- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Daan Dam
- Fashion Olive Duran
- Hair Kosuke Ikeuchi
- Beauty Victoria Reuter
Jayda G is the Candian born Berlin-based DJ creating an empire of her own and bridging the gap between electronic music and saving the oceans.
Hailing from the small town of Grand Forks in Canada, Jayda G spent her childhood roaming the surrounding forests, mountains and rivers in abundance. It’s these early roots that Jayda G has grown from that you can now find embedded within everything she has created. Jayda’s widely popular and celebrated electronic music is adored my masses who go to lose themselves or find themselves on the dancefloor. Whether it’s to her explosive electronic beats, soulful disco selects or formidable house music. Jayda G welcomes everyone to let themselves go without judgement. After many successful years playing some of the world’s most legendary venues and festivals such as Panorama Bar and Dekmantel Festival, Jayda G is here to reclaim what’s rightfully hers.
Jayda G is no stranger to entrepreneurial spirit; creating her record label ‘Freakout Cult’ in 2015 that birthed her debut “‘Jadyaisms'” EP. Following on founding JMG Recordings in 2018. The idea behind the new label was to create a platform to release her own material and collaborations, as well as music from artists that inspire her. Jayda’s ambition is an inspiration for everyone looking on how to do things their own way. What gives Jayda G an edge like no other is her ability to get people to listen beyond her carefully crafted infectious beats and rhythms to what she has to say. However, Jayda G’s hunger for knowledge has allowed her to be able to recognise that the space she creates within her live performances makes people feel connected. Especially in a society where disconnection is so prominent.
Only then, within that space can you truly communicate and care about the issues going on in the world as a collective. Thematically, Jayda G’s empathy transcends long after the party is over. With the launch of her newest endeavour, JMG Talks, shows that Jayda’s burning passion for caring for the planet is more than just a hobby. These series of talks seen Jayda G met with acclaimed young scientists and PhD students to openly discuss, in front of an audience, their work in their field in a welcoming and understanding approach. That way, Jayda G believes, is how we tackle the issues within today’s society. With more than a busy schedule, we catch up with the inspiring lady herself to talk about how each of us can contribute to the environment, the importance of being alone and what’s next to come for the inspirational Jayda G.
What are the Jayda G rituals before a set?
My rituals involve being by myself, I always try to have a rest as I find this invigorates me to perform. I need some time to be quiet by myself; to quiet the mind and soul. That way when I perform I can give as much energy as I can so that people have a good time along with me. Oh and I gotta make myself look cute [haha].
How has living in Berlin expanded and limited your musical talent?
Living in Berlin has definitely expanded my musical talent. A really big thing for any job is that you have to be available, and if I stayed in Vancouver where I lived previously, I wouldn’t have been able to be easily available. It’s super important in terms of being building your profile and fan base, and Berlin has really helped me in that way.
In terms of limiting my musical talent, I’d say the only limitation is in order to be creative you have to get in contact with the things that inspire you. For me, the things that inspire me are my home in Canada and nature. These things really give me life. So Berlin is lacking in those ways, but overall I’d say Berlin has expanded rather than limited my talent.
Where has been the best place you have performed?
Oh gosh… so many places have been so great in terms of performing that it’s hard to pick just one. I’d say the UK overall; performing there really speaks to the people there. Like playing soul, disco, and house is so well received. I do love performing in Berlin – I had a recent show where I played at Renate, and it was an outdoor party on the first day of summer and oh my gosh, that was such a fun show. The energy in the room was just so perfect and everyone was with me. That’s what you’re really trying to do as a DJ; create a collective and oneness with everyone there on the same frequency as you. That’s when the magic happens. The USA is also incredible. Every place has its differences in terms of why it’s fun, and I’m open to all of them in a positive sense.
Having a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management and being a huge science lover, has this interest inspired your music in any way?
YES! My love for nature and science has definitely influenced my music in the sense that I try and inform people about my background. That’s been something I’ve always wanted to do. Only now am I really able to realise that. I guess in a rudimentary sense, I use a lot of nature sounds like on my album with the songs ‘Orcas Reprise’ and ‘Missy Knows What’s Up’. I used a lot of Ocra sounds on the first track as I worked with Orcas on my thesis. Also, ‘Missy Knows What’s Up’ informs people what’s going on with the Orcas and the ocean.
A lot of young creatives are torn between studying and purely creating, what is your advice to those who may be struggling with that choice?
I totally can relate to this. I LOVE learning; it’s the greatest gift we are given as human beings. Purely creating though really allows you to express yourself, and to communicate anything that you are learning. It’s truly a balance. I think the biggest thing which is really difficult to do is creating that space that allows to express whatever it is you want. If you’re not studying you’re gonna be working. It’s really about time management, honouring yourself and giving yourself time to flourish whatever your desires are as a creative person. For me it’s not a 9-5 thing, it’s a 6 – 10 pm process where after work you give yourself that space to allow yourself to do what it is you do. It’s gonna help you go to your job more replenished because you’re giving that space to yourself in a very rudimentary sense.
What type of experiences are you aiming to give your listeners?
The main type of experiences are truly two things. I want people to feel free, free to be themselves, free to express themselves. To not feel judged, to not feel like anything is holding them back. I feel like I’m able to do that by expressing myself. In my sets, I try to hone in on a freeness for my own personal wellbeing. I really try to give it my all as it’s truly me. By being myself I’m able to give my audience space for them to truly be themselves. The best compliment I’ve ever been given was “you being you has given me the freedom for me to be me”. That’s what it’s truly all about. The second experience is a collective oneness. When everyone is connected, especially when we live in a society where everyone is so disconnected is so special. When you’re able to create that space you begin to care a lot more as human beings.
What is it about the oceans that interests you, and being an environmentalist could you name a few simple ways we could prevent the extinction of sea animals?
Thank you for this question [haha]. First, I love the ocean. I miss it so much; that’s probably my only negative of Berlin is being so far from it. Being landlocked is difficult guys. As you guys know, we have a huge issue with plastic being in our oceans. I just heard that the EU and UK are starting to ban the single use of plastic so that’s one definite way that we can help our sea life. You know, just being aware of what we’re using. Give attention to your day to day activities. Ask yourself is it really important to use this staw or this plastic bag. Just being aware and through this awareness, you can change your habits. Its one of the biggest things I’m learning myself is that it’s really hard to change one’s habits. Its really difficult being told what to do. That’s why I always try to say awareness; if you really stop and think that will help your actions in the end.
- Suit WWWM
Tell us about how you got into music?
I don’t think I really had a choice in the matter coming from a highly musical family of deep music appreciators. My father was always a huge influence for me, he always collected music and we always had music playing in the house. Even to this day, my mom loves classical, opera and jazz. That’s the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is put on music. So I don’t think I really stood a chance of not being into music [haha]. I was also classically trained in violin and piano as a child, through those, I just always had an interest in music. Later on in life, it really was just taking the plunge and buying those decks. If anyone can take home something from this interview is just really giving yourself a chance and not being scared to do it.
What’s next on the radar for Jayda G, musically and personally?
At this point, the album that came out in March and the response to it has been so overwhelming in a positive sense. I’m beside myself with happiness. So many people have just come up to me and said: “I’ve been listening to your album and it just gives me so much, it gives me the best feeling ever”. I’m doing interviews like this, djing, photoshoots, touring and doing so much. I’m trying to take in the attention people are wanting to give me because of this album. It’s such a great reward and validation for putting out my music. I’ve got a full schedule right now. My JMG Talks have been incredible; to talk with these PhD students and scientists who approach their work in a very open and understanding way has been incredible to give them a platform to talk about their work and their experiences. Through personal experiences and storytelling we can create empathy. I’ve just finished my third talk recently and I was so happy with the result. So many people came and asked so many great questions.
Personally, I’ve just been working on creating space on getting back to Jayda G, Jayda Guy – myself. Really just trying to be home as much as I can. Being quiet, giving myself meditative space to think of new projects that will give my soul the most. Being a little bit of hermit when I can.n