Artist Name: Ziggi Jadovsky
Song Title: Glass Ceilings
Genre: Jazz-Rock, Soul, Reggae
Release Date: 2nd November 2019
Ziggi Jadovsky – Glass Ceilings
Ziggi – singer-songwriter and Third Culture kid (half English, half Canadian, raised in Portugal) moved to Montreal in 2015. There, she won a grant to write her second EP, Shadow Roots (out this Fall) as well as producing a music video for her song, Morning Dread that was released earlier this year.
Reviews from the Canadian press are already appreciating Ziggi’s ‘Bluesy contralto vocals’, her signature powerful wail, and ‘cocktail hour ska-funk from a youthful and talented Montreal newcomer with a set of pipes that scrape the jagged edges of human emotion like aged whiskey after too many bubble teas.’ – (fyimusicnews.ca).
In the company of Montreal- based Jazz-Funk band, The Firing Squad, Ziggi (aka ‘Lady Sublime’) delivers high energy, charismatic performances which reveal a ‘magical and genuine voice…made to be on stage’
Links to Reviews, Other Social Media, and Stores.
Brief us on how to impress fans during a live performance.
Firstly – to be super tight and well-rehearsed, and secondly – engagement. Audiences want to be acknowledged. Too often I see bands performing as if they’re just doing another bedroom rehearsal and it feels indulgent. It may not be a big gimmick but I like using my authenticity and simply addressing audiences throughout the show as much as I can. Mostly, I just really enjoy myself on stage and I think that energy resonates!
List the names of your biggest supporters.
I’m an emerging artist so nobody is rich or famous (yet!). My friends, partner, and family are my biggest supporters and this would be a very lonely journey without them.
Explain what has motivated you so far in your music career.
Receiving mentorship from more mature and experienced artists has been very helpful. I also feel encouraged by other independent artists in my community and that the space for multiple, diverse voices is opening up.
Discuss your experience as an artist.
I rebelled against my academic theatre training by joining an experimental punk-poetry band, Poeticat, in 2009 (London, UK). I provided backing vocals (operatic notes, breaths, gasps) to create a link between the spoken words and the music. It was very hands-on and DIY and sometimes I got to sew our costumes. For a long time, I felt theatre had grown quite stuffy and inaccessible. I liked the direct contact with the audience in a live music setting (I once got heckled by a couple of women for having hairy armpits). Advice for artists of any kind reeling from the after-effects of toxically critical arts schools: do your OWN thing and don’t be afraid for it to be something completely different from what you studied – the main thing is to re-discover your ‘voice’. That said; drama school gave me a strong sense of stage presence and performance, which is integral to my live gigs. After 5 years touring the country, performing a couple of gigs at Glastonbury Festival, continually experimenting, and re-branding I decided to leave Poeticat to try my own hand at songwriting. In 6 months I’d written 6 songs with the help of my friends. We recorded a few just before I emigrated to Canada. Now I’ve been performing with Montreal’s The Firing Squad for over a year. So yeah, I’ve had singing lessons, taken shamanistic vocal workshops, performed on larger festival stages, and to a room of two people but I haven’t seen it all yet.
Tell us the biggest mistake you have ever made in your music career.
Ha! When am I NOT making mistakes!? I’m continually learning as I’m developing my chops as an independent artist doing everything from booking to promotion to managing. I’m making a lot of small mistakes on the way. I can’t think of a hugely career-defining mistake so far but something I’ve learned from in the past is not to rush anything. It’s good to have a slight sense of urgency to get things done but when it comes to promoting something you’ve spent lots of time working on then you should devote equal time to making sure it gets into the right hands.
Discuss the story behind the song.
‘Glass Ceilings’ was initially about a self-destructive pattern I was painfully aware of but couldn’t seem to change. But the meaning evolved for me as my take on my story shifted a little. It’s more hopeful now and I think of Rebecca Solnit’s emphasis on ‘change’ happening incrementally in not-so-obvious but still powerful ways. The potential in tomorrow. But yeah, I still shout in it cos I believe some ANGER is pretty darn helpful while we’re trying to change the present and in order to fight against limiting societal and inner perceptions of yourself. Here’s to smashing them good!
Tell us how to fund a music project.
Arts Councils. Provincial, national and borough-led grants – Industry grants. Some people still use crowdfunding but you need to have a strong mailing list and lots of people-to-people connections along with realistic goals to make it work. You could also look into benefactors (network like hell!). And though it may take longer there’s nothing wrong with saving money from the day job to invest in your project.
Discuss your opinion on the safety of fans during shows and live performances.
I think fan safety is super important be it ensuring fire exits are unobstructed or creating a safe space to protect marginalized people from violence and micro-aggressions. There are some cool initiatives emerging to protect people from sexual assault and harassment and I love the thought of dancing freely on the dance floor without worrying about onlookers. I have more of a say in terms of the safety of fans when it’s a show I organize myself (I’m trying to get better and more knowledgeable about safe-space places) but unfortunately, I can’t always guarantee it when performing at other organized events. I think of live performances like having guests over to your home – you don’t want anyone to feel intimated, unsafe, or uncomfortable and fuck it if it ain’t rock n’ roll!
Tell us the greatest piece of advice someone has given you as an artist.
Believe in yourself.
Tell us what you will improve or change in your music.
I want to improve on the structure and clarity of my songs. Simple is best but it’s hard when you have an overactive mind!
Discuss vocal training and how you protect your vocal.
I’m constantly learning new and improved ways to warm-up my voice and extend my range. I do a warm-up almost every day (usually when I’m in the shower) and try always to warm-up/cool-down when singing for long periods of time. I don’t smoke but I drink lots of coffee and definitely not enough water. I’m trying to change that by always carrying a water bottle with me.
Discuss your best mood during a performance.
On the cusp of fear and excitement.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Ziggi Jadovsky – I was nick-named by Poeticat (now Coltana) guitarist, Blake Kenrick. At the time I was sewing clothes for the band and heavily into using spandex, shiny and glittery material (hence Ziggi Stardust). I was also married to someone with the last name Jadovsky. I never took his last name when I married but the stage-name felt like a little compromise. I’ve changed the spelling of it a bit so my now-ex hopefully won’t sue me! Ziggi Jadovsky represents my intentional background and the sense of ‘otherness’ I’ve grown up with.
List your best artists with reasons.
Miriam Makeba: beautiful voice, activist.
Cat Power: great voice, doesn’t give a fuck what people think. Patti Smith: an artist’s best friend.
Alice Coltrane: for taking music to a higher place.
Discuss your existence as an artist.
I’ve always been and always will identify as an artist. It’s the lens through which I view the world. Sometimes it manifests in how I grow my garden and sometimes it comes out in a song. The expression is key for me; the medium by which it’s expressed is secondary. That said; I spend more time on my computer these days promoting myself, doing daily admin and finances. I’ve learned to accept that my creativity comes in seasons and that you need to sow the seeds to reap the harvest. My brain is constantly switched on and lately, I’ve become addicted to Netflix as my way of winding down. Because I don’t work the usual 9-5 hours it can sometimes get quite lonely. I thrive on collaboration. I probably drink too much coffee.
Tell us the greatest problem you think is facing society and the solution.
FEAR. I think fear is causing us to shut down and blame others. There’s a distinct lack of nuance in how people communicate and understand events. I’d love to offer a simple solution but I think it’s very complex and requires a multitude of solutions (activism, grassroots, and policy). I’m trying to notice where I feel fearful myself and to perform as many acts of civic kindness as I possibly can (some days I’m just grumpy!) but I’ve heard that acts of kindness are contagious and I think it’s important to act as a model for what you want to see in the world.
Discuss your songwriting and recording.
We recorded our latest EP, Shadow Roots, out online on November 2nd, with Peter Bowering from MOD Studios. Peter has similar taste in music and really gets what we’re trying to do. We collaborated as co-producers and I learned a lot about the recording/songwriting process from the freedom he gave me to try things out and keep working on a song until we were both happy with it. My songwriting is collaborative. I write the words and jam around the song with the band. I’m always trying to improve my songwriting and as I mentioned before, will try to find the best way to express what I want to say. Sometimes that means using music-making software other times; I start by humming a melody.