Less than a decade after uploading covers to YouTube at age 10, Brit songstress Jasmine Thompson’s showstopping vocals, wildly popular artist collaborations and trio of EPs have led to 3.5 million YouTube subscribers, almost 700 million YouTube views and over 3 billion worldwide song streams. Her latest tracks, “Love For The Lonely” and “Funny,” usher in a new, dare we say maturing chapter in the 19-year-old’s skyrocketing career.
After hitting a universal, quarantined raw nerve with the aforementioned “Love For The Lonely,” Jasmine knocks us out again with “Funny,” an infectious, hook-laden delight. The song and accompanying (very clever) video are the result of her latest collab, this time with Grammy award-winning artist/DJ/producer Zedd. Unlike the coming of age themes of friendship and teenage angst that dominated her previous EPs, she now finds herself holding a magnifying glass to the emotional twists and turns sparked by relationships that have gone off the rails.
We recently caught up with Thompson to chat about covers, collaborations and clarity.
What was your first cover song, and what sparked the idea to for the YouTube covers?
My first cover was “Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars. I liked the idea of sharing music and was watching loads of other YouTubers. My mum and I thought it could be a really good after school activity and it just became our thing; every week or so I’d come home from school, and we’d film another cover.
I particularly love your cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” and your version of “Ain’t Nobody” is a smash. Your interpretations are so completely your own. What inspires your choices?
I’m glad that you like my covers, thank you very much! If I feel connected to a song…sometimes it’s because of the lyric, or the melody—and as long as I feel I can sing it with emotion then I’ll go for it.
You’ve mentioned that Joe Cocker is your favorite male singer. There is a fan upload of a cover you did of “You Are So Beautiful”—but you haven’t uploaded an “official” Joe Cocker cover. Are there any plans for you to treat your fans to one?
I’ll always love singing “You Are So Beautiful,” it’s such a sweet song. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll do a revisit of Joe.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of really major talents, not just Zedd, but also with Sabrina Carpenter, Felix Jaehn and Robin Schulz. Who’s on your “wish list”?
I love collaborating with other artists. Maybe another male vocalist next. It’s just fun when you can dip into a different world for a little bit.
Jasmine Thompson w/ Zedd
Selena recorded your song “Kinda Crazy”—did you write it around the same time you wrote “Love for the Lonely” and “Funny”? The songs almost seem like a trilogy that tells the story of a relationship breakdown.
I can see why you think that. But they were written about two years apart, and are about two very different situations that both happened to end weirdly.
How did the collaboration with Zedd come about?
I was in the studio with these amazing producers, Monsters and Strangers, and we were working on “Funny.” They’d worked with Zedd before, and thought that he would like to collaborate. So they sent it off to him, and luckily he loved it. He made his version and I thought he really brought a new energy to the song.
The “Funny” video is so clever and fun. How did the concept for it evolve?
We tried to keep it close to the story of how the actual song came about. Because this was made during quarantine, the director Jack Karaszweski figured out this really amazing way of telling this story through my laptop screen. He came up with this world where you see us zooming with puppies, making the song and the little cameo with Lewis Capaldi as well. It was really lovely working with a storyline that felt realistic, even though Zedd didn’t get my number from Lewis!
You stepped away from music for a while before you released “Colour” last year. Did the break provide clarity in terms of the direction you want to take as an artist?
The break was amazing for me. It really helped to have some time to think. I was really young, running around loads of different musical genres and just having fun. So I took the time to get my head straight because I was working a lot and needed some time to be a teenager.
What’s next for Jasmine Thompson?
For now, I’m going to live in the world of “Funny.” But I’ve got a lot of music saved up, and do have a couple more songs on the way.