We met singer Jasmine Thompson when she was visiting Atlantic Records in Manhattan recently. Her latest EP is “Wonderland,” and we think it is great. Jasmine started her career all by herself by posting videos of herself on YouTube singing. She has more than 2 million followers.
What is your song “Wonderland” based on?
It is about me and my friends and a night out that we had, and we were running around London. It was really about how we felt about running all around and not getting lost in the city. The city is so massive, but we were running around and we were finding these really special places. It is about how we feel lost in this whole massive world we live in, but we find happiness with the people we are close to.
When you were younger, did you ever dream of this much success?
No. To be honest, I just thought that I would be doing music. I had no clue that I would be doing interviews and touring. I just wanted to sing!
Who or what inspired you to become a singer?
It was kind of a natural thing because I always wanted to sing. But I would say that groups like Florence and the Machine were artists I really loved when I was growing up. Groups like the Ting Tings were London-based bands that I liked. I also love ABBA and Aerosmith.
Do you write your own music?
I co-write most of my music. When I do write my own, I get my ideas from stories I have heard, and some are based on fairy tales. A lot can be about stuff that happens between me and my friends and family.
What challenges did you encounter when you first started singing?
It is difficult because there are so many singers around. I don’t want to make competition with other people, because I always want to stay myself. I always want to be the singer that I am. I don’t want to change myself — just stay true to myself.
What instruments can you play?
I would love to be able to play the drums. At the moment I can play the piano and the guitar. I can do a tiny bit of bass. It is groovy!
At what age did you begin to sing?
When I was around 8, I started having proper singing lessons, but I was always singing before that.
What advice would you give a 9-year-old girl who wanted to become a singer?
Just explore your creativity as much as possible. If you are passionate about music, then just let it grow, and it may take you somewhere. Train your vocals and explore what you want to do with it. Be original and try not to follow trends, and explore.
What is the best way to promote your music?
Social media is a good way because you can access so many people. When I was younger I started by posting my own videos on YouTube.
What are you excited about with your tour?
It is my first headline show. I have done tours when I have supported others. My followers are coming, and I get to meet people I have never met before.
What is your favorite thing to do besides singing?
Sleeping! I am so tired. I love being able to see my friends back home.
If you could perform in concert with anyone, who would it be?
I would like to perform with Ed Sheeran or Beyoncé.
How do you keep up with schoolwork?
I am home-schooled. I have been home-schooled for two years. I read a lot. When I am back home in the UK, I catch up with my lessons.
Have you ever forgotten the words while singing in a concert?
Yes! It is really awkward. I used to sing a lot of covers. The people in the audience would be singing along, and I would forget the words and then try to pretend and then try to catch up.
Which do you like more: making music videos or performing in concerts?
I love both. What I love about music videos is you spend such a long time working on it, and when it is finished, you get to watch it. After spending one or two days filming it, and then after all the editing and all of the work, you only have three minutes. It is a fun process. Performing live is this whole other thing. It is this energetic feeling and emotion.
Since you are half Chinese, what is your favorite Chinese tradition?
I love the zodiac signs, and I am the Year of the Dragon. I live in London, and we have a Chinatown, and every year they run around and they celebrate, and when it is the Year of the Dragon they all have those long costumes.