Jada Michael has shared a stunning acoustic version of her single Freak.
The Miami-based singer-songwriter is carving out a space for herself as a queer body-positive Black woman in an industry that’s in need of a good shake up, and she’s got the talent, confidence and great music to back it up.
Latest single Freak is a sultry, sex-positive slow-jam about a night spent with a lover, and the acoustic version premiering here on Gay Times gives the track an even more intimate vibe as Jada’s hypnotic vocals soothe over minimalist beats.
“A lot of times when I hear a track it takes time to think of what story I want to tell but from the moment I heard Freak it just came together. The vibe of the music is laidback, sexy, confident and bold so I just ran with that lyrically,” she tells us.
“It’s conversational and forward, what you might say to your girl, guy or person when you get in that mood. Out of all my singles it probably feels the most authentic to who I am. I’m happy people have been as excited about it as I am.”
To accompany the acoustic version of Freak – which you can hear below – we spoke to Jada about the importance of representation, her future plans for music, and why it’s “non-negotiable” that people show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
How important is it for you to be visible as a plus-size queer Black woman in the music industry?
The lack of diversity in the music industry is absurd. I feel honoured to be a part of filing those massive gaps and offering representation to people who have been denied that experience. Each and every kind of person deserves that visibility and representation. I also notice that with artists in groups newly present to the ‘mainstream’, people feel very comfortable describing the way they are allowed to be who they are. Like everyone wanna tell the fat girl how to be fat, you get me? The way skinny, straight girls deserve to do their thing and not be labeled as ‘the voice of the skinny, straight girl community’ is what I would hope for myself and all other people who don’t fit the mold.
What would it have meant to see more people like yourself in the music industry when you were younger?
It could have exponentially decreased the amount of time it took me to come into myself, like big time. I think that’s probably how all underrepresented communities feel, honestly. There’s a reason parents have been monitoring what/who comes around their children since the beginning of time. Role models are important. I’m proud that I found myself on my own but society is wild for how little love they show black girls let alone fat black girls.
Do you think the music industry does enough to support and celebrate queer artists right now?
Umm, fuck no. Nowhere near enough. I’m happy to see these beginning steps of minimal visibility but I still feel that straight people can easily go their whole lives not having to see, know, let alone understand the queer community the way we are forced to do with them and their life style every day at every moment.
With the Black Lives Matter movement getting so much deserved attention around the world right now, has that changed the way you think about music – and the impact it can have on the world – in any way?
Honestly, no. The journey to this current movement has been long and heavy. The information that’s new to a lot of the world has been common knowledge in the black community from the beginning.
How important is it for allies to show their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement right now?
It’s non-negotiable. It’s always been non-negotiable. And that’s because one can’t exist without the other. If you’re not showing solidarity, you aren’t any ally.
Do you have plans for an album or EP in the future?
Yes I definitely do. I’m super excited and eager to create new material. So much musical, emotional and spiritual development has happened since my last time recording and filming and I want to be able to show that. Let’s be real, so far 2020 has been a disaster but the pain has served as a teacher, so I hope to share my experiences and lessons in the new music.
You can stream more from Jada Michael on Apple Music.