If there is ever an example of someone who has found their passion and followed their dreams, it is Jade Castrinos. Jade has been making and playing music and dreaming of making and playing music since she was a little girl. Her creativity and deep love for music has helped her welcome a variety opportunities and challenges that explore many of the different facets of music making. She has both played in bands and worked solo (as she is now) and she is as skillful a songwriter as she is a musician and singer. And, though her outfits and hair continuously change and evolve, and her music constantly develops and grows, she maintains a unique warmth and charisma that could only possibly come from truly having a heart of gold. We got a chance to ask Jade a few questions about where and how it all started and what keeps her going. Enjoy!
Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Hi Jade. Where are you right now?
What are your plans for today?
I'm winging it. Might go record later this evening...
You've had some time since leaving Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to start some new creative adventures... What's the plan?
Well, the master plan is to write and sing and play forever, no matter what. Last year I went to a songwriters’ colony on Nantucket. It gifted me some great friends and collaborators and it also gave me vision as to what my record will be sounding like.
Can you plan creativity?
I can, but you never know... It has a will of its own. I try my best to stay open and keep a welcoming inner climate to foster it.
What, in particular, helps you foster creativity?
You've done a lot of traveling as a musician... do you ever get time to just travel?
I try to get out of town about once a month.
Where was the last place you went?
Where would you like to go next?
Where did you grow up?
I lived in Treasure Island, Florida, until I was four and from there, we moved to Malibu where I was raised.
Do you remember what your dreams were when you were little?
I had a recurring wave dream as a kid. But I don't think that's what you are asking... The earliest dream I can remember is wanting to make and play music (also, I think I wanted to be a gymnast for about five minutes after I watched the Olympics)
Ha! Actually, I was going after your sleep dreams! Do you ever still have that dream?
Funny you should ask- that wave dream followed me everywhere. The first few incarnations of it were always nightmares- running from a tidal wave is never fun...But a few years ago the dream changed. I met someone inside of the dream and they told me not to be afraid, they said I could survive the wave if I swam deeply… and so I did, and lo and behold the dream has never come back as a nightmare since.
Do you believe in fate?
When was the first time you cut your hair really short?
I've had a thing with cutting my own hair since I was about 7 years old… but the first time I cut off all my hair was on the anniversary of a friends passing.
Do you know any folklore about hair that you find particularly interesting?
I've heard that trimming your hair on a new moon makes it grow. Nowadays I see a haircut as a constructive destruction, almost like pruning roses to make way for new blooms…
That's such great imagery. It's really cool to see the many hairstyles you've rocked throughout the years and how easy you prove daring different hairstyles is!
When did you start singing?
I always sang as a little kid, but when I was about 11 years old I started writing songs and playing in a band with my dad...
What was it like to share that experience with your father?
Playing in a band with my dad as an adolescent was life changing. I felt free and supported - I certainly wasn't afraid to make a mistake in front of him which enabled me to discover my voice.
What musicians and bands inspire and influence you?
Any musician that plays or sings from their heart is a huge inspiration to me. I love Beach House, Patti Smith, Neil young, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Radiohead, The Kinks, and Miriam Makeba, to name more than a few. (There are way too many to list!!) but going back to the very beginning, I would say that my father has been a huge musical influence... as far back as I can remember, he always had a guitar in his hands.
What books and movies inspire and influence you?
The book "Women Who Run With The Wolves" has been a companion for over 10 years. It's a life changer. I can't seem to keep a copy of it because it's one of those books that longs to be given away... Any movie or book that has mystical or other worldly qualities instantly has my attention.
Why do you sing?
The first thought that comes to mind is that singing sets me free...The second thought that comes to mind, is that I sing for the love of it. The third and final thought that comes to mind is that Martha Graham answered this question better than I ever will, so, here's this quote of hers that has completely changed my life more than once:
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching..."
That is a really great explanation of an artist's desire to create and what it means to experience the world (even as a 'non artist'). How does this quote/perspective relate to the concept of perfection?
Good question... To me, the relationship between creativity and perfection is a paradoxical one. In a sense they are the best of enemies. Personally, the very thought of perfection can extinguish my creativity before it even starts...To be perfect, something must be complete. And to create, something must be wholly incomplete. But at a greater distance, both creativity and perfection are to be found walking together like the best of friends within the changing of the seasons, or the cycle of life and death or in the beauty of the rose, ever blooming, ever dying and ever blooming again. Ultimately, I don't know the answer to your question.
If you had one super power, what would it be?
If you could time travel, where/when would you go?
I think I would like go everywhere and see it all.
Coffee or tea?
Cookies or cake?
Flamin' hot Cheetos.