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Dressed-Up Divas

For the girl group Jada, fashion is a whole new world. Shortly after arriving at a recent photo shoot, the members of the band sifted through the wardrobe rack, calling out names of designers with a girlish excitement.

From left Jacyn Tremblay Elle Wine Lauren OKeefe and April Forrest

From left: Jacyn Tremblay, Elle Wine, Lauren O'Keefe and April Forrest.

Photo By Pasha Antonov at Socialista; Styled By Mayte Allende

For the girl group Jada, fashion is a whole new world. Shortly after arriving at a recent photo shoot, the members of the band sifted through the wardrobe rack, calling out names of designers with a girlish excitement. Based in Boston, they joked that they have to come to New York to get their fashion thrills since New England isn't exactly a fashion mecca.

As a young group on the edge of breaking into the music business, the girls are a work in progress, both in their music and their wardrobes. Recently, band member Jacyn Tremblay, 22, has been trading up from basic jeans looks, an inclination that started the first time she tried on a Versace dress. "It made me feel...a bit more pulled together," she said.

Developing a distinct style is just as important to the musicians as their sound, a mix of pop and R&B featuring sophisticated harmonies that recall the soulfulness of gospel. Jada includes Tremblay, April Forrest, Elle Wine and Lauren O'Keefe and will release its first single, "Since We Made Love," on the Universal Motown label in March. The debut album is slated for summer, followed by a nationwide tour. For the album, the group worked with a diverse roster of writers and producers including Dallas Austin, Babyface, Swizz Beatz, Jonathan "J.R." Rotem, Danjahandz and the Clutch.

Jada was started almost four years ago by Bristol Entertainment, an artist development company in Boston that was behind musicians such as Niia on Yclef Records and The Dropkick Murphys on Warner. Unlike bands that have one lead singer, that duty rotates among Jada's members, none of whom plays an instrument.

"It's rare to find a group whose members can each sing lead, but still possesses an interlocking harmony that makes them a cohesive group," said Sylvia Rhone, president and chief executive of Universal Motown. "When Jada sang a cappella for me, there was an instant connection."

While their sound is distinctive, fashion is a key part of the package. "It's not just about the music," Forrest, 18, said. "More so than ever before, people tend to listen with their eyes."
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