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Interview: Jade Williams

01:16 13 June 2011

Sunday girl birds image

Sunday girl birds image

Singer songwriter Jade Williams talks to Claire Pitcher about how life suddenly went from serving in a pet shop in Broxbourne to singing on stage with Ellie Goulding...

ITS tricky getting hold of singer songwriter Sunday Girl Jade Williams. The 22-year-old from Broxbourne had delayed our interview for an hour on a Saturday morning because she had been at a DJ Charity Event at a hotel in Londons Mayfair until late the previous evening. This Sunday Girl, I concluded after our conversation, could do with a Sunday off.
So, the first question I simply had to ask Jade was why the name Sunday Girl?


In Broxbourne theres this little old fashioned pet shop called Paws and Claws and I worked there at the weekends, she says. The staff there always used to refer to me as the Sunday Girl it became my nickname. I liked how it was quite anonymous, so it just stuck as a stage name.


It seems Jade has had a fascination with animals since a very young age. She took biology and chemistry A-levels at Broxbourne School because at that time she had her sights set on becoming a vet.


I was always drawn to the science block because they had stuffed animals and weird and wonderful creatures in glass jars. I have several pieces of taxidermy in my flat now in Bow. I love the thought of the animals being real, when theyre really not.


Theres quite a difference between being a vet and a rising pop star. Jade has recently released her single Stop Hey and her album is set for release at the end of this year. I want its title to be pet shop related, she muses.


So what steered her away from animals and on to performing? I was always singing in my room and all over the house, she remembers, but I was terrified of singing in front of people. I never thought it was going to be my job to be honest but I kept having this niggling feeling that I should be doing something with it.


To cure her nerves, Jades mum took her to a hypnotist when she was 17. To see if it had been a success, she went along to a group choir practice for the day. It really worked, says Jade, my fear completely disappeared that was the turning point for me.


Big break


Jade never looked back and was soon spotted singing in a London bar. Her new manager then put her in touch with lots of songwriters and she began writing more and more, even creating a sound for herself.


I started writing lots of songs with a guy called Jim Eliot, who co-wrote and produced Kylies comeback song All the Lovers, she says. It wasnt long after her collaboration with Jim resulted in Stop Hey and record company Geffen snapped it up.


But Jade isnt a mass produced young female pop star like, say Britney Spears or Cheryl Cole. She has a very distinct type of music and I left it to her to offer up the best description My music can be serious but at the same time fun. I would say its colourful with a festival sort of sound. It makes you want to shut your eyes and put your arms out its summery.


Its been non-stop for Jade for the past couple of years, but one of the high points was going on tour as support for songstress Ellie Goulding last October. It was my first tour, so I didnt really know what to expect. It turned out to be so much fun Ellie was lovely.


First love


And its not just her music thats been keeping her busy. She studied art at degree level at Wimbledon University and now creates all her own artwork for the Sunday Girl merchandise and anything that needs to be hand-drawn. She even produces her own set designs.


Then theres her modelling and writing. In October 2010 she became the face of River Islands Design Forum campaign in support of the fashion industrys up and coming designers.


Her passion for fashion has seen her write features for Vogue on Paris Fashion Week and a monthly column for MSN Life and Style. Designers Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfield are her fashion inspiration.


During Paris Fashion Week I was invited to go to the Coco Chanel show. I went into Coco Chanels apartment it was a dream come true. So inspired was she, Jade is now collaborating with a designer to bring out her own line But its all hush hush at the moment I cant even tell you the designers name.


Jade clearly has a passion for all aspects of her work: Music and performing is my true love, though. Singing is so natural. Ive always been into fashion and that has become a by-product really, as has my art its all interlinked.


At home in Broxbourne


Born in Sidcup, Jade moved to the county when she was three years old and later the family moved to Broxbourne when she started secondary school. The eldest of five, she has two brothers and two sisters, but none of them, she reveals, are as artistically minded as her.


I am the only one who does music, or art, in my family. For a while I think my mum and dad just thought oh please just get a job but obviously they couldnt be happier now that they have got used to the idea of me performing.


Such a frantic time with work has meant Jade made a move to Bow in London just a couple of months ago but as convenient as living in the city may be, her heart is very much at home in Broxbourne.


I go back a lot and always visit Paws and Claws. I have to take advantage of being in the countryside too lots of walking, making sure we end up in an old country pub.


Shes also a frequent visitor to Hertford and Ware. I take my other half to dinner in Hertford all the time Lussmanns is one of my favourite restaurants then again, The Vine in Ware is pretty special too were spoilt for choice for places to eat.


Its pretty surprising to hear that a 22-year-old would prefer the smells and sounds of the country to the thrills and buzz of London, however this Sunday Girls distant plans arent so much living the celebrity lifestyle but more enjoying The Good Life.


Jade adds, The dream is to live in the country, on a farm, so I definitely will be back to Hertfordshire. I simply must own animals I should have been a farmers wife really.

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