Jasmine Nelson Releases Her Debut Album
September 25, 2015
After years of studying Jazz at WAAPA and living abroad, today marks the release of Melbourne singer-songwriter Jasmine Nelson's debut album 'Hercules'.
You have an interesting sound that’s hard to fully pinpoint; it’s part singer-songwriter, part jazz, with a underlying pop tinge. How would you describe your sound and where do you draw your inspiration for the lyrics?
I think I would explain it exactly as you have! A bit of a mish-mash of styles. I love many different kinds of music, and so I guess different things creep in without me really knowing it at first. I have always just fallen in love with amazing songs, no matter what the style is, that has been my main love for as long as I can remember. But I also listen to a lot of instrumental music and studying jazz, and also classical piano from a young age has definitely influenced me. Inspiration for lyrics are always varied, from relationships, to thoughts, and stories I've heard.
You’re a WAAPA graduate (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and you moved to London soon after; how have these experiences helped to shape the sound on your debut album ‘Hercules’?
I learnt so much at WAAPA, I guess you could say I was the ultimate music nerd. We were exposed to amazing musicians and teachers. Musicians such as Ray Walker and Graeme Lyall had a very broad love of all different styles of music, and that was a comfort for me - I could never be a music-genre-purist!
Moving to London was an eye opener. I heard so much new original music and I started to realise that actually you can do whatever you want. There are no rules. It was amazing working with two incredible producers, Graeme Blevins and Grant Windsor, who have a similar love of all different kinds of music as I do. I felt so free working with them and trusting them with my music. They really are both amazing musicians and producers, and are worth checking out.
Also, lyrically, I think moving far away from home brought up a lot of different feelings, and I find so much solace in sitting at the piano, so I guess the sound was developed that way.
How did it feel to be among the top tier of finalists in a number of international songwriting competitions including the Montreux Jazz Voice Festival and the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition? Did you feel this validated all of your hard work?
I was absolutely shocked to have placed in the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. I felt very honoured to have touched people with the song. It felt very special. Montreux Jazz Voice competition was also a whole heap of fun, and very nerve racking! I had never been to Switzerland and then turned up at Montreux and was blown away at how beautiful it is! I also met so many lovely musicians there too, including the incredible singer Kristin Berardi (Brisbane).
Japanese label P-Vine also picked up ‘Hercules’. How did that come about? Did you visit Japan prior to this or did they find you elsewhere? Any plans to tour there in the future?
I've never been to Japan, and I'm absolutely desperate to go! One of the producers on the album, Grant Windsor, passed on my album to P-Vine when he was there, and they got in touch and said they loved it! They have been amazing. I have plans to visit Japan and perform there, I'll hopefully be announcing that sometime soon.
So what’s next for Jasmine Nelson? Anything planned for the year ahead, or will you just take opportunities as they come?
I will take opportunities as they come. I'm very keen to tour Australia, so will have a look at how I can do that. I'm also filming a video for one of my songs, so that will be released soon. But mostly I'm going to be writing and working on some new music.
You can buy 'Hercules' on iTunes now!
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