Jasmine Jethwa discusses her journey from dance to music, the catharsis of songwriting and new single “Golden”.

Two years since the release of her debut EP, Jasmine Jethwa is back with a new single. A personal track in-line with the rising artist’s propensity towards intimate storytelling, “Golden” is another comfortingly gentle reminder of Jasmine’s bright future.


Influenced by personal stories of her South-East London upbringing, Jasmine grew up amongst a ‘melting pot’ of Western and Indian cultures. Not always set on being a musician, as a child she watched her grandfather’s career journey, from humble beginnings in North Shields to becoming a successful scenic painter creating backdrops and sets for countless theatre shows and Ballets across London and the world. Going on to study dance herself, it was hearing live rehearsals across school hallways that motivated her own songwriting journey.


Citing musical influences from Bon Iver and Fontaines D.C. to the Hindi songs from Bollywood films Jasmine watched growing up with her Gujarati grandmother, music became Jasmine’s emotional outlet. Reflected in her self-released her debut, ‘Hurricane’ EP, and in projects since signing with independent label, Akira Records, Jasmine’s unique perspective is one that was clearly always meant to be musically shared.


We caught up with Jasmine Jethwa to discuss her journey from dance to music, the catharsis of songwriting and new single “Golden”. Dive in!

Hi Jasmine! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music – was there a moment where you decided this was your calling?
I’d been doing dance for years but after I began properly studying it, I began falling out of love with it. I’d always loved movement and dance but in some ways it felt limited in terms of career options and it didn’t feel personal enough for me to express myself fully. I realised during this time that writing songs and singing was where my heart was truly, so I decided to quit dance completely – it was the end of an era but the beginning of a new one.
What role did music play in your life growing up?
I grew up in a creative home, music was either being played or I was dancing to it in classes – during my childhood it became my escape and my comfort, and went on to become my way of communicating and expressing.
Your lyrics feel both personal and universal in the themes you explore – is songwriting a cathartic process and emotional outlet for you?
Yeah absolutely, I find when I write, I talk about what it is I’m feeling or wanting to say to whoever I’m writing with, for example with my friend Jez Ashurst. We chat about things for a while and he’ll sometimes be playing guitar while we are talking, and melodies will just come out of me. Then when we are finished writing the song and I live with it, it’s like I can finally see my articulated feelings and thoughts about whatever it is we were writing about. Like self-discovery of clearer emotions, and understanding myself more.
What themes would you say you’re drawn to most when writing music?
Matters of the heart! Whether it’s drawing from experience from friendships or relationships, it’s moments and themes that have hurt me or I’ve observed. I never like writing as the victim in anything, it’s always been something I’ve wanted to stay away from, even if I do feel perhaps like the person who has lost or hurt more, writing a song that makes me feel more empowered helps me see the situation with more strength and power.
Which artists have most influenced your sound or impacted your life?
I’d say some of the most prominent artists that have impacted me are; Fleetwood Mac, Tracy Chapman, Simon and Garfunkel. And then also Bon Iver, James Fauntleroy and Fontaines DC. I think my music is still pretty guitar-led but some of the emotive feelings are communicated differently, taking inspiration from these artists.
How has your sound and artistic identity evolved over the past couple of years, from your ‘Hurricaine’ EP to “Golden” this year?
I think to me it sounds and feels more evolved, older and lived a bit more. There are certain things that are the same, like the guitar-led rhythms, but I think I am more honest in this next upcoming EP, I think I expose a bit more of myself and touch on some things that I’ve experienced over the last couple of years like loss and heartbreak.
We loved the video for that track – how important are visuals generally to you as an artist and your storytelling process?
Thank you so much! I think visuals are so important, and it’s an area that I love having other people’s help and opinions. I have a vision for them, but it’s not as strong as my vision for how the music sounds. I think the visuals are an opportunity to show yourself to others and allow them into your world – I think they can connect with so many people and tell the story in a clearer way alongside the song.
You have your first ever headline show coming up on 8th Dec – how you feeling about it?
I’m nervous, but looking forward to it! This is my first one, so don’t know what to expect in some ways. I just hope people like the songs I perform and I hope I sing them well.
What’s the best part of performing live for you?
The best part of performing for me is once I settle into it, the way I do when I’m writing with someone I love, I feel peaceful and confident. Untouchable for a moment – that feeling is probably up there.
Is there a song you’re most looking forward to performing on the night?

“Don’t See You Around”, is one that I like performing, it’s close to my heart and melodically nice to sing. And also ‘If You Don’t Know By Now’, one of my favourite songs – it’s got a nice drive to it and I do the last part acapella, I always finish with it when I do smaller sets.

What kind of space do you want to create for audiences with your live shows?

A peaceful and relaxed space. I want to hold the space for the moment that I have it. Like everything is suspended for a short period of time and then back to the ground again. Like a break from everything for a moment.

What are your goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

I hope more and more people find and love my music, that the show sells out and is amazing! and that this EP lives in people the way it lives in me! I’d also love to do some tour stuff, it sounds fun and i think it’d be great. Connecting with people through my songs more and more.

Stream "Golden" below:

Related Articles

“Running Circles” by Jasmine Jethwa

South London rising star Jasmine Jethwa releases her cathartic and emotive new single 'Running Circles' with her childhood memories of Crystal Palace as the landscape.