INTERVIEW: Pop Star Jade Starling Talks New Album and LGBT Pride

jade starling new album

Photo courtesy of Gretchen Johnson Photography.

Jade Starling has been serving diva presence on gay dancefloors — and in the LGBT community — since the 1987, when her group Pretty Poison’s hit single “Catch Me (I’m Falling)” took over the world and homo hearts everywhere. Recently, I had a chance to sit down with her and longtime keyboardist/guitarist Whey Cooler. We had a fabulous chat about her love of Philly, the new solo album, “Captive,” and her deep connection to the queer community.

Jade Starling strikes a pose on the day of our interview. Photo courtesy of Jade Starling.

Jade Starling strikes a pose on the day of our interview. Photo courtesy of Jade Starling.

G Philly: What were you like growing up? Good girl or bad girl?
Jade Starling: I would say I was a combo of naughty and nice. I was rebellious but my heart was in the right place. I went to concerts and surrounded myself with lots of music, which always helped me get through those awkward years.

GP: You performed last year at the 6abc Thanksgiving Day Parade. What was that like?
JS: It was absolutely surreal and amazing. When you think about it, millions watched the parade. It was such an awesome feeling to know that. We got to do our new single, “Insomniak,” and “Catch Me,” which was a great way to blend the new and classic hits. We were just so honored and humbled to be there.

GP: What is your favorite thing about Philly?
JS: Tough to pick one thing. Philly is my hometown. I love everything about it. I love the passionate people and their amazing support. I love the gorgeous skyline. Of course, the LGBT community here is fabulous. They have always been so kind and supportive since day one. I’ll always be here to give it right back.

GP: You’ve been an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights. Have any hopes for the equality fight in 2014?
JS: I want to see more acceptance. Stop with all the bashing. Just keep moving forward with equality and just have everyone love and accept one another.

GP: Let’s talk about your new album, Captive.
JS: The record took a year to make. … We called it Captive, because for so long we were held captive from not moving with new music. … We also want to “captivate” people. I think we’ll do that with this new album.
Whey Cooler: From day one we wanted to make a pure EDM record. We worked with Lee Dagger of U.K. electronic duo Bimbo Jones, which was amazing. Also, up-and-coming DJ Laszlo from Denver contributed three tracks on the record. He is really making a name for himself. It was great to have him with us for this experience.

GP: What was the inspiration behind the new single, “Insominak?”
JS: I think it mainly comes from the fact that I can’t sleep. I’m always on the go, just keeping those creative juices flowing. I also think it comes from all the creative energy we put into this record. We have just been so up and focused with it this past year.

GP: What new artists inspire you?
JS: There are so many fascinating, talented artists out there. I love anyone that can be comfortable with themselves and just entertain. I love Miley. I love Lady Gaga. She’s got some balls. I love anyone who is creative. There are just some great talents out there.

Jade Starling and me after the interview.

Jade Starling and me after the interview.

GP: What was the best part of 2013 for you guys?
JS: We got back on the charts last year. It wasn’t just the U.S. charts, but internationally. “Insomniak” has really paved the way for us in 2014. It was such a fabulous feeling to be on dance charts all over the world.
WC: “Catch Me” turned 25 last year, which is still so hard to believe. It took on a life of its own last year. It was really cool for our song to be featured in the last season of Breaking Bad. It was nice to gain new fans in different ways.

GP: Looking ahead, what do you hope is in store for you in 2014?
JS: I hope to have a major hit album and lots of hit singles. We put our hearts and souls into this record and we just really want to touch people with our music. … I just want to live it up in 2014 and make it my bitch!

Captive is set for release on Feb. 14. Check out fiery new single “Insomniak” below.

“Insomniak” (Chris Cox Remix)

“Catch Me (I’m Falling)”