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Jade Alston: The Survivor.

June 20, 2014

JadeAlston01onlineText by Aneesah Coley. Image courtesy of Jasmine Alston.

Jade Alston is a self-proclaimed “Philly jawn.” She’s lived all over the city but grew up primarily around 7th Street and Girard Avenue, where her mother owned a preschool.

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter remembers when she first made it her goal to pursue music. It was when she was 15, on the day that Ashanti’s self-titled debut album dropped. Impressed by seeing the budding songstress’ name underneath each and every song, Alston immediately put in motion her own plan to become a songwriter.

“It was so dumb but I was trying,” remembers Alston, thinking of the first song she ever wrote. She smiles, unable to hold back a small laugh.

Alston has since released two EPs, Single On a Saturday Night and its follow-up, Sunday Morning: Single On a Saturday Night Pt. 2. She classifies both records as contemporary rhythm and blues, unlike the style of music she plans to present on her upcoming album, We Will Live.

“They can expect something classic, something timeless, something that maybe you wouldn’t expect from a jawn,” Alston says with a laugh, explaining what her fans will hear on the new album. “They can expect an honest musical body of work that’s very relatable.”

She’s more recently found herself drawn to acoustic music and live instrumentation.

“A lot of the music has really humble beginnings,” says Alston’s younger sister, Tyler Miller, who served as a producer and writer on We Will Live. “It usually starts out with me playing the guitar and building in production from there. So you should expect to hear real instruments with an interesting alternative folk/rock/pop edge fused with Jade’s classic R&B origins.”

Fans, both new and old, should be pleased.

“The new sound is definitely something never before done and I, for one, have fallen in love with it,” Miller continues.

We Will Live, set to be released on July 1, serves as a symbol of Alston’s rediscovery of the importance of life and following one’s dreams, a revelation born after facing a life-threatening diagnosis of Myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle.

At one point during her stay in the hospital, she recalls having nearly a liter of fluid around each lung.

“I thought I was not gonna live,” she admits.

Unable to breathe or lay back, she was forced to sleep in a recliner for nearly two months.

Now she says there’s nothing that really scares her in life.

After recovering and successfully fundraising more than $7,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, she has proved herself to be not only a successful independent artist, but a survivor, too.

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