Singer songwriter Jasmine Crowe is far more than just a pretty face. The winner two years consecutively of the UK Songwriting Contest, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist equally skilled on piano, acoustic guitar, and violin, Crowe has a powerful, radio ready voice, and a knack for intelligent pop storytelling, as well as a gift for putting hooks to work in her independent releases. We’ve been following Jasmine’s career since 2018, and finally we’ve now had the chance to speak with her.
Hi Jasmine, thank you for speaking to us today!
We’ve really enjoyed the video for your single, ‘The Shirt Song’. The twist in the end took us completely by surprise! Who came up with the concept?
Thank you so much! This music video was such a fun concept to create for this song! My director Jeremy Eichenbaum and I have created eight music videos together so we’ve gotten to know each other’s process pretty well. I approached him with ‘The Shirt Song’ last summer and started creating a mood board for it with some initial ideas, hair and makeup visuals, location options, etc. We threw some ideas back and forth for awhile, had some phone convos, brainstorming some concepts together.
Initially I had a very simple performance video in mind for ‘The Shirt Song’ but as we were visualizing the concept more and more, the story unfolded and took on a life of its own. One day I was also watching some other music videos for inspiration and thought we should create some kind of twist at the end. Our props list was our way of leaving little ‘Easter eggs’ around the house to tie the ‘bachelor pad’ concept together. Jeremy’s assistant Boaz Aquino who I’ve also worked with on a few of our videos had the idea of leaving the polaroid of me and Wolfgang, my little puppy accomplice to be discovered as foreshadowing. I had the idea of the ‘risky business’ motif.
On shooting day everything unfolded naturally, some of it quite unexpectedly and humorously! I also had no idea Wolfgang was going to become a main character on set. It was such a fun day on set and I absolutely adore how it turned out! It’s one of my favorite videos we’ve ever done together.
You’re a talented musician as well as singer, which instrument did you learn first, do you favour a particular brand of instrument, and if so why?’
My first instrument was the violin – I started playing when I was three years old and it’s become like an extension of my voice. Growing up I started with the Suzuki method where they train you by ear, so I love to improvise leads like an electric guitar with rock bands and within my own compositions and recordings, even for my pop songs. I’ve been playing a six string viper Mark Wood electric violin for about a decade. It has a shoulder rest that supports the violin itself so you can be hands free – it also gives you that extra “wow factor” visual cause it resembles a flying V electric guitar.
When we first wrote about you in 2018 with your song, ‘Breaking Things’, we noted that you’d won the UK songwriting contest twice, back in 2015 and 2016. Do you have any advice for others who are thinking of entering?
Songwriting contests are such a great way to learn and grow as an artist and songwriter and also a great way to gain initial exposure for your career. After winning the UK Songwriting Contest, (which the winning song that year was judged by hit songwriter Shelly Peiken, who I’ve since met here in LA unexpectedly and serendipitously!) I won the Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting contest for my first single and music video “Breaking Things” which jump-started my career – and coming from a song I had written and produced in my bedroom at a time when I felt most isolated and alone was so incredibly validating.
I remember the day I wrote that winning song started with me telling myself, “I’m gonna write a song. I don’t care if it sucks.” As I was writing it I realized it was special and I wanted to do my best for the song, challenging myself. I kept thinking, “I just really want to write something great.” Ringo Starr personally presenting the award in NYC was such a pinch me moment! My favorite songwriter has always been John Lennon and meeting one of my idols – A Beatle – who then said to me ‘One day they’ll be singing your songs’ was a moment I’ll absolutely never forget.
My advice to anyone entering is to not wait for the inspiration to come to you – show up for the inspiration to come through you. Keep writing, hone your skills and your craft and don’t get discouraged along the way. A song can truly change your life.
You’ve moved from Hawaii to California – what do you miss most about island life and what are the things you enjoy most about Cali?
I grew up on the Big Island and what I probably miss the most are my friends and parts of the island that hold so many memories there for me. I actually haven’t been back since I moved to California so I’m long overdue for a visit. Sometimes I miss my hometown and the coast – that tropical vibe, the food and the landscape. Honestly, even though the islands will always be part of me, where I came from and who I am, I really feel California has become my second home now. I guess you could say being in Hawaii my whole life I got a bit of island fever.
I love being able to just drive anywhere – and there are so many opportunities and creative resources here for what I want to do in music and my career which I couldn’t really pursue in the islands. I’m more of a city girl at heart – I also love that California still has the ocean if I start to miss it. Plus I get cold very easily so I’m glad it’s still warm here and sunny all the time ‘cause my hometown of Hilo is definitely known for rain! At some point, though I would absolutely love to go back and do a little tour and some concerts there, have a vacation back home and reunite with all my friends!
Who are your biggest inspirations in music and why? Similarly, who inspires you in life and for what reasons?
My biggest inspirations in music have probably been The Beatles, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Sia, and Lady Gaga all for different reasons. The Beatles evolved so much in their music over the short eight years they were together, writing prolifically and their songs are timeless and iconic. I also loved how many different instruments and experimental arrangements they brought into their music, like sonic paintings which inspires me when I’m arranging my own songs. Alanis and Jewel inspired my writing very early on because of their honesty and rawness in their lyrics and recordings when at the time I felt like everything had to be “perfect” as a classical musician. Listening to them felt like permission to let go and expose your heart through sound.
Jewel also has a motto, “my first job is to be happy, my second job is to be a musician” which I try to remember every day in life – what truly makes me happy as a person? The rest will follow. Sia inspires me because she does it all and the sheer power and emotion in her vocal and writing is breathtaking. She’s also written for so many other artists which is something I’d love to do in tandem with my own career. Lady Gaga is a chameleon and inspires me as a performer, and early on the direction of my pop production and songwriting.
In life, my mom and dad have always inspired me. My dad passed away some years ago, but I feel like he is so much a part of me and my music. He was a true ‘Renaissance man’ that accomplished so many things in life, in his career in astronomy, in music, in the community and all while giving his heart to others sincerely helping them as a teacher and friend. My mom is my best friend and has helped me through so much in life, and I love and admire her so much. I don’t know what I’d do without her! Also all my peers and my team who are my best friends and my family in a lot of ways inspire me through their creativity and art everyday which has helped me grow so much in this town, keeping me sane and kept me going and growing in my career. We lift each other up!
What can fans expect next from Jasmine Crowe?
I have dropped a new single this month, ‘Time Machine’, building up to my sophomore album release this year titled ‘Lovesick.’ I’ll also be headlining The Whisky A Go Go for the second time next month here in Los Angeles and doing a west coast tour this June with an east coast run in September! Look out for a bunch of new music on the way in the meantime and be sure to come out and see me on the road! xx
Finally, and I ask this of everyone I speak to – what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what is the answer to that question?
Hmmm good question! No one has asked me in an interview what my favorite song I’ve written is -The answer is…. The one I’m writing in the moment! There’s a saying, you’re only as good as the last thing you’ve written – the newest one you’re working on always feels like unexpected inspiration, when something new in space and time is born into the universe, a thought and a feeling manifested to be shared, a connection in the ether that didn’t exist a day ago. I truly believe a song can change your life, and others around you – what song will be next?!
Check out Jasmine’s new single, ‘Time Machine‘ here. You can find out more about Jasmine Crowe and her music online on her official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Watch the video for ‘The Shirt Song’ here.