Jade Lathan just dropped her music video for her single, “In the Mix” produced by Detroit-based RoweShotMe and production company  The video features local rapper and artist, Sheefy McFly as well as the local ‘venue’, The Imagination Station.

When did you first start making music? 

I have been singing my entire life; I was, without a doubt, born an entertainer. My sister and I would put on skits for our older cousins and I fell in love with the idea of spreading my light with others to make them smile. I began writing songs and recording them at 13; my older cousin, whom we called ‘HB Beats’ opened his studio and I began to learn my way around the booth.  I haven’t stopped recording since.

Describe working with  Lord Scrummage. What it’s like to be the leading lady with a crew of guys?

I love working with these guys, when I met them and the whole Scrummage gang I felt like I was home. There are no boundaries with them, and they do whatever they feel creatively no matter how ‘weird’ it may appear to the public [which is one of the main reasons I felt so connected to the group in the first place]. Being the only girl in a group of guys doesn’t bother me too much- I have a great sense of humor and an independent personality. I have always felt like I was one-of-a-kind no matter where I went; from being the only Black girl at predominately Caucasian schools, to being one of the few young people to be bold, be myself, and go against the grain. As opposed to just  seeing color or gender, I see people for who they are and respond to them based on the energy they send my way. Believe it or not, the Scrummage boys are gentlemen; and they make sure I’m always comfortable when we’re working together, touring, doing shows, whatever it may be. They joke and like to call me ‘Princess Jade’ because of it.

Who are your musical influences?

I draw inspiration from everything around me, and I give my interpretation of it all through my songs and style.  I go through phases with different genres of music based on where I am mentally. Right now, I’m in an old school R&B phase-  smooth, simple, passionate, and original. Artists like The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Prince, The Delfonics, and many more artists along those lines created a sound that still can’t be duplicated to this day. You really feel the love in their music, they put their soul into their work, and touched people around the world in a way that made it more than music, but a movement. That feeling of passion and LOVE is missing in a lot of  mainstream music today.

Describe your style. 

I go through a lot of phases, there’s always something new with me. Right now, I’d like to call my style ‘classy-punk.’  I decided to go all black and white with lots of leather, mainly so I could focus on other things rather than what to wear.

How does Detroit as a city affect you?

Detroit humbles me. Detroit inspires me; biking around, I get to see pieces of great history. Artists play a big role in making others aware of the beauty within the city, I’d say it’s more of a community than anything. We all push each other and raise the bar, it’s something I’m grateful to be apart of.”

Photo credit: Natalie Gersabeck

Photo credit, Natalie Gersabeck.

Tell us about shooting the music video for the track, In the Mix.

‘In the Mix’ was a really fun track to shoot.  I first recorded the original version produced by Titus Murrell with added intro cutz by DJ Sicari (5E), it had more of a hip-hop vibe. Then I ended up doing a remix for the song with an upcoming Detroit producer named Hir-O, and he changed the entire vibe of the track. I really dug the smooth groove and thought I should shoot a video to the remix version; I love them both though so it was pretty tough to decide!

I shot the video at the Imagination Station with a talented young man named Rowe and director Nutty of who were laid-back and easy to work with. I wanted to capture the theme of the song which was falling in love unexpectedly. This DIY spot recently had a fire; but the burned and abandoned buildings were turned into an event space anyway, and artists installed a DIY put-put golf course in the field next door. The space was a prime example of the LOVE and beauty that can be created out of such an unexpected environment. I feel like it represented my vision so I wanted to expand on that energy in my own way and present it to a new audience. We shot all the scenes in one day. All of the accessories featured in the video are handmade by yours truly. I’m in the building stages of my accessory line ‘Mary Jade Gems,’ I’m currently making custom pieces by request.

How did Sheefy McFly get involved as the leading male?  

I asked Sheefy to be my leading man because I felt he would make my vision come to life. He’s truly a young icon in his own right. To me he represents ‘new Detroit’ because he has found the beauty in a city with so much haze. He’s one of the leaders in the new music scene and is all about giving back to the city he was planted in; which he does mostly with his TAUT movement. He’s very stylish and we look great riding bikes together. Our chemistry on camera was natural as it is in real life so it was easy to shoot the scenes without laughing or anything. Sheef is such a humble and creative young man. Who wouldn’t love him?

What do you love about Detroit?  

There’s always something new to discover in Detroit, I love it. So many new restaurants, shops, and DIY spots pop up everyday so I explore them all. I’m sort of a homebody nowadays because I play so many shows with the band. I really just enjoy hanging with friends and creating. I’m big on food so I enjoy the restaurants. I like to eat Dr. Sushi and Wasabi for sushi, grocery shopping in Eastern Market is the best, and you can almost always catch me at Harmonie Garden for lunch.

What do you think about changes that are happening downtown?

I’m excited about the changes happening downtown at the moment. It’s bringing a lot of inspiration and light to the city,  I have noticed those around me are excited as well. I feel like we’re in a good space right now as far as the artist scene goes because we keep the direct connection with the people. WE ARE THE PEOPLE! The heart of the city. As long as we stick together as a community with a common goal and stay true to ourselves we will continue to see our innovative ideas manifest. No big business or monopoly will be able to overshadow that. We have to continue to make the politicians understand that without the heart of the city, there is no life.

Describe what you imagine Detroit to be in 10 years.

In ten years, as artists continue to blossom here, I can see Detroit dusted off and known mainly for the Arts. A melting pot of creativity, from people of all creeds and classes who ultimately want the same outcome; success, adventure, and love. It will be a molded culture that people from all over the world will travel to experience. With enough teamwork, it will be a true comeback story.”

What are you currently working on? What’s next for you?

I’m doing a lot of creating! I feel like I know myself better than before so now I’m able to express all of the ideas that come to my brain. My main focus right now is writing, recording, and visuals; so there will be many new videos coming soon. I’m also in the lab with Scrummage experimenting with some new sounds, so we should have another project hitting the airwaves soon. I’m just following my heart and recording the journey.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I want to give a special thank you to all who helped bring my first video to life! My hairstyles were complements of Paige Lathan [Styles by Paige], choreographer Romeo Mitchell, and my talented dancers, Alexis Lauren and Brianna Ramsey. S/O to Canarsie, Brooklyn my old neighborhood!