Boobies on the dance floor
Jade Leonard is about to launch a music video for her track ‘8008135’, an homage to breasts. She spoke with Andrew Shaw.
Jade, you were inspired by the old calculator sight gag for the title ‘8008135’?
Absolutely! More specifically, I was inspired by the way the kids from Camp Camp Revolution and Br00klyn Queenz play with numerical and pictorial representations of words in social media. Half the time I have no idea what they’re trying to say to me. Usually I just "0_0 "back.
What did you want to achieve with this track?
‘8008135’ has been criticized as being a gimmick song. And perhaps it is. But you want to know something, it’s actually the deepest song I’ve written. The intention has been completely distilled – to revere all bodies, and not just women’s bodies and boobies. Moobs are included too! The song is not saying, “I LUV UR 8008135, come to bed with me”; it’s saying, “I LUV UR 8008135, I honour you inside and out”. I’m hoping the music video will express this side of the song more succinctly than just the audio track alone. It’s a celebration song.
‘8008135’ has “commercial dance hit” written all over it. Tell us about the production of the song – was it different to the way you usually record?
Firstly, thank you! Usually I write and record acoustic jazz inspired ballads, so yes this track was definitely a big U-turn musically for me! I co-wrote ‘8008135’ with Paul Brandoli [Tune in Tokyo, Natalie Gauchi, Inaya Day] who is a genius when it comes to dance music. He really got me though, he really understood what I wanted from this track. I had no idea how to go from the hooky vocal lines in my head to a full production dance track, but he made that happen.
Do you think it might become a favourite with straight guys as well as women?
Everyone has boobs. I hope everyone is as moved by the song as the Argyle grrrls at the Bendigo Queer Film Festival last weekend, who were so inspired by my performance of ‘8008135’ they all spontaneously took their tops off. That’s good for everyone.
Could you tell us about the video clip and how you went about making it?
Well, a song about boobs is gonna have boobs in the clip. Honestly, I wanted the clip to reflect my boobs – imperfect – by the mainstream perception of breasts. So I put a call out on Facebook. I wanted real boobs. I was overwhelmed with women and men wanting to be involved in the clip, all body types and shapes, all boobie types. The filming of the clip was like a tribal ritual, it was unexpectedly moving for all of us involved. Sam Cremean from Camp Camp Revolution directed and filmed the clip. He’s now very breast aware.
Is women baring their breasts in public the last body-image taboo?
It’s fascinating, really, the whole body image/taboo thing. So many tribal cultures have no stigma around women’s breasts. Breasts are so important to us as humans, they represent so much. I look forward to the day when culture starts reflecting the conversations and open expression I see on Tumblr.
Would you like to see topless women strolling down Brunswick Street?
Last time I checked, the Pope was still Catholic.
Will there be boobies at the video launch?
There will be complimentary champagne…
Will it be a lavish event, given that you will be performing on the GH Hotel stage?
GH only does lavish these days. Everyone will be treated like the superstar they are!
You’re going to be performing at the Fiji Jazz and Blues Festival, is there an established jazz/blues scene over there?
It will be my first trip to Fiji, but on all accounts I’ve heard there is certainly a very vibrant contemporary music scene there. Fijian culture, thankfully, has been wonderfully preserved and music is central to Fijian cultural celebrations. I’ve been asked to also run workshops for young Fijian musicians, so I’m also looking forward to connecting to the community on an educational level, too.
‘8008135’ music video launch, GH Hotel, 1 Brighton Rd, St Kilda, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Doors open 7.30pm. Launch starts promptly at 8pm. Free entry, however guests must RSVP to the ‘8008135 Official Music Video Launch’ Facebook page to add name to the door. jadeleonard.com
IMAGE: Bad Behaviour Photography