Ever woken up at 50 and regretted you had never realised the one dream you had nurtured all your life? That for some reason, lack of funds, time, career, family commitments, or simply fear, you had held back?
Jude Adams is proof that you can overcome your fears and seize the moment. Not only is she an icon for older women, she is proof that age is immaterial to achieving your dreams.
For most of her life Jude dreamt of becoming a singer but did nothing about it: until her partner Marg persuaded her, just prior to her 50th birthday, that it was a ‘now or never’ moment and that she should let go of her fears and make her dream a reality.
10 years later, aged 60, Jude has released two albums, a book and is currently on tour with The Window to My Soul, a three-dimensional project (book, album and exhibition) which evolved out of her album and book of the same title. At the launch last year, she was described as ‘Renaissance Woman’ by Rosie Millard OBE, writer, journalist and broadcaster – a perfect description.
How did ‘Renaissance woman’ come about? Following her partner’s “stern talking to” Jude (50) finally took the plunge and decided to focus on singing as a career, gigging in an around her hometown in Kent, following many years working in the fitness industry and interior design. Sadly, this venture was short-lived as just two years later she was obliged to stop performing following a diagnosis of the debilitating illness, M.E..
But, Jude was not to be thwarted so easily. To assist with her recovery, it was suggested she keep a journal, and this proved to be the key to her ‘renaissance’. Over time she began to realise that her entries and jottings were turning into lyrics and songs. Out of these was born her first album, This Girl, This Woman, which she launched aged 57 to critical acclaim, with a multimedia exhibition – The Most Extraordinary Adventure – touring Kent including a performance at Canterbury Festival Umbrella in 2017. Commenting on the artistic quality of This Girl, This Woman Rosie Millard said: “The album itself is a wonderful piece of fresh artistic talent, great music, very well delivered, very original and at the same time very welcoming. The songs are catchy and have great integrity.” Indeed, several tracks from this album became part of the sound-track to a documentary, Older Women Rock! by spoken word poet Leah Thorn and filmmaker Clare Unsworth.
Having laid her fears to rest Jude felt she had more to give and embarked on a second album, The Window to My Soul. This she launched aged 60, with accompanying ‘memoir of sorts’, inspired by the rediscovery of childhood gift, a beautiful box set of Alice in Wonderland, combining vinyl LPs with illustrated book. She instinctively adopted the format, seeing it as a path to further articulate her own creativity and expand her forms of expression, so she could reach, touch and inspire more people with her work and her story.
And this is what Jude achieves. In The Window to My Soul album the listener tangibly feels Jude’s love for life and adventure, her courage and determination, her firm belief that “new does not mean young”, cleverly underlined by her collaboration with young musicians, giving the album a contemporary soulful and dance vibe. Commented Rosie Millard: “Jude Adams sings with panache and the zest of a soul sister who has lived a little and experienced a lot. ‘The Window to My Soul’ is gripping and exhilarating, thanks to Adams’ punchy brio.”
The Window to My Soul memoir stands alone but is a compelling counterpoint to the album. Rather than linear in format, it floats across a lifetime, stopping to focus on the diverse influences that shaped the writer. It is poignant, humorous and searingly honest in parts and covers the breadth of life experience through a deliberate mash up of media – word, poetry and illustrations. It entices the reader to dip in to different episodes, experience Adams’ passions and reflect on his/her own: all underpinned by a range of themes from home and travel to relationships and rediscovery, the creative force, and how to live life such that is it a Most Extraordinary Adventure. “For anyone who has ever feared not giving it a go, read ‘The Window to My Soul’ and you will be inspired to get up, face your fears and do it anyway. Once read, never forgotten.” (Rosie Millard)
Ever one for adventure the publication of her memoir has led Jude on to appearing at Literary Festivals (Whitstable Literary Festival: May 8-12, 2019 and Westgate-on-Sea Literary Festival: September 14-15, 2019) to discuss her new album and ‘memoir of sorts’, and this year her tour of The Window to My Soul.
Tour venues have included Faversham, Whitstable and still to come are London – Omnibus Theatre, Clapham – and the Fishing Quarter Gallery, Brighton as part of Brighton Fringe with live performances on April 24 and May 24 respectively.
Jude is a born performer and her live events, which include music from her album, readings from her memoir and conversation about how her latest project came about are full of fun, humour, good music and inspiration. Try and get to one if you can.
The Window to My Soul (book) – available online and all good book shops:
The Window to My Soul (album) – available as CD from all main online retailers and digitally on all main streaming services
The album The Window to My Soul is co-produced by Georgia Train (CEO, Hookers Songs) and Chris Stagg. The book is edited by Marnie Summerfield-Smith.
The Window to My Soul – Tour Dates 2020
- 14-26 April Exhibition, Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, London.
- April 24 Live Event, Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, London
- 23-28 May Exhibition, Fishing Quarter Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex
- 24 May Live Event Fishing Quarter Gallery, as part of Fringe City, Brighton Fringe, Brighton, East Sussex