Canadian Jaidene Veda is making waves in the underground house scene, having caught the attention of Danny Krivit, Joe Claussell and DJ Spinna with her silky-smooth vocals and soulful melodies. Here she tells Gutter how she dreams of opening for Bjork one day, and gets very excited when producers call her up.

Your album Pisces Pendulum was released independently last year. How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

I was touched and extremely flattered that most of the reviews and critics compared it to the “Naked Music” era, which obviously had a huge influence on my career having been introduced to house music at the time. That sound encompasses deep and soulful rhythms, predominantly house but the album leans on lounge, and then ventures off the 4/4 into spoken word, downtempo, trip hop and nu jazz. Electronic but lush, [it] includes organic elements and dynamic collaborations with producers and musicians alike. It’s intimate. Just like my vocal style I suppose. And lyrically speaking it is my “Pisces Pendulum”, two heads and one tail conjuring up all this material over an 8 year span was a journey of growth and healing, and just my love affair with music – one I’m very happy to sing about!

What can you tell us about the Soul Size Love for Japan EP?

There is a long story to each of the connections to the producers on the EP, but I’ll just say how blessed I am by their charitable involvement, let alone the talent and sounds they each brought to the table. I’m also honored that Josh Milan’s previously unreleased (original) edit will finally be heard, and with his long term partner Adam Cruz behind the release, we are very excited and proud to share this with the music community and watch it contribute to the long-term recovery efforts in Japan! I’m grateful for the way that the words “Soul Size Love” resonated with people who heard my first album and it’s a message we are delivering with this benefit EP: “give”.

How did your collaboration with Joe Claussell (on a remix of Africa Caribe’s ‘Undeniable Love’, featuring Jaidene’s vocals) come about?

Another long story, but I will credit Thomas Osaze, probably my very first real producer/partner for the introduction, and the beauty is that Joaquin was also one of my original producers on account of Osaze’s faith in me. So Joaquin and I began working towards a project and recording together several years prior to this release and almost 6 years later, our first piece of music was put on his compilation with Fania Records, where he was truly blessing me with the opportunity to be “in the mix” with so many legendary artists – a step off the 4/4, a step towards a world music audience, and frankly a huge opportunity to build our sound together within or outside of the underground – hopefully we’ll be sharing more of our singles or the full body of work very shortly!

When did you first start writing music?

Professionally speaking I began releasing underground house/dance records about 12 years ago now, but I was that child in [the] choir and piano recitals, then picked up the guitar and penned poetry in journals. I guess I wrote my first really bad songs in my teens – ha!

Are there any artists who influence your music?

I mentioned Naked Music as an overall sound, but that’s just the deep house baby in me. Bjork and Sade by far are the ones who shaped my career and my vocal style, writing style…I feel the two are each the most unique and irreplaceable voices in my collection…couldn’t ask for more inspiration than that! Others I’d name…Me’shell Ndgeocello, Mazzy Star/Hope Sandoval, Morcheeba/Skye, Cassandra Wilson, Ursula Rucker, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu…and on and on…

What has been the highlight and biggest challenge of your career so far?

I’d say every producer I’ve come to work with…as almost every record my big brother (DJ) introduced me to when I was growing up, or that DJ Rice played on the Sunday Skool floor (the inspiration behind ‘Sunday’) were made by the gents I’m making records with now. It’s unbelievable to me, I still have conversations or mere email exchanges with some of them and get pretty geeked up that I even have the chance to create with them, I still look up to them and will always feel like a little sister I suppose…

You’re also involved in filmmaking, do you have any upcoming projects?

I tend to make promo videos for most of the projects I record now, as well as for other indie artists I enjoy…but thrilled to be working on a Guerrilla Documentary about DJ Rice’s Sunday Skool, as our local community just celebrated their 15th anniversary this year, [it’s] a truly epic story that the whole community is proud to share. I’m pretty determined to find out during the interview process whether or not he may hold the longest house residency in all of N. America and perhaps [the] world over.

Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?

Again, I’m so blessed to be working as a full time musician…and I feel like 10+ years down the indie road has just now begun to bring me to where I want to be, working with the artists and within the genres that I feel represent me, working for the causes I’m proud to represent, and I know it will just keep reaching now. True art is about connections, not compliments…yes we get on stage, but that’s not why we do it, especially Pisces in my opinion, we really believe in healing and the magic to life, let alone music. Clichéd perhaps, but I want to make a difference in peoples lives, sound tracking their days, nights, tears, love making, you name it…in the way that Bjork opened my eyes to something I never saw or heard before, or how Sade brought me to a place I’ve never felt before, I just always want to be making music. Maybe in 5 years I’ll open for one of them…there’s a nice dream…

Soul Size Love For Japan EP is out now, preview it here. All proceeds go to the CRC Japan Appeal