Bristol based musician Lady Nade has worked her way through the ranks, to achieve a loyal following of dedicated listeners both within Bristol and beyond.  With her debut album, ‘Hard To Forget’ recently launched at the Folk House, she is proving that tenacity and talent are a winning combination.

You might be familiar with Lady Nade, with her recognisable voice – not dissimilar to the earthy, soulful qualities to be heard in Nina Simone’s vocals, or the emotionally charged voice of Anohni (formerly of Antony and the Johnsons).  One thing’s for certain, Lady Nade is as honest as they come, and her hard work and relentless touring on the local Bristol gig scene are certainly starting to pay off.

Recently, Lady Nade (also know as Nadine Gingell) and her band played a set at the BBC 6 Music Fringe events at St Nick’s Market – treating her fans to heartfelt renditions of her original, self-penned songs including the painfully personal ‘Complicated’.  She has received support from youth music initiative Remix, in the earlier days of her music career and continues to shine with ongoing recognition all across Bristol, including from the guys at BBC Introducing in the West.

Credit: Mark Simmons Photography

Credit: Mark Simmons Photography

“I definitely feel that I have strengthened in my songwriting.  With this album, I went away and spent time really learning more about the craft of songwriting and developing my style so I definitely feel, in terms of my development, this puts me in a strong place.”  Lady Nade explains.

“My Grandad is my rock – he introduced me to the great Nina Simone…”

With a series of singles and EPs preceding her debut LP release, including ‘Mind’s Made Up’ launched at Bristol Folk House in 2015 and 2011’s ‘Wrap Me Up, Pick Me Up, Take Me Home’  and the follow up ‘All I Am’ released in 2012, Lady Nade has secured Roni Size’s fanship among other loyal listeners including BBC radio and local Jack FM.

Her debut album is the culmination of many years of evolving musicianship, and self discovery, as Lady Nade has developed her intuitive songwriting and worked hard to overcome both personal struggle and the complex emotions that inevitably filter through to her lyrics and performances.  You cannot help but resonate with the honest place from which her music comes from:

“Complicated is based on the loss of someone.  The album is about love, loss and hope.  Some of the songs are about loss, the break up of relationships, but there is always hope.  Even though we lose people, life is short, so we’ve got to make the most of what we have.  Life is short.”  Lady Nade says.

“Time does fly.  It’s about recognising that life is short so we must try to find the hope.”

Growing up listening to Nina Simone under the wise recommendation of her Grandad, as well as the likes of Joan Armatrading and Amy Winehouse, Lady Nade has developed her own, unique vocal style with a stage presence that conjures up the classic, timeless singers frequenting smoky jazz bars of Paris or New Orleans in bygone eras.  She is a thoughtful lyricist, and often draws on her own life to create authentic and powerful narratives, as well as providing her listeners with an anchor to their own experiences:

“Writing lyrics has definitely helped me express myself.  I can be the voice for other people that might be going through something that they might otherwise not be able to express.  Being able to give my listeners a platform to enable them to talk about different emotions that they might be feeling, is important to me.”  She explains.

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Image: Mark Simmons Photography

Having received mentoring and practical support from Remix, Bristol’s youth music initiative, in the early days of her musical career, Lady Nade has paid this forward by giving back to the local community via her music.  She regularly holds songwriting workshops for young people in Bristol, and is also extending an open invite to any youth music groups who would like to secure a support slot at her album launch.  She recognises the true value of having someone to guide and nurture you in the initial stages, as Lady Nade explains:

“I definitely found music inspiring with Remix.  They give people an opportunity who don’t otherwise have that opportunity. Remix played a massive part in my development as a musician.  Also, my producer Allan Keen has been a huge support, as has Sally Larkin who I met at Access to Music, and Julie Ashton.  They were my tutors and they really supported me.”

This has proved to be the catalyst for her own motivations to pursue music as her career, and to support new and emerging, young musicians to follow their instincts with their music and performing:

“I love being able to work with different youth organisations.  So I can give a platform and opportunities to young people who may not have the opportunity to perform.”  Lady Nade says.

“I feel absolutely privileged. I love my community, I love Bristol.”

As an artist with a wealth of experience as both a songwriter, musician and performer in Bristol, Lady Nade knows how easy it can be to get moulded into somebody you are not, and as a result, has remained true to herself which is reflected in the music she creates.  And Bristol’s independent spirit seems to suit her down to the ground:

“I feel absolutely privileged.  I love my community, I love Bristol.  I definitely think it’s important to stay true to yourself as an artist.  I very much write from the heart and write about personal experiences.  I would always encourage anyone to just be yourself.  It is always going to lead to true happiness.”  She says.

Though image and the pressures of working in an industry that can be so quick to judge on appearance and writing the next big hit, are always there, Lady Nade remains strong in her convictions yet realises that the balance between art, commodity, image and personality are always going to be factors to consider as a musician:

“I feel like it’s important to stay true to yourself, when it comes to image, but it depends on each individual.  Because if, for example, you would like to have an image – and you feel like an image is an important way to represent your music, then sure – why not?  Look at Prince – he wore heels, he wore glamourous outfits – but I feel that he was true, he was honest.  Some of the image and how you present yourself is all a part of it.  For me, it’s a case of staying true to yourself, discovering what you want, and not losing sight of that.”  Lady Nade adds.

Lady Nade will be launching her new album, ‘Hard To Forget’ at Bristol’s Folk House on 21 May where she will perform with a full band.

“It’s an ongoing journey and I am always striving to get better and find new ways of writing.  I love my album and all the work that has gone into it.  Each song expresses different moments that mean different things and hopefully can connect with other people.”  She says.

Lady Nade’s debut LP ‘Hard To Forget’ is out now:  www.ladynade.co.uk

Makeup artist:  Evie Smith (www.eviesmakeup.com)