6 minute read

Interview with Jade Hassouné

Jade Hassouné

@ Heather Koepp exclusively for On The Move

You might know him as an actor but guess what, Jade is also an artist! If Jade rose to fame thanks to his role as Meliorn in the US television series «Shadowhunters» the 28 year-old artist originally from Lebanon participated in the TV show «Canada’s Got Talent» with his dance group «Enigma Dance Productions». Let’s sit for a moment with Jade Hassouné, who has a lot to offer to the music and entertainment scene.

@ Heather Koepp exclusively for On The Move

On The Move: You’ve been doing conventions all summer, so how have you felt about that?

Jade Hassouné: It’s been really really fun. It just happens that it’s all kind of related like a week apart almost so it ends up being like a summer tour. So I go and I stay in Europe for like almost 2 months so it’s really an experience you know? and the fandom is really epic like they’re more than loyal, it’s hard to explain it.

On The Move: Really dedicated?

Jade Hassouné: More than that even. They’re so talented and they create all of this art and they show it in such a creative, incredible way. I love going to all the conventions because we start building actual relationships with the fans. It’s great. It’s always more than just the show and it goes so beyond that, and that’s why I’be been so focused on creating something that will continue to unify us, but still move on to something different. Which is why I started into the music.

On The Move: Have you found that the Shadowhunter community has really traveled forward with you into this new part of your career?

Jade Hassouné: Oh yeah, absolutely. That’s the basis of where my audience began. But the cool thing is that I’ve always sort of been in those young adult book turned TV type things. My first movie was with Freeform, so I’ve kind of been in that realm, and it’s continuing in a logical way. The fans kind of attach to who they resonate with most so we all have a different audience, even though they’re all part of the Shadowhunters fandom. When I see me and my friends and what we’re all doing and how people relate to each one, it’s really cool.

On The Move: How influenced were you by all of the musically inclined people who were also working on the show?

Jade Hassouné: I’ve always always always wanted to do music. I was just waiting for the right time and now is just the right time. Because I came back from the summer tour of the year before and I had been inspired all year. Kat, and Dom, and Alberto and I, we’re always singing. So obviously when I saw that they’d done this stuff before, I saw that and thought “Yes! Absolutely! I can totally do this too!” It definitely added to it, but it was something that, even in my teen years before I studied acting, I wanted to be a singer.

@ Heather Koepp exclusively for On The Move

On The Move: How excited are you for a full album instead of a single?

Jade Hassouné: I’m excited to release it, but it’s almost all going to be released individually before the EP comes out together. I’m releasing singles and they’re almost all going to be released before it drops as a whole.

@ Heather Koepp exclusively for On The Move
« With music, I wanted to be free from someone else telling me ‘you are worthy and here’s your career’ »

On The Move: What is the overall theme that you’d like for you fans to take away from the record?

Jade Hassouné: I have a mission that I’ve always felt. I need to uplift, you know? And what I put out in the world helps it to uplift. To help with wellbeing, and I want people to feel empowered for their own self. But at the same time it’s kind of like a diary of being on tour all the time. There’s like a sadness that comes with it. Like you’re alone and you’re meeting amazing new people but you’re always saying goodbye.

On The Move: Are you interested in doing concerts?

Jade Hassouné: I am DYING to do that. That’s where having a label who knows everything, who to hire, how to do it, how to book a venue, that is something that I feel I’m still discovering. I’m sort of reintegrating my own city and seeing these people putting on shows, and noticing “hey I want this too”. I’ve realized all of this is about creating relationships, and making those connections. One thing that I’m really thinking about, is that I’ll be creating my own little meet and greets at conventions with a concert attached to it. I’m dying to do it. I’m seeing all these artists performing and I just desperately want to perform. There’s the parts of it that are recording and setting up a video and photoshoots and a cover, but really I just want to perform music.

« I just wanted to be the boss of my own realm »

On The Move: Do you play instruments? How long?

Jade Hassouné: Piano is my main instrument that I’ve always played since I was 6, and guitar. And I played saxophone in high school. I could still grab one and play it. But yeah! That’s how I write my songs, is on the piano, even though they turn into these crazy pop songs. Right now I’m having fun mixing it up each time I create something new, using all of these elements that I’m learning.

@ Heather Koepp exclusively for On The Move

On The Move: Who are you biggest musical influences, those people that really inspire you to make art?

Jade Hassouné: It’s cliché but honestly like pop divas of the world are always gonna be some of my favorites. Like the big one is Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey. I love Kim Petras, she’s an amazing pop artist. But I also love hip hop. Drake, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B. People who are really creating something new. Who have created their own empire. I really appreciate seeing those things. Lana Del Rey, for example, she’s been doing it forever and she’s done so many versions of herself before it really took off as that brand, you know what I mean? And seeing that is such an inspiring thing because I’m like okay you’ve created a person, a story, a character, and that’s why my artist name is the way it is. Because it’s not me necessarily as people know me, as the actor or as the person. It’s like I’m creating this entity that’s going to evolve on its own and I want it to do that, I want it to be that. I love all kinds of styles of music, and you’ll find that on the EP. It’s very eclectic. Mainly I just did what I wanted. As actors we’re constantly being told what to say and do. Doing music is like a free voice. I’m not interpreting someone else’s words, I’m saying my own words, creating my own voice.

On The Move: What can we expect from you next?

Jade Hassouné: So there’s the parts we know for sure that I’m going to continue doing conventions. I’m in London early this month, and then there’s going to be another convention in Brussels in November. Then there’s gonna be some in May. Next summer will sort of be a repeat of this year. On top of that there will be an indie feature film that we shot in Arizona. Then I am probably going to do a second season of a series called 410 that’s created by a friend of mine. Right now that’s only in Canada. And then there’s going to be another feature that I’ll be shooting in a couple of months. As always, there will be auditions non-stop. I’m doing a stage play. The last time I did stage was 2014. This new play is going to be a premiere of a French version of a play they did in New York and London. It’s the first time I’m going to be working in the French theatre world. In Montreal it’s very interesting, there’s the French industry, and the English industry in all arts. They’re very separate. And

I didn’t know this when I went into theatre school, I just thought I was going to be working on everything. And since I didn’t work in the French system, they sort of considered me non-French speaking. Which is wrong! I went to French school my whole life, I’m a French kid. I just studied English because I thought “Oh I’m going to be acting in LA” and stuff like that. It’s been really fun to join in on my own city’s industry again.

Jade’s new single “Living Right Now” is a mesh of hip-hop, trap, and pop (all with a nice Latin flare). It will be released on October 25th just in time for your new Halloween jam!
INTERVIEW by Kit Connelly photos BY Heather Koepp EXCLUSIVELY FOR ON THE MOVE