Jamie fires up Zoom for another big interview, this time around singer, songwriter and part time drum and bass MC Jasmine Knight. Have you ever thought about laying down your own vocals in a tune? Read on to find out more..
For those that don’t know you, where did it all start? Without giving away your age, was it the Secondary School era?
Yeah Secondary School. I never really got on well to be honest, always getting in trouble or suspended, some might say I was the bad kid. My way of communicating how I felt was just through writing, just whatever was on my mind you know. I just wanted to understand myself and my thoughts, this seems to help and provide a little escape. I certainly didn’t have the belief I could be a singer then though
So I’m guessing you didn’t get the right career advice then?
A lot of the teachers were older than they are these days and they certainly didn’t understand or believe in underground music. It was more like ‘go and be a doctor or a teacher’. I was around 16 or 17 when I started getting into evening classes studying music production. This was really the only way at the time that I could do what I really wanted to do
Did you start making music for yourself straight away or other people?
Do you remember Music on the PlayStation? That’s how we were learning to create our own songs at the time on MTV Music Generator. I know so many people that started off this way – crazy really when you look back at it! My friend Natalie and I made so many beats on it before moving to Reason then Logic. Magical times
After putting down the PlayStation pad, did you start getting serious with production?
I was getting into producing r’n’b back then but always sticking in a double time breakbeat, I think all of the club influences around me at the time were to blame! The whole dressing up fancy for dances really didn’t appeal to me, I just wanted to brock out, not worry about what I was wearing you know. That was my only issue with r’n’b events, people would look down their nose at you if you weren’t wearing something fancy. Not my thing mate.
I knew that I really wanted to take music seriously so eventually enrolled in a music course full time which covered music producing, sound engineering, theory and performance. Being around like minded people really helped me rather than the whole ‘you still doing that music thing Jasmine?’… I had a lot of that
What was the first tune you eventually released?
The first track I released was called ‘Be With You’ way back in the day. This was produced by Eye Depth who I just came across online. I really enjoyed the whole experience, a proper buzz and although I had recorded some R’n’B tracks in the past, this was exactly what I wanted to put out
Full steam ahead after this? What’s the process when you’re writing lyrics?
I’m constantly thinking about lyrics. Whether that be from recent or past emotions and experiences, even just catching a vibe from a beat. There are many times that I’ve just thought of a melody in my head and created the whole structure of a track from it. It’s then just a case of extracting it all and making it relatable for the potential listeners”
How does it work when a producer wants to link up with a singer?
People usually contact me after hearing my work and ask to send me a beat or a complete project. If it’s something that evokes inspiration within me to write then yeah, I’ll get a rough idea down and then it’s just a case of finding out exactly what the producer is looking for and sorting my vocal agreement and paperwork. I do still come across a lot of producers that expect me to work for free, usually this comes with the same old ‘the track will provide you with good exposure’ or ‘you can be a featured artist with a 50% royalty split blah blah blah’. It still surprises people when I say this is my full-time career! I am very blessed
Is it just singing or do you touch the mic as an MC also?
I certainly used to do a lot of MCing back in the day, hosting sets with friends at events and messing around just having fun . I’ve not done this for a while though although I wouldn’t say no that’s for sure
Who are you feeling MC wise?
It’s got to be MC Det, what a legend! I’ve also got a lot of love for Eksman from way back in the day “Cockney representing from Brockley” lol. If you’re talking tape pack days, Skibadee and Shabba – the original SAS were no doubt my favourite. Oh the memories
Talking of link ups, you recently did a huge showcase with hardcore legend, Kevin Energy
This was an awesome Kickstarter campaign that Kevin set up which went all the way to production. We had so many backers and the love for the project was pretty overwhelming. This project wasn’t just about hardcore though, we had drum and bass mixes on the album too with almost 30 tracks to choose from – a lot of songwriting and studio time went into this
That sounds like a HUGE project, anything big planned for 2021?
I’m going to try and be more experimental, you know. I want to do my own album, not dance music though, something totally different – maybe I’ll create my own genre ha ha!. I certainly wouldn’t go as far as classical music, well maybe, who knows? But something with more of an ambient kind of vibe, I’m really not sure yet. What I do want though is the album to showcase my vocal talent
Are you going to produce the album as well then?
Nah, I’ll just be the annoying person shouting how I want it to sound or hum how I want the bassline to go! I’ll be the director that sounds better lol
Working on music for film and TV would be a dream for next year. Some of the tracks I worked on with Kevin for the Universal Energy album certainly inspired me to get more into this. Gotta shout out Kevin & Dope Ammo!