Spotify Playlist: Jade Helliwell’s Top 10 Picks

“I have chosen ten songs that influenced me both musically and emotionally and taught me various things about music. Each song represents a different part of my life and where I am at musically”

1. When A Woman – Gabrielle

This song instantly takes me back to being 10 years old, dancing in the kitchen whilst my mum did the washing up. It is such a fun catchy song and it showed me how fun music can be. To this day whenever I hear that song I smile and remember being carefree.

2. Our Song-Taylor Swift.

I was around sixteen years old when I heard this song from Taylor Swift and instantly loved it. The internet was such a useful tool by then already for discovering new music. It was this song that caused me to look further into country music in the modern age and fall in love completely with the genre… and Taylor Swift!

3. Crazy-Patsy Cline (Willie Nelson).

This song is probably my favourite country song of all time. Both the writing and the delivery of the song move me every time. The raw emotion in Patsy Cline’s voice taught me how to really sing a song with all your emotion. When I was younger I was often told to get rid of my vibrato as it’s too fast and unpleasant – Patsy Cline’s voice taught me that my voice fit into the country genre and it’s ok to sound different.

4. Just A Dream- Carrie Underwood

When I first heard this song I instantly bought the ‘Carnival Ride’ album and listened to it on repeat for days on end. I love how great a story this song is, and it helped me push myself to write songs that are inspired by hypothetical situations.

5. Greatest Love Of All- Whitney Houston

The first time I ever sang in public I was nine years old singing at a karaoke night on a family holiday. This was the song I sang. It was my first experience singing in front of people and was definitely the thing that gave me the bug to want to be a performer.

6. That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain

My parents weren’t big country fans so it’s strange I have such a love for it. The bit of country I really remember hearing growing up was Shania Twain. This song in particular again takes me back to being a child, listening to music in the kitchen with my mum. Shania was my first taste of Country music.

7. Breathless-The Corrs

I have always loved this song. So much so, that when I was sixteen I tried out for The X Factor and choose it as my audition song. I didn’t make it through to the rounds with Simon Cowell but that audition and this song was the turning point in my career where I decided it wasn’t enough to just sing other peoples songs and hope to make something of my career based on the opinions of tv talent shows. I started writing songs, but it took me another three years to actually pluck up the courage to play one of those songs for someone. From that day I never looked back and began pouring all my efforts into being a singer/songwriter and learning my craft.

8. I Don’t Want This Night To End- Luke Bryan

The first trip I took to Nashville was everything I expected it to be and more. I was overwhelmed with the amount of music ranging from traditional honkytonk style to really modern style. The one song I heard in literally every bar was this. It made me long to write something as catchy and instantly recognisable. Whenever I hear it I’m reminded of that first trip I took to Nashville.

9. Coat Of Many Colours- Dolly Parton.

This song was and still is one of my favourites of Dolly’s. I always loved it mostly for her ability to tell a story through song. I went to see Dolly in Leeds arena a few years back and when she sang this I developed a new love for it through seeing her emotion poured into it. I long to be able to tell stories like she does.

10. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

This is a song I’ve always enjoyed hearing but admittedly never paid much thought to. Until it literally changed my life. I performed this song with a street busker called Dawid Osial last year in Leeds. That spontaneous performance went viral and attracted new attention to my music. It helped me see that there are tons of opportunities and if you really believe in yourself and your dreams, you can be successful. Two months after this video I quit my job to be a full time musician and I haven’t looked back!