Fort St. James singer-songwriter Jerusha White will lead off a Regional Showcase at Artspace on Jan. 30

Jerusha White plays Cold Snap

Jerusha White of Fort St. James prepares for a performance at the Cold Snap Music Festival in Prince George.

Allan Wishart

Prince George Free Press


Three little words.

That’s one way Jerusha White writes songs.

“I’m probably the most backwards-writing songwriter around,” says the Fort St. James singer, who will be in a Coldsnap Regional Showcase at Artspace on Jan. 30. “I usually have the melody first, and then there are two ways I write.

“I either sit down and play the melody until I’m sick of it, and then the words come, or I’ll have three words in mind while I’m playing the melody and I’ll think of a way to work them into the song.”

Learning she sings mostly jazz or rhythm-and-blues is a bit of a surprise for someone so young, until you ask who she listened to growing up. The names spill out like a cascade.

“Celine Dion, Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin. Aretha Franklin was one of my favourites growing up. I listen to almost anything. I love rap, but I’d never do it on stage.

“I always go back to jazz and R&B.”

But those other styles peek through.

“When I was writing the songs for my album,” she says, “I think part of everything I listen to came through. There’s hints of a lot of genres.”

The album, set for release in April, is basically done, and manager Don Rudland says the people they had working with her on the album couldn’t have been better.

“The team we’re recording with is stellar. With a young artist like Jerusha, you have to help her on her way. They realized this, and they were always willing to put their two cents in on a song.”

White agrees.

“It’s so brilliant to watch someone who has no real idea where the song is going, so he experiments a bit and suddenly you realize how good it sounds and you think, ‘I wrote that’.”

They started working on the album in Vancouver, then moved to a studio in Edmonton.

“Don knows best when it comes to stuff like that,” White says. “I was like a kid walking through the zoo when we went to visit the different studios. They all looked so new and fascinating.”

When it comes to singing the songs, White feels her training in musical theatre (she performed in A Christmas Carol with Theatre North West) comes in handy.

“When you’re on stage, every song is like a little movie. You have to put yourself into the character for that song, then between songs, you do a mental costume change to become a new character.

“If the song is just words on paper, what is it? You have to feel it.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that she is deeply emotionally connected to all her songs.

“There are a lot of the songs I write that don’t really relate to my life experiences. I mean, I’m still pretty young, I don’t have a lot of life experiences yet.”

Sometimes, though, it’s different.

“Thee was one song that I did really relate to, and it was tough to do it in the studio. They guys in the band recognized right away that this one was different for me, and they were really supportive, helping me through it.”

Catch Jerusha White on Thursday, Jan. 30 at Artspace, when she starts the Regional Showcase at 7 p.m.


Just Posted

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Most Read