2020 was set up to be emerging Abbotsford singer Jada Klein’s breakout year.
The 19-year-old had graduated from Robert Bateman Secondary School in the fall and was set to continue her upward trend in the music scene with new material and more touring.
But then 2020 hit.
Despite the crushing blow that the COVID-19 pandemic created, Klein has still managed to stay busy – releasing her debut EP entitled ‘Always, Forever’ on Nov. 20 and recently walking away with a Fraser Valley Music Award for top R and B artist.
Klein said it’s been adjustment from performing in front of fans to belting out tunes in front of her computer.
“I’ve got a grip on it now but I was going a bit insane for a little while there,” she joked. “Not being able to use my outlet for so long and just not being able to perform and do what I love was tough. It could be a lot worse – I’m grateful that I’m totally healthy but it’s definitely been weird.”
She said she had a busy spring and summer scheduled, but those plans mostly fell through. Klein did do several virtual shows over the summer, including Jam at the Jubilee and got to perform in front of a socially distanced live audience at the Tourism Abbotsford sponsored Sun and Soil Summer Concert Series.
Klein said the idea of putting together an EP came after connecting with producers in Los Angeles following the buzz created by her single ‘My Head’ in 2019. She went to the California city back in October and managed to record the four-song EP in just five days. She wrote the lyrics for all four songs and said the EP shows her growth as an artist and performer.
“Being 13 or 14 at the time [of that song] I didn’t really know who I was as an artist,” she said. “And I was kind of just going by who I would listen at the time and who I was influenced by. But getting to do this project, it was kind of a moment of realization that I could do what I want, pick the sound I wanted and evolve in that way. This EP is truly what I am as an artist and what my story is.”
She said ‘Always, Forever’ is an album with a storyline and all the songs discuss and expand upon similar themes related to situations going on in her life.
“This project for me is basically more self realization and a lot of the expression of going through stuff as a teenager and you’re just trying to figure a lot of things out,” she said. “You just have to live and learn. A lot of these songs are me telling some of the hardships I went through and being able to release them this way is good for me and I can put them behind me and look for new memories and stories I want to share.”
Klein said winning the recent FVMA award and finishing third overall in the fan vote was a thrill. She’s won several times at the event in the past, including in 2017 for Excellence in Performance by a Youth Artist.
“I was actually really shocked I won in that section this year (R and B) because there were five other amazing nominees besides me,” she said.
She said she is looking forward to touring and performing live when it’s possible, and in the meantime she will be promoting her new album and also working on new material.
“I really appreciate all the support from everyone and just make sure to stream ‘Always Forever’,” she said.