Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Musician Jade Robbins shares her musical influences

Emma Santangelo
Senior and musician Jade Robbins stands in the Palm Court on Monday, April 29, 2024.

The first track of Jade Robbins’ album, “Heart Tower,” begins with her voice, acapella, saying, “I could do it.” The opening track delves into finding the strength through the people you love to keep going.

Popular and commercial music senior Jade Robbins is an independent musician and artist from Durango, Colorado. According to Robbins, growing up in a small mountain town where she was immersed in nature has influenced her music.

“It’s made me really appreciate space in music and silence,” she said.

Throughout “Heart Tower,” listeners are provided with brief intervals of silence, inviting reflection on themes such as dualities found in the natural world, the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine energies, as well as the journey of experiencing pain, growth, and healing.

Robbins began writing songs at a very early age. When she turned seven, her mom gifted her a guitar, marking the official beginning of her career as a singer-songwriter. By age thirteen, she put together a band and played at a breast cancer benefit.

Robbins was attracted to Loyola’s renowned popular and commercial music program and had a desire to venture far from home, seeking inspiration on her artistic journey.

“It has been an honor to witness the unfurling of a multi-dimensional voice, while simultaneously stepping into her full power as a songwriter,” said Mercedes Diamond, professor of voice at Loyola. Diamond has worked with Robbins as a voice coach and in a songwriting ensemble class.

Popular and commercial music major Will Roesner produced and played guitar for “Tower,” as well as engineering, mixing, and mastering all of the tracks on “Heart Tower” except “Decision” and “Safer Now.”

“The songs flow through her, and I think that is evident in their timeless nature. They sound like they’ve always existed somewhere,” Roesner said.

In her free time, Robbins can be found reading on her kindle, doing yoga, painting, writing music, or taking in the vibrant city of New Orleans with her friends.

“I would describe Jade as wise, imaginative, intuitive, and silly!” Ruby Zlotkowski, Robbin’s roommate said.

Robbins describes her personal style as kind of gay, earthy, and kooky.

“My favorite colors are jewel tones and the colors of a misty sea in the morning. I care about comfort over everything else!” she said.

Her style influences are, “the entirety of the movie “Ponyo,” moms who never wear shoes and live on quaint homesteads with their lumberjack stud partners, and my grandma who wears boxy linen smocks and orange glasses,” Robbins said.

Robbins described creating “Heart Tower” as an enjoyable and comforting experience because so many of the tracks were made with a collection of friends.

“Getting to be with good friends that cared about me and my music was great because it was like we could really take time and try different things and experiment in a safe space,”Robbins said.

Robbin said her art helps her process personal challenges in her life.

“It’s the best thing for it,” she said. “It’s like the only thing that helps.”

Some of her music influences, especially for “Heart Tower” include Bon Iver, Coldplay, Lana Del Ray, Alex G, and Pine Grove.

“I wrote [“Heart Tower”] over a two year period when I felt like I was really starting to understand what being an adult means and how to cope with mental health struggles in a way that’s sustainable,” Robbins said.

Robbins described track eleven, “Tower,” as her favorite track on the album.

“I feel like it expresses all of the themes and points of the album,” she said. “I love the way the music comes together in the background.”

The song ends with the lyrics, “Oh I thought I knew / See them bloom,” which Robbins said she loved.

“It’s like an anti-cynicism song,” she said.

“You can feel the intention infused in each sound wave in all your molecules + atoms. Her integrity is deeply inspiring,” Diamond said.

For the release of Heart Tower, Robbins wanted unique merchandise. She crafted a tarot card deck, aligning its imagery and symbolism with the track’s themes. The deck offers viewers insights into the narratives conveyed by the songs. The illustrations are posted on Robbins’ instagram account

“It just kinda happened really organically… a lot of the songs are tarot inspired so naturally they fit together,” Robbins said.

She described how her music and art typically reflect her current emotional landscape. Robbin said her creative output, whether in color palette or emotional state, fit within the realm she is cultivating, ensuring symmetry within the thematic elements of her music and art.

On track three of the album, “The Kick,” Robbins was inspired by womanhood, finding your identity, and figuring out what people want you for.

The track begins with the lyrics, “When you were a little kid / How did you take the hit? / Close your eyes through it or stare right into it.”

Robbins explains in this track how you can keep going in a world where people knock you down in a literal and metaphorical sense. She proposes a solution to listeners through a star which she explains is the light within the wound further demonstrating the themes of growth and learning in her music.

In “The Kick,” the corresponding tarot card, “The Shiner,” depicts Robbins’ main character with a star-shaped black eye, a motif recurring throughout the tarot deck.

“They represent wounds inflicted by other people,” Robbins said.

As the protagonist journeys through the tracks, the star-shaped wound fades and eventually diminishes, symbolizing the transformative process of growth and healing.

Roesner enjoyed making “The Kick” with Robbins. They began recording it on a whim, he said. They experimented and added different sounds and ideas freely. Roesner said this is his favorite way to record because it results in a sound only achievable through the process of free experimentation.

“To me, Jade’s music is special because it is true to her and to her experience. She has a unique story to tell, and she tells it honestly,” Roesner said.

Robbins newest single titled “Catch Up” was produced by Wolf Moon Records, Loyola’s record label, and you can check it out on all music streaming platforms.

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