Meet Teen Sensation Jadagrace – If You Can Dream
Teen sensation in the making, Jadagrace Berry has more than a lot going on. Unlike the average 15 year old she has a career to manage, an image to uphold and her talent isn’t winning her talent shows, it’s getting her movie roles and multi-album deals with legends like Berry Gordy. Almost inconceivable in all of this however is how humble she remains and how steadfast she is on achieving her goals and accomplishing things that would be indescribable for the average adolescent. I had the pleasure of talking to the adorable Jadagrace during a recent New York City trip, needless to say, she convinced me that she’s got a bright future ahead of her. Allow me to get you on board.
Her career, started like many, trying to follow in the footsteps of someone else. In the case of Jadagrace it was at just four years old watching a girl dance at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Instantly, she knew she wanted to do the same. She joined the Dance Academy and Debbie Allen took her under her wing. Jadagrace even calls the veteran actress and dancer a second mom. As part of the academy Jadagrace’s performance and dedication helped her stand out. She would get cast as the lead for plays and would have to sing and dance for large audiences. That became her introduction to the world of entertainment and it quickly led to big things.
By the time she was just seven years old, Jadagrace was auditioning to be in movies. Her first role came in 2008 when she was just 7, for a short film called Three Versus. A year later she was cast as Star in Terminator Salvation. She was just 8 years old, but by then entertainment was no longer a hobby. It had become a life mission and her dedication towards her dream were unlike that of any preteen.
Talking to her now, the drive is obviously still unwavering. Even with all the progress she’s made in her budding career she repeatedly mentioned that her journey was just beginning and that there’s so much that she looks forward to accomplishing. It’s somewhat surprising considering her extensive list of credits. Yet she’s so humble and still so unsatisfied that it’s hard not to root for her every step of the way.
The first in her family to have a career in entertainment the young star is an only child. She credits her mom for being a staple in her corner and doing whatever it takes to help her succeed on her path towards her entertainment endeavors. For the most part it’s just her and her mother, traveling, going to auditions and reaping the benefits that have come with the hard work. And there’s been A LOT of hard work. A typical day for Jada includes 3 or 4 hours of home school, followed by a singing lesson. Throw in a break to eat and then it’s back to work with a dancing lesson or a gymnastics lesson, sometimes both. Her life is nothing like the normal middle school child, but she loves it that way. “It’s fun for me,” she explains. She takes extra joy in knowing that she’s working toward something.
When she was nine years old she embarked on an additional goal, working towards her music career. Her first single was titled “Express Yourself.” While it did well, it wasn’t until she collaborated with RedFoo of LMFAO on the song “Run Dat Back” that the music industry really began to take notice. “I’ve kind of known him my whole life,” she says of how her connection with him came together. “He’s Berry Gordy’s son and I’ve known Berry my whole life. We’ve grown up together and he’s supported me my whole career. For him to do “Run Dat Back ” with me was really great.” The song was featured on the Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation in 2012 and the song was released through a deal with Epic Records.
The aforementioned Berry Gordon didn’t really take notice until he officially put his stamp on her career last year. The founder of Motown waited until he was sure she was ready and now she is his latest protégé. Jadagrace has a five album deal with West Gate, putting her one step closer to her goals. The pair, Jadagrace & Gordy, are also working on a film. It’s yet to be titled and they haven’t started filming yet, but Jada was able to let us in on the premise. “The movie is about this girl who’s mom just wants her to go to school, get good grades and then go to college. She wants to be in a school play and she wants to be a performer, but her mom doesn’t want her to. So you get to see her chase her dreams.”
One of Jadagrace’s idols is another Berry Gordy protégé, the legendary Michael Jackson. She aspires to one day command a stage almost like he was known to do. She’ll be lucky to fall somewhere between the King of Pop and her other idol, Beyoncé.
She’s still picking songs for her debut album, but the lead single, “Boom Boom Boom” has been picking up on youtube and across social media. It’s just another success in the ironically long career of the young triple threat. There’s little time to enjoy it however. When asked to recall what the hardest part has been on this climb up the industry, Jadagrace doesn’t hesitate when speaking on all the opportunities she hasn’t been afforded. “It’s really just dealing with all the “no”s that have come in and I’m still going,” she explains. “This journey has been crazy, but I know that I’m going to get there. There’s a lot of work that goes into it and sometimes people don’t see that but you have to be really committed if you want to be in it.”
Spoken with the wisdom of a veteran, it’s no surprise that her mentor has been in the industry for over half a century. His advice to her has always been along the same vein. “He’s kind of raised me on this poem called “If” by Rudyard Kipling,” Jadagrace shares. “It just tells me everything about life and when I get stuck I just go back to that poem. He’s told me that there will be a lot of nos coming, but it’s that one yes that I need.”
Here’s to hearing “No” few and far between.
Jadagrace has accomplished so much in a short time that it’s almost overwhelming. We asked her about some of her other project as well during the course of our interview.
On “The Jadagrace Show”:
That was when I was like 11. I met the director when I was 5 years old and 5 years later we were doing this show. It was crazy having my own set and everything. I did that for 3 years. I go on YouTube and I still see it in other languages for other countries.
On Berry Gordy Finally Taking Her on:
He always tells a story, he says, he would see me dancing and singing and he’d say, ‘she’s cute, hope she does well.’ When I was about ten or twelve he saw something in me so now we’re about to do this movie. He’s just a really great mentor, I’m really lucky to have him.
On Making Time To Have Fun:
I love seeing my friends and I also love basketball. I just love the sport. I don’t get a lot of down time so I like to go all out on my Saturdays. I’m about to go to Disneyland on a Saturday!
Just keep going. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been turned down but you can’t let those people get to you. There are a lot of haters online but you can’t let it get to you. Definitely keep striving.
Be sure to connect with Jadagrace on Social Media:
Twitter: @Jadagrace / Instagram: TheRealJadagrace
Check out the lyric video for her single, “Boom, Boom, Boom”