PLAYBOY MAGAZINE JUNE 1990
COOL NEW BREEZE FROM CANADA
Presley was one of the first targets of hype-speak; e.g.,
hottest new star in the universe. Several decades
later, similar phrases whiz by like so much white noise.
More than a few scene savants, however, currently insist
that 23-year old Canadian newcomer Jane Child is that hot.
was only five when her musician parents began teaching her
voice, piano, violin and music theory. At 12, she was teaching,
too. Rock-androll music was verboten, not for
moral reasons but for musical onesmy folks didnt
want anything to blunt my developing musical subtlety.
But on her bedroom radio at night, she would hunt down R&B
stations beaming from Buffalo, New York: Stevie Wonder and
Earth, Wind and Fire quietly led her astray.
she was 15, Child took a summer job playing keyboards for
a traveling local rock band. At summers end, she did
not get off the bus. That amazing energy exchange
lured her off the pathway to a concert-pianist career.
still wonders at her relatively smooth ascent to stardom.
To make a long fairy tale short. A Hamilton, Ontario studio
where she sang commercial jingles gave her recording time
to make demos of her original songs. A Colonel Parker
type passed them along to his partner in New York,
where Jane relocated in 1988. The recording deal the partners
put together, says Child, was small, and there was
no artistic control. So I said no, which put me in breach
of contract to those guys. I headed to L.A. in 89.
She laughs. There I was in L.A., - with no car!
no management, no insider pals and none of the other stuff
usually needed to smuggle demos into the major labels. But
Childs tapes got around anyway.
I couldnt work legally in the States. I looked like
I do nowimagine me working at a Winchells Donuts!
Money was scarce, but interested record companies provided.
One label would pay my rent one month and another
the next. With that kind of support, it wasnt
surprising when Warner Bros. gave her creative control of
her first self-titled project.