to make it more understandable. I feel like my job is to educate and send awareness one step at a time. People in my life are very accepting, but you will always have people asking questions.

TGF: Musically, what are your influences? What did you listen to growing up and what do you listen to now for your own enjoyment?

JL: Growing up with a cultured family, I always listened to Cambodian music. I love it. Being born and raised Canadian, it’s extremely important to keep as much culture in your life. Right now, I love listening to a wide variety of songs: pop, hip-hop, dance, kpop.

TGF: You’ve just recently shot your first music video. Can you talk about it at this time?

JL: Its called Fab U Lous. My music producer, Steve Gardiner created a beat for me and in a short period of time I was able to write lyrics to it and record it. I used it as one of my competition performances in Winnipeg for Canada’s Next Drag Superstar. I received great responses from the judges and crowd. It’s a very catchy, fun, groovy song. Hints of dance, pop, and rock. Mike Valenti helped produce the music video which was shot in Ottawa. I came up with many creative images to showcase a wide variety of being Fab U Lous. It’s in the works to be on iTunes in the near future.



TGF: I’ve seen several YouTube videos that have you lip syncing, after all your recording and video work is done, do you plan on singing live from now on? Plan on using backing racks or live musicians?

JL: I’ll definitely keep lip syncing, playing characters and emulating artists and putting on a show. That’s what drag is all about and I wouldn’t wanna change drag completely. Most night clubs were not set up to have live singing. When the time is right, I would love to sing to my own tracks.

TGF: Do you write your own music and lyrics? Play any instruments?

JL: Most of the time I do write my own songs, but when I hear an amazing song, sometimes I just have to remake it and create a cover. At school, I was taught percussion like drums and keyboard, but that was years ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t been keeping up with it. But I have a great ear for producing music.

TGF: Since you also are a clothing designer, do you do all your own stage costumes as well? Do you plan on incorporating your fashion work into your music more and more?

JL: I don’t do all my costumes on stage. Not having time plays a huge factor. However, I will create my costumes if permitted. I do plan on creating a fashion collection/show, Jade London Designs, hopefully by the end of 2013. (I’m) Creating my designs with several inspiring designers.

TGF: You plan on doing a full length album project. Anything you can talk about concerning that project at this time?

JL: It’s definitely something I’m considering in the future. I want to release several singles before any major album comes out. Being a new recording artist, I have a lot to learn and I have a lot of experimenting to do before I discover my style. For now, I’m having a lot of fun playing with different genres.

TGF: What advice would you offer to any young performer just starting out as a drag entertainer/artist?

JL: Always be willing to step our of your comfort zone. Never stop experimenting. Always research and self-criticize. Being creative doesn’t come easy, so find ways to make it easy — dance classes, theater work. Always have fun and listen to your heart.

TGF: In closing, any final words?

JL: I love doing drag. It’s an excellent way to combine all of my talents and create an amazing empire. I’m a hairstylist and make up artist, dancer, singer, model, fashion designer. Anything to do with entertainment, design and art, I enjoy. I don’t want to be just a drag queen who performs in clubs. I have a lot of people working with me, for me, and helping me, but mainly I have a lot of people who believe in me. I want to build a brand, a company, an empire. I’m capable of so much and I plan to use it. Most importantly, I feel I am an amazing representation of what can be — something huge. Why limit myself?

Contact Jade London through her agency, GMC Productions, c/o Gia Irina Provenzano,; 613-680-3317 office, or 613-620-9534 mobile, or email.
(Photos by Alexei Kintero.)


Well known Las Vegas impersonator Jimmy Emerson has posted a YouTube tribute to David de Alba, in recognition of David’s continued success and upcoming show in Las Vegas at The Onyx Theatre on November, 11th.

As mentioned previously in our Perpetual Change companion column, Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time gospel Hour is now a regular feature every 3rd Sunday at New York City’s The Duplex (61 Christopher St., NYC) Current show dates are November 18, December 16, and January 20.

Jazz musician Jennifer Leitham’s documentary film biography I Stand Corrected has been winning prizes at many of the film festivals in which it has been presented. The film has now been selected to complete in the Acrlight Cinema 2012 Documentary Competition in Hollywood. The five finalists are chosen on the strength of voting for each trailer. Anyone can vote, and there are two different voting methods: the Arclight Facebook link and on YouTube. For more information, check out Jennifer Leitham’s website. There is a separate web page for the movie itself.


No Doubt Push And Shove

This is No Doubts’ first album release in 11 years. While the band (Gwen Stafani, vocals; Tony Kanal, bass; Tom Dumont, guitar; and drummer Adrian Young) were busy raising families and working on some solo projects, they maintained the friendships forged at the beginning of the career, which now heads into its 26th year.

The music on Push And Shove shows the definite growth and maturity that you’d expect from a band that’s been around this long. There’s also plenty of material that will keep the band on current radar screens everywhere. The best dance material is Settle Down, Looking Hot, and the title track Push And Shove which is also one of the projects ultimate standout tracks.

Also notable are Undercover (one of the better production moments and probably the best rock tune on the project), and Undone (laid back, and perhaps Stefani’s best vocal on the album; she’s at her intense, emotional best on this one). One of the best overall musical moments is found on Easy, while Sparkle is something I really didn’t expect to hear . . . reggae, but very orchestrated.

For No Doubt fans, this album will be worth the wait. Push And Shove might just gain the band some new fans as well, since it offers a mature sensibility while managing to still have some very fun musical moments.

Nelly Furtado The Spirit Indestructible

With 18 tunes, Nelly Furtado’s newest release, The Spirit Indestructible is a very long album. As could be expected, Furtado delivers some high intensity material that will fill dance floors as well as concert halls. However, she does stretch enough to make this long set very listenable and interesting.

Vocally, her higher register is found on the in-your-face dance tracks, such as the title cut Spirit Indestructible, High Life, Parking Lot and Waiting For The Night, which is also one of the better production moments.

She doesn’t shy away from lighter rock material, either, and the best examples here are Bucket List, Believers (Arab Spring),Hold Up, and Be OK.

Along with the title cut, other stand out tracks are The Most Beautiful Thing (very sparse musically, reminiscent of Kate Bush, with excellent harmonies from Furtado and Sara Tavares); End Of The World (starts with piano and voice, then becomes very well orchestrated; shows a different side of Furtado, especially in a lower vocal range; probably the album’s most dynamic tune); Don’t Leave Me (a reggae feel I wasn’t expecting to hear), and Thoughts (with the Kenyan Boy’s Choir; done with acoustic guitar, it’s a simple tune, but the choir brings a power to it that it otherwise wouldn’t have). The album closes with a remix of Thoughts, but in all truth, it doesn’t surpass the original version. Regard this as a sort of unhidden “hidden track.”

Given all the stylist changes on The Spirit Indestructible, Furtado handles them all expertly and shows her true vocal ability. Furtado shares writing credits on each song. Also, there are different producers and musicians used throughout, so you’ll have to check the CD insert for proper credit.

Nelly Furtado is also involved with the international aid organization, Free The Children.

Cher Lloyd Sticks And Stones

Cher Lloyd’s Sticks And Stones alternates between intense vocals and very in-your-face rap. Of the project’s 10 tracks, the majority are definitely danceable. The somewhat sparse sounding With UR Love, along with Oath, Swagger Jagger, Playa Boi and Superhero are the best examples here. That last mentioned tune, Superhero, is perhaps the most interesting thing on the album. It’s almost a throwback to a late ‘50s-early ‘60s rock feel.

Other interesting cuts are Behind The Music, (the closest thing to a rock tune on the album, and one of Lloyd’s more intense vocals), and Beautiful People (with Carolina Liar, this is a very laid back tune for Lloyd, and is probably the most musical moment on the album.)

All in all, fans of danceable, rap-centric material will be hearing a lot of Cher Lloyd’s Sticks And Stones soon.

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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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