Jennifer Meade – Vocalist and Businesswoman

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My message is inspirational, it’s basically my life and it’s the sharing of certain periods of it.
It is like giving a map, a blue print of encouragement to other. And that is satisfying to me.

This ability to play the voice instrument with flexibility between its higher and lower register is a technique ADELENE Meade knows comes through her own voice with ease. And it’s something that has long been in the making.  After three years as a stay at home mom, she is now working on the finishing touches to her fifth studio album, which, according to the sultry vocalist, “will include words of wisdom and experiences by Jennifer.”

Such words are usually enveloped in a warmth that is gospel and soul, rhythm & blues. In a word: spiritual. “I won’t define my style as strictly gospel,” confides Meade, a furtive smile playing her lips, “my content is spiritual, a mixture of jazz, pop and soul, and I try to write something of my everyday life, food for thought and share it.” She says this as she sits in a corner of her studio in Montreal, home of Jam Vocal School, an establishment she founded.

Between sessions, her enthusiasm for vocal expression does not tone down. The smile takes over and words start to flow. “Musically, I was just all over the place,” Meade says of her beginnings. “I started to work on my own with choirs. I loved signing with a group and I loved also teaching and directing. I started touring when I was in my first group, the Harmonettes at the age of 15.”

The gospel group is where Meade considers her singing career began. Her work as young singer/director caught the interest of Second Regard-the CBC Quebec show featured Meade in their gospel documentary. After the Harmonettes, she became part of another group, Touch of Heaven, in which she did encounter a certain musical paradise. “Working with that group opened me up to other branches of local music,” says Meade.

Meade’s recognition of blessings is a big part of her musical career. She credits them for having taken her to where she is now. “My passion for music, blessings of the Lord that puts [me] in the right place at the right time,” are what has helped her evolve musically.

Dubbed the ‘First Lady of Soul’ by the Montreal community, Meade has long been a part of the city’s musical scene.

She had derived inspiration from a number of vocalists, such as Rachel Farrell, Bobby McFerrin, C.C Wayans, and Will Downing. Meade’s admiration for these artists was due to their “connection and understanding of how to play their voice as an instrument.” Having achieved this herself, she wanted to share it with others.

While studying at McGill University’s conservatory of music, she became convinced that this was what she wanted to do. “I developed skills as a musician and met other artists and fed off their passions- and made it concrete.”

Of the soul-inspired music Meade is involved with, she says, “it’s a very emotional, gut wrenching quality that comes through-a very soulful cry.” This is what she strives for in her own voice and those of her students.

Being a vocalist has given her the capacity to better manage her voice, and has added versatility to her sound. While many vocalists have a specific time during the day when they excel, Meade is vocally strong and centered most of the day.

It is obvious when talking to Meade, that she knows her strengths. “Get to know your voice,” she says, “sing as naturally and as real as you can, develop your voice and style, there are no two voices that are alike.”

As for Meade’s own vocal characteristics: “I have a lot of movement in my voice, a lot of smooth intertwining techniques,” she says, using her hands to describe the flow. And of course, her tone is her vocal trademark. Meade says her smooth sultry voice makes those who know her say, “Yeah that’s Jennifer, that’s her tone …”

Eating definitely plays a role on how her voice performs. “When I have to sing I try to avoid greasy stuff, and avoid singing on a full stomach especially when wanting to control breathing,” Meade says. “I try to stay away from dairy products, chocolates. Things like that I really try to avoid for sure and I do drink a lot of water I do -well/ try,” she laughs. “Having a healthy diet does affect your vocal chords. Once you have a good regime everything will work well, physically mentally, vocally-everything.”
It appears that for Meade, everything is working well. With years of musical experience under her belt and a new album, her career shows much promise. She already knows how she wants to be welcomed into the next step of her profession, “I want my audience to know the relationship with the center of my life which is Christ,” Meade says softly.”I want them to know that I’m real passionate, that I love what I do,” The message is loud and clear-and soulful too. •

Upcoming EVENT: Spectacle et atelier – Chant urbain à gospel

http://calendrier.bibliomontreal.com/detail/885366-spectacle-et-atelier-chant-urbain-a-gospel

Samedi 23 novembre 2019
13h30 à 15h30
Bibliothèque de l’Île des Soeurs
260, rue Elgar
Montréal (QC) Canada H3E 1C9

Samedi 7 décembre 2019
13h30 à 15h30
Bibliothèque de l’Île des Soeurs
260, rue Elgar
Montréal (QC) Canada H3E 1C9

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