OUT NOW ‘FIRE IN THE BLOOD’ – THE NEW JADE LIKE THE STONE SINGLE FROM HER UPCOMING ‘7 ROADS’ COLLABORATION WITH REDTENBACHER’SFUNKESTRA
Jade Danielle Williams (aka Jade Like The Stone)
Was born into a Welsh/Italian family and raised in the one time Welsh Capital, Merthyr Tydfil, in South Wales. Despite the industrial nature of her working class home town, rooted as it was in the coal mining and steel industries of the region, there were artistic influences at hand too. Jade’s Great Grandfather was the noted tenor, William Burke, a world-touring singer and recording artist of the 1920’s, and her pianist grandmother won a scholarship Royal College of Music, (even if she was subsequently dissuaded by the family from taking it up). Jade grew up with that Grandmother and subsequently began learning piano from the age of 5. Such was her skill with the instrument that early aspirations minded towards a career as a classical pianist, until, post puberty, Jade’s voice came to the fore. A remarkable instrument that could tackle Welsh folk, Italian Arias, German Lieder, modern pop and more with equal aplomb; a voice which led to her being a finalist in the national Eisteddfod, forerunning, at the age of 15, a full scholarship to the prestigious Wells Cathedral School. A notable career in Opera seemed to beckon until the tragic death of her drowned brother, led to a re-evaluation of her life plans and aspirations, spawning a renewed need to follow her own wants and wills, rather than ceed to the expectations of others.
Moving to London, Jade slowly reunited with music, this time forming the post modern rock band ‘Du Bellows’, a band described by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page as “by far one of the most interesting and musically adept bands I have seen”. As well as undertaking sessions for other producers and artists, in 2018 Jade even – albeit semi-seriously – accepted an invitation to appear on TV’s ‘The Voice’ where she gained a place, appropriately enough, on the team of legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones.
But really all this has been a forerunner to Jade’s desire to make music on her own terms as a solo artist, and she has teamed up with noted international collective ‘Redtenbacher’s Funkestra’ (house band at Masterlink studios with a CV which reads like a ‘who’s who’ in music) to produce a collaborative debut album, ‘7 Roads’, due out in Spring 2021.
Not only a noted musician and remarkable vocalist, Jade is a poet and lyricist drawing on not just her own very rich personal life experiences but also the Jurassic landscape and scenery of her hometown, Welsh folklore, Celtic mysticism, and the strong matriarchal influences of her childhood, underpinned as they are by a strong public school education and general aptitude for literature and language.
Musically the expressionist colours of composers such as Debussy, along with the harmonies and tonal qualities of the Renaissance, have all helped shape Jade’s own ear and songwriting. This plus her musical training in everything from Opera to Folk with, of course, the added influence of many genres of modern music from classic acts like the Doors, Beatles and Neil Young to more contemporary influences such as Jill Scott, Massive Attack and Modest Mouse, to name but a few. A large melting pot indeed which informs and influences her music to unparalleled effect.
All of which points to a unique proposition with a rich tapestry of possibilities. Certainly a voice like no other; a signature voice and a signature style of songwriting which is that of a true artist.
“You have a superstar voice. Your voice sounds like a logo – like Jennifer Hudson’s voice is a logo, like Beyonce’s voice is a logo, Kate Bush’s voice is a logo. You have that uniqueness to your voice !” – Will.i.am
The London based, multi-national, Redtenbacher’s Funkestra is the brainchild of bassist, composer and producer Stefan Redtenbacher. This original and mostly instrumental wall-to-wall Jazz Funk Collective of world class players has about 20 releases to their name – ‘The Hang’ being the latest one, currently number one win the weekly top 50 Funk album chart according to the Roots Music Report.
‘Funkestra’ have recorded with the ‘who’s who’ from the international Jazz Funk and Fusion scene including legends like Fred Wesley, Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis from James Brown, Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka, Lee Thornburg and Lenny Pickett from Tower of Power, Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), Eric Krazno (Lettuce), Stanton Moore (Galactic), drum virtuoso Benny Greb, Elliott Randall and Keith Carlock (Steely Dan), titanic saxophone players Rick Margitza (Miles Davis Band), Chris Hunter (Gil Evans Orchestra), Andy Snitzer (Paul Simon), Prince’s New Power Generation horn section (aka ‘The Hornheads’) and horn players from Incognito, Brand New Heavies and many more.
Their records have been released on Wooden Hat Records (USA), Pedigree Cuts/Universal (UK) and Stefan’s own label RSB Records. In the last 5 years they have clocked up an impressive 2 million plus (and rising) streams on Spotify only and their music has also been publicly performed by Big Bands in USA, Austria, Germany, Holland, Denmark and the UK.
Over the past two years the Funkestra rhythm section has also served as the studio house band for ‘The Masterlink Sessions’ and have fully embraced a broader range of styles, not least supporting a range of noted international vocalists. The has resulted in 50+ videos and album and EP recordings with US Grammy winner Mike Farris, Hamish Stuart (front man of the original ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ Average White Band, McCartney, Aretha, Chaka, Ringo Starr and many more), Sarah Jane Morris, Jo Harman, Australia’s Georgia van Etten, Sam Tanner, Hollie Rogers, Jade Like The Stone, Portugal’s Diana Silveira, Helena May, Orphy Robinson MBE, Laura Evans, Jools Holland vocalist Louise Marshall, Purdy, Connor Selby, Elles Bailey and many more.
The band has morphed, somewhat organically, into a zeitgeist equivalent of the legendary studio bands from Motown (Funkbrothers), Stax Records (Booker T & The MGs/Mar-Keys) and Muscle Shoals (‘The Swampers’) respectively, and are the studio/production house choice for very many respected artists at the elite end of the music business.
With this, the band, whilst continuing to make their own successful records, has evolved into a highly respected mini-Nashville production house in the Surrey Hills, UK – a set up that seems destined to continue on an even larger scale as we move further into the new decade.