Ahead of the release of her debut EP, Adulting, we caught up with 21 year old multi-talented artist Jazmine Flowers.
Jazmine Flowers is still a new name so you can be forgiven if you haven’t heard of her yet. But with the way that things have been going, it’ll be a real surprise if you don’t end up hearing the name soon and frequently. The Oxford native’s alternative approach to R&B has already taken TikTok by storm and the reason is clear to see across Adulting. We caught up with Jazmine to talk the new project, her musical journey so far, and to do a photoshoot in a ball pit because why not right?
How are you today?
I’m very well thank you. I’m good, it’s sunny so I’m happy.
How did your musical journey start?
Good question. It kind of was a mixture of stuff. I grew up around a lot of music so music was always part of my everyday. I got into performing, singing and writing through some school stuff I did and then from that, some people were like “You should do gigs or something.” So I started doing gigs and covers, a lot of covers. But then people were like “Do you do your own songs?” and I was like “No”. So I started writing and writing then moved to London and it kind of fell into place from there.
Who would you say your earliest influences were? Especially since you started out doing covers.
I always say this, Michael Jackson is a big one. I loved Scissor Sisters as well, which is a bit random. My mum listened to Scissor Sisters…
That’s not what I was expecting at all.
Right!?! Maybe not as a sonic influence but definitely just as artists that I saw and looked up to and thought “that would be a cool job to have.”
You mentioned you almost kind of fell into it, was music always a passion for you though?
Yeah for sure! My mum’s a singer and a writer so we always had a piano in the house and I would hear her singing so I definitely got into it through her. I would just play around on the piano and eventually taught myself piano and guitar a little bit. So yeah it’s definitely always been a passion regardless.
So did you start with learning piano and guitar before you went into songwriting and singing?
[Pauses] Yeah, songwriting was the last thing, I did a lot of shows doing covers. I think I started off with piano probably because we had one in the house then I broke my wrist, quit piano, and then when my wrist was fixed I stopped for a while then got back in with guitar for years and got back into piano again. So yeah I’ve gone between them – but I’ve always sung.
And you also produce as well.
I do produce! I got into that at school. We had to do a production module for my music GCSE and so I did producing there on Garage Band and I just loved it, it’s just so much fun. I’ve definitely only recently started making and finishing, completing, whole songs. I always start so many projects, I’m so bad at finishing them.
What makes it so hard for you to finish them?
I just get bored and I start judging everything I do and I’m like “this is trash, let me start again” then I’ll start something new and feel the same way again. But I’m starting to force myself to finish stuff.
So essentially you’re not finishing stuff because you’re a bit of a perfectionist.
Yeah. I’m a perfectionist. I produce, but it’s not the thing I spend most of my time doing so I’m not that versed in how to do everything. So if there’s something I can’t do I just…I can try watching a YouTube video to learn but also I could just not continue with this and I don’t know go eat some food or something [laughs].
YouTube is always a saviour but if it fails I don’t blame you at all [laughs]. I think the first song I heard from you was ‘Awkward’ and I loved it as soon as I heard it, then I saw the video and was like “this is perfect”
Ahh thank you!
Could you just explain a bit of your process behind writing the song and even the creative direction behind the video.
I wrote the song with two producers out in Norway, called Askjell and Simon Hope. It was the first time I’d ever been to Norway and the first session I’d had with these guys as well as the first time I’d ever met them. They’re both really, really awkward – almost more than me. So naturally when you first meet someone for the first time and you immediately have to write a song its going to be a bit weird to start with. I think literally just to break the ice one of them was like “We’re going to just walk around the room and record random noises just to ease into this and kind of have a laugh”.
I had the lyric in my phone “I don’t talk shit about shit I dont know no shit about”. I thought it sounded cool, I didnt really know what it meant, and we just built off that and it just ended up being this song about being honestly awkward and just embracing that because it’s okay.
More recently you dropped ‘Ornament’ and announced the new ep Adulting, why did you go with the name “Adulting”?
One of the songs on the EP is called ‘Not Like My Friends’ which I produced myself – one of the only ones I’ve ever finished. There’s a line in the song where I say “I’m over adulting” which is something I say all the time, like I’m over it. Receipts, bills, booking things, emails – it’s just not fun, I wanna be a child again. It felt like it made sense for the whole EP, I didn’t plan for it but there was just this theme of vulnerability and naivety throughout the whole thing and adulting is something im learning. I’m growing up and it felt fitting for this first project at this age as well.
‘Ornament’ sonically was quite a departure from ‘Awkward’ which was the previous single, are we going to be hearing more of that sound on the EP?
I would say so. I think everything on the EP sounds really different to what I’ve done already. Theres some really atmospheric stuff, more acoustic style things…but yeah, I’d say ‘Ornament’ is a little bit closer, but there’s a mixture in there.
With ‘Ornament’, tell us a bit of what was behind that track
I like the concept, visually, of old fashioned weighing scales and how if you add a tiny bit to one of the sides it can immediately drop by loads and you can definitely feel that way in a relationship. One of you can make a tiny mistake or say the wrong thing and it fucks everything up for a while. So I just went with that and a mixture of feeling like an object or not feeling in control of yourself and your own emotions in a relationship.
You’ve got the project coming out but what else have you got planned for the future?
I’ve got two gigs coming up, 5th and the 7th of October. I’m gassed for live shows again, it’s been so long. Then i think after the EP im going to get back into writing and hopefully smash out a couple more singles…and then an album.
[Laughs] Yeah, that’s the goal init! If it’s not why are you doing it, so yeah album, one day for sure.
You mentioned live shows, when was your last live show?
[Blows air] Last show…January. January…2019.
Damn! How you feeling about being able to get back out there?
I’m excited. It’s obviously going to be so refreshing having the energy of a crowd. Shitting it, because i’ve not done it in so long. And ive also never performed any of these songs live, beause they weren’t written back then. I’m excited and I’m very nervous but i cant wait to be in a room with people amd i just want to hear peoples reactions and see people’s faces
You can stream Adulting here and also don’t miss out on the chance to see Jazmine live at her first headline show on October 25th.