It’s become apparent as of late that the Liverpool music scene is shape-shifting and evolving. Band culture has reigned dominant, but now a stream of worthy successors are pushing their way to the forefront. So, step forward Jade ‘MISS STYLIE’ Jackson. The feisty freestyler from Toxteth is an integral part of the flourishing grime scene that is currently creating a major fuss on the Liverpool soundscape. Honing her skills from an early age, Miss Stylie began DJing and MCing well before she could cross the threshold of many clubs. Bubbly and vivacious in person, she admits that the word ‘can’t’ does not appear in her vocabulary, and it is evident that this steely grit and determination is the driving force behind her burgeoning success.
Her debut single OMG, with its gritty edge and feisty flashes of dub step, has received huge local support and the track is no stranger to the turntables of some of the biggest nights in the city, including Chibuku and Eat Your Greens. Also featuring prominently in The Streets’ Mike Skinner’s recent DJ sets, it’s clear that Miss Stylie’s sound is one that resonates with a diverse audience. Ridiculously addictive, it fuses witty lyrics and dirty street beats. Jade herself admits, “There was no actual driven motivation behind OMG; my personality just came out that day on the mic… it’s banter.” Her well-crafted lyrics are inspired by her character – completely impulsive – and a genuine reflection of her outgoing and playful nature.
With a formidable sports background, it’s no surprise that Jade’s performances are hugely animated and energy driven. Playing for Liverpool Ladies FC, being offered a basketball scholarship, and boxing up until the age of fifteen have all provided Jade with not only a physical level of performance, but the mental focus and aptitude to engage her audience. She is warm and emphatic about how much her supporters (and there are many) mean to her when she says, “I don’t call them fans, I call them friends.” Their enthusiasm is a massive motivation for Jade who feeds off their fervid energy and reciprocates with her own passion and emotion.
There is also a strong family connection within her music. “When I was around my sister we would listen to reggae; my dad was a saxophone player so it was always jazz around him; Engelbert Humperdinck around my Grandad; and then Scouse House and RnB growing up with my friends.”
Jade confirms that they have all had a prominent role in shaping her music, but she is opposed to being categorised into any particular genre, stating that “you can’t put anybody in a genre anymore”; and this is certainly true for the music that she is making. Infused with slices of electro and house beats, it’s clear that individuality is a key aspect in the making of Miss Stylie. When questioned about musical artists who have been an inspiration, Jade lists Miss Dynamite and Drake to name a few but is keen to point out that: “I don’t really listen to female artists as I don’t want to be portrayed as somebody else. I don’t want to be a prototype; I just wanna make my own way.”
With a 2011 Glastonbury appearance under her belt, as well as a performance at YoYo at Notting Hill Arts Club and regular treatment on BBC 1Xtra, Miss Stylie’s debut EP, Heavy Salad, is slated for release on 25th May. So, what can we expect from Heavy Salad? “Heavy banter,” laughs Jade. “Imagine a bowl of salad – tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, everything thrown into a heavy mix. That’s my mind 24/7 with everything simultaneously on the brain.” Heavy Salad has seen Jade collaborating with legendary producer David Kahne (whose credits include Paul McCartney, Lana Del Ray, The Strokes and Regina Spektor), a man she describes as a “privilege to work with”.
Friendly and hugely personable, Jade radiates playfulness but is serious for a moment when she expresses how dedicated she is to her industry and her fan base, passionately assuring us that she will always be learning, honing her craft and keeping her performances fresh. “The industry is a never ending story… that’s what keeps me inspired.” With limitless options and “heavy banter” ahead, this is a story we can’t wait to see unfold.