Jasmine Thompson's emotional video for "Old Friends" hits pretty close to home.
Emotion is at the heart of Jasmine Thompsons music. Each song resonates with feeling and offers the listener a sense of sincere cathartic release, reflecting her experiences onto audiences own. The 16-year-old musician, who grew up in Central London, may be young, but shes also been through a lot and she spends much of her time considering how life works and why we do the things we do.
Thompson was born to a Chinese mother and English father and spent her childhood living in low-income housing. Her parents divorced early on because of her fathers alcoholism and Jasmine found herself facing the reality of a split home as a young kid, and Jasmine turned to music to get her through the hard times. Although she doesnt come from musically inclined parents, Jasmines older brother sang and played instruments, encouraging her to follow in his footsteps. She learned piano and bass, and listened to every song she could get her hands on, and attended a performing arts high school. She especially connected to British indie rock like Florence and the Machine and Noah and the Whale, who continue to inspire her. Music, from the beginning, was in Jasmines soul.
This upbringing resonates throughout Jasmines EP Wonderland, her second following 2015s Adore. Wonderland is about London itself, recounting growing up and coming of age in the city. Its about the confusion one feels as a young adult or, even, as a grown-up and it affirms that theres something ultimately sweet about not really knowing. A lot of the songs on the EP talk about feeling lost and confused, Jasmine says. For the past year Ive been thinking, 'Whats my life supposed to be like? Its addressing the fact that no one has a clue whats going on.
The songs on the EP were recorded over the past year and a half, in Los Angeles, London and Stockholm. Jasmine partnered with a selection of songwriters and producers, who helped her create a series of tracks that reflects the highs and lows of being a teenager. These co-writers include Meghan Trainor, Ross Golan, Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, Max Martin's Wolfcousins, Johan Carlsson and Mark Crew, all of whom brought fresh, exciting perspectives to the project.
Old Friends, co-written by Trainor, centers on coming to terms with seeing your friends less as you grow up. Its about missing your mates, Jasmine says. You meet new people every day and talk to them and get to know them, but its not the same as what you have with your best friends who have been there for you. I love the song. It feels like a part of me. Someones Somebody, on the other hand, is an unabashed love song a first for Jasmine, who is new to the feeling herself. Its about falling in love, splitting up, and the heartbreak of seeing your ex with someone new. Its a poignant, soulful number that aches with feeling, as is Fix Me, a ballad inspired by Jasmines relationship with her father.
Youve always got that one person who is there for you, the singer explains. My dad is now about seven years sober and hes really turned his life around. When he got sober, as the youngest child, it felt like Id always be there for him. The song is addressing someone youre always grateful for, but the story for me is in reverse. Im always going to be there for my dad. Its a really personal story for me, but its also for anyone who feels like they have someone there for them.
In this way, Jasmine is focused on ensuring that her music has meaning for all who hear it. Her soaring, impassioned voice is always filled with feeling, whether shes singing her own music or being featured on dance tracks for artists Robin Schultz, DJ Felix Jaehn and others. Its the sort of memorable voice thats earned accolades from Aviici, Passenger and Trainor, among others, and brought her over 1 billion total streams and over 5.7 million monthly Spotify listeners worldwide. Her music video for Adore, the single off her previous album, has over 30 million views on YouTube, where she currently has 2.6 million subscribers and one billion views collectively.
Its clear listening to Jasmines songs that music is part of her being. She gives everything she has to each lyric and each note, and her life experiences so far reverberate throughout. Her videos for Wonderland will be shot in London, showcasing the city that made her who she is alongside the friends who have shaped her, and the live performances will bring even more emotional fervor to the tracks.
I want to put out music that gives people something, Jasmine says. My songs have love and emotion in them. I want my music to help the people who listen to it. Whenever Im upset I put in headphones, turn something on and feel better. Emotions can easily be reflected by a song, so I want to make sure I make songs that are valued by people in an emotional way. Everything I make is for my fans.