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Mel Jade: Dreamsick

Wendy Johnson

“…the songs are all about taking chances, pushing boundaries and doing exactly what you want to do.’

Mel Jade wrote her first song in the bathtub. When she was three. It was called ‘I never thought a seahorse could drown’, which is pretty deep stuff for a little kid. But that’s Mel Jade for you.

‘I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing,’ says the Australian ex-beauty queen, pastel hipster, Indie pop singer. ‘When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, at first I answered Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but when I realised that becoming a fictional cartoon character wasn’t a viable career option, I set my sights on singing.’

Mel Jade is one of the 14 live musical acts playing at FASHFEST 2015 and she promises a lavish pop performance.

Also part of the music lineup on Friday 15 May is Ben Bonney, a master on the trumpet who has, throughout his career, performed alongside and backed many great musicians such as Grace Knight, James Morrison, Guy Sebastian, Vince Jones and Ricki-Lee Coulter. Ben graduated from the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2003 and received a Bachelor of Jazz Studies in 2004.

Jemist will also whip guests into a frenzy. Jemist has been dishing out music through turntables for yonks. Although a jazz junkie at heart, he is diverse and has supported hip hop’s finest DJs, including DJ Yoda, DJ Krush and Kid Koala.

But back to Mel Jade’s youth.

At the age of 14, she had recorded her first demos and begun performing at local cafes. By the age of 16, she was a top 10 finalist with an original song in a national song-writing competition. After graduating from high school, Mel Jade was song writing for other artists, and for film and television. She finally stepped onto the international music scene with her track ‘Aliens’ which was remixed and released by the Pretty Boys of Saint Tropez in Europe. The remix hit the charts at number 15 after top DJ Armin Van Buuren played it on his radio segment in Holland and it became the ‘Dance Smash of the Week’.

In 2013, Mel Jade decided to go solo, releasing her debut album ‘Alive’, a poetic yet catchy under-ground pop record. ‘It was scary and exciting to start this project completely on my own,’ says the artist. ‘But the songs are all about taking chances, pushing boundaries and doing exactly what you want to do, so that’s what I did.’

The home-made video Mel Jade created for her song ‘We Could Make a Movie’ hit more than a million views on YouTube in a matter of weeks. She wound up collaborating with Fashion TV on a music video and touring the United Kingdom. When she came home to Australia, Mel Jade was honoured with an Australian Independent Music Award (Musicoz).

Mel Jade has recently completed her second album ‘Dreamsick’ which will be released later in 2015.

Music Director of FASHFEST, Ashley Feraude, says it’s thrilling to have artists of the calibre of Mel Jade, Ben Bonney and Jemist in the 2015 lineup.

‘The event is not just about music as a background element to fashion,’ says Ashley. ‘It’s not just about piped-in music you’ve heard many times before. It’s about live performances that support the event’s four themes—activist, inventor, cartographer and engineer. The music is as exciting as the fashion.’

For info on other musicians playing at this year’s event, check out fashfest.com.au/music.

FASHFEST is no ordinary fashion show. It’s a fashion experience. It promises excitement and delivers with spine-tingling effect. Opening night is around three weeks away on 13 May.

Treat yourself to the entire experience by buying a VIP or Gold experience package, which includes an exclusive, guided backstage tour. If one night of fashion isn’t going to cut it, buy the four-night package and experience four different shows.

Tickets: www.fashfest.com.au

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author

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