Interview: Jasmine Thompson
Jasmine Thompson is not your ordinary fourteen year old. She has over a million followers online. She was signed to a record label earlier this year. Her new single Adore was dropped early last month. But perhaps most pertinently, Thompson has a beautiful, striking singing voice, full of a rich mystery that one would not expect from a musician of her tender years.
Thompson was eight when she began singing lessons, and only two years later she uploaded her first video to youtube. Although a number of her youtube videos are covers – including her striking version of Passenger’s megahit Let Her Go, which has scored over 22 million views as of writing – she has also uploaded a number of originals, including the haunting and brilliant Willow.
We got a chance to talk to Thompson about the new single, her fans, and tomatoes…
Joseph Earp: How are you and where in the world does our interview find you today?
Jasmine Thompson: Life is so good right now. I’m about to go to my first festival to see Rudimental, James Bay, and Chaka Khan! I’m London and it’s sunny for once!
JE: Your new single Adore is out. How did you celebrate the song being dropped?
JT: I was actually in Germany when it was released. I was getting ready to do the first live performance of Adore with a band. So I just celebrated with my band, team and mum too! We went out for pizza.
JE: Adore could be classified as pop, but it draws on a lot of other genres as well. How would you personally describe the song’s sound?
JT: Adore is like a bridge between my stripped back, acoustic YouTube covers and the more upbeat dance songs I have done with Robin Schulz and Felix Jaehn. It’s dance and pop music, but still has the emotional side of my earlier songs.
JE: Adore has a beautiful and evocative video. How was the shoot?
JT: Making the video for Adore was so much fun – we filmed it in this incredible house in the hills during my last trip to LA. It was so magical with all of the mirrors and plants decorating the walls. I want to live in a house like that one day!
JE: You got signed to a major label earlier this year. How have you found the major label experience so far, as compared to recording for youtube?
JT: It’s great – I’ve got such an amazing team around me and it has been so nice getting to know everyone over the last several months. It’s nice to be a part of a big group. But YouTube will always be my home. Without YouTube, none of this would be possible.
JE: You have a very dedicated and loyal legion of fans. What is the best interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?
JT: I love meeting my fans. I speak to so many people online and read so many lovely comments on my videos, but since I’ve been travelling more, I have gotten to meet so many of them in person. Some of my fans got together to make a fan magazine and then sent me a copy, which is so amazing. I think they are making the third issue now, I can’t believe it!
JE: Say you’re not on tour, and you’re not writing or recording. What does a typical day in your life look like?
JT: I like to sleep in until 11 (I love sleeping) and then watch something on Netflix or play some piano before going out to the park to meet my friends. I also have to study or meet with tutors whenever I am not doing music things.
JE: You’ve covered what might well be one of my favourite songs ever: Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You. How did you first discover Mazzy Star? What led you to cover that particular song?
JT: So cool that you like Mazzy Star too. My vocal teacher introduced me to Fade Into You probably because he thought he could hear some similarities in our voices. I really love her music.
JE: Is there a song that you desperately want to cover that you haven’t gotten around to yet?
JT: Hallelujah – it’s such a beautiful song, but it would be a challenge. One day!
JE: There are videos on youtube of you singing at the tender age of ten. What was the first song you ever got recorded singing? How old were you?
JT: My first YouTube video was a cover of Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song. I was 10 years old, laying on my bed and holding a stuffed animal. It’s pretty embarrassing looking back at it now haha.
JE: Was yours a very musical household when you were growing up?
JT: Yeah, there was always music all around me. My parents would listen to The Beatles all the time in the house and my brother and I would sing-a-long to the Ting Tings and Scouting for Girls everyday on the way to and from school.
JE: Is there any country you’d like to tour that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet?
JT: There are so many, I want to go everywhere! It would be cool to go on tour in America, I love New York and LA.
JE: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer before.
JT: I would love to take part in the La Tomatina festival in Spain. Throwing tomatoes at each other sounds like fun!