Jade Pauk is the founder and host of Little Bit of Soul, a show concentrated on playing jazz, swing, and more for three years now. Discorder recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jade to talk about her show.
Discorder Magazine: Little Bit of Soul is one of the longer running shows on CiTR that plays a mix of jazz tunes and oldies. I was just interested in knowing how you started out?
Jade Pauk: Well, growing up I was exposed to a lot of different forms of music — thank you to my parents for that — and I remember going around my grandmother’s living room dancing with my sister to big band music. So, that music always has a place in my heart. Throughout my childhood, I was involved with these different forms of music: classical piano, cello, all those other art forms. Then, when I got to university it was hard for me to maintain a focus on studying those instruments, and [I] wanted to find a different creative outlet and a way of maintaining my connection to music. So, that’s how it started.
I guess I was hoping that I could find the interconnections between the different genres that I was focusing on. If you listen to the playlists, you’ll hear similarities or contrasts between the music. I don’t necessarily always want to be overt in telling the listener “Listen for this” or “Listen for that,” but if they can make those connections appear for themselves, I would really be happy.
DM: You do play a mix of old and new on your show. What’s your process of putting content together for each episode?
JP: I really like to focus on the historical elements of the music, and a lot of the times when I’m listening to music, I try and find similarities between songs, or pieces. What’s really amazing with jazz, soul, and R&B is that you have these sort of condensed audio files. I really like to put them into context or try and see the trends within the music.
DM: How relevant do you think the genres you play are nowadays?
JP: Extremely. Mainstream music is, I’d say, primarily made up of these genres, and everything links back to them. And with that comes a lot of cultural appropriation of African American culture. I think it’s really important to look at the music that we listen to today, and see where it came from; we have to go back to the roots and hear for ourselves how that came into being, and how it has influenced the way we listen to it today. A lot of artists draw directly from those in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Justin Timberlake is directly connected to Michael Jackson; he has his falsetto voice, his entertainment style. That being said, Michael Jackson did also steal moves from James Brown, so, it kind of goes back a long way.
DM: It’s just like a chain.
JP: Yeah, exactly. It just goes to show how influential that time period was for music. The other thing is, a lot of musicians — jazz especially — had a really wonderful understanding of musical history. So, when they started bebop and the other jazz forms, they were breaking away from convention. Miles Davis, for example, had played in more conventional jazz ensembles, and had wanted a way out of that to break convention. It’s very much like visual arts, in that sense, where the [contemporary] artists were breaking away from the standard.
DM: You’ve already accomplished so much on Little Bit of Soul, but I was just wondering where else you’d like to see it go.
JP: When I first started out, it was very much focused on big band and older styles of jazz and things of the sort. Now, it’s starting to incorporate a bit more modern r&b and hip-hop, and finding that line of contrast and comparisons between the music. It’s been a journey and it’s kind of been chronological? Like, I’d like to say that there’s been a bit of a stream there. I hope that at least some people have stuck with me throughout the process, and have learnt about these genres from the beginning to the current state of those genres, really.
Little Bit of Soul airs on CiTR 101.9FM Mondays 4-5pm. For more show information or archived episodes and podcasts, visit citr.ca/radio/little-bit-of-soul.