IT is interesting learning more about Jasper Wilde…
PHOTO CREDIT: Ariel Majtas
and how he arrived in London. The Cannes-born musician discusses his charity work with Key Changes and his involvement with Salute – how they are impacting him and providing nourishment. I ask him about his upbringing and the artists that have inspired him; whether he is working on anything new – and why he is flying to Miami in November.
Wilde reveals his route into music and whether he fancies time in the U.S.; how his week has been – and those crucial records that have settled deep in his heart.
Hi, Jasper. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m very good.
My week has been full-on with photoshoots, planning and producing music over at the charity, Key Changes - a music recovery service working for people with mental health problems.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Jasper. I’m a twenty-four-year-old Frenchman from Cannes. I’m a multi-instrumentalist, artist-producer…
I’d say that my main instrument is guitar - but I realise that bass and keys are the ones I use a lot right now.
I also play talk box.
What are you working on at the moment? Can we expect any new material before the end of the year?
I’ve just finished a song with a spoken-word/rapper from Brixton that I met through the charity work that I do.
It’s coming out in November - so lots more photos to be taken.
Talk to me about Salute and your involvement with that?
I heard about the competition from a friend.
The prize-money is incredible and as it’s so hard, money-wise, in the early stages of being a musician; it could make a huge difference to my life - it’s great to see a company doing so much work and promotion of new artists like this.
I think the website and app. are really cool and the standard is really high…I just hope I can win!
You’re based in London but come from Cannes. Why did you move from France and what are the differences in terms of the music and people?
Yes, I am. I did a year in Medicine at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis but realised music was the only thing that mattered to me. So, I moved to London to improve my English and dedicate 100% of my life and time to music.
French music is great but it is in French - I love my country and my roots but feel that English sounds better sang (than French). I also want the whole world to connect with me as an artist - which makes it a lot easier singing in English.
In France, there’s not a lot of space for international artists (or French artists singing in English), unless you’re Beyoncé. So, when you’re starting up, it’s not the easiest process and everyone wants you to sing in French (as we know French radio plays, mostly, French artists).
As an artist; you play all the instruments and produce. When did you first pick an instrument up and do you prefer having musical autonomy?
I couldn’t, obviously, remember as I was two-and-a-half-years-old - but there’s footage of me with my grandpa playing nursery rhymes on the piano. I, then, saw my uncle playing electric guitar for my birthday - when I was ten - and was blown away; so I really got into it then. I started copying him on an old crusty upside-down guitar - as I’m left-handed - and, shortly after that, my parents bought an electric guitar.
I think learning as much as you can is really important – it doesn’t mean you have to do everything. But, knowing what you can and cannot do is key to me.
I did prefer having musical autonomy but, now that I practised so much and know what I can do, I feel confident and comfortable having someone else involved in the process
I believe Jimmy Douglas has invited you over to Miami. How did it feel getting the news and what will you two be doing?!
I was just over-excited!
Speaking to him on the phone was just weird and so cool at the same time. He’s so chilled as well. We, first, are going to meet, for real, in November, in Miami; then, do some writing and see where the music takes us. Just being in a room with him will teach me so much: it’s a process that you can’t predict, though - but there’s definitely something bubbling...
Have you been to the U.S.? Is that a market you want to get into?
Yes, I have. I went to L.A. for three months last year...well, who wouldn’t want to get successful in the U.S.?!
That’s also where the music I love is coming from…
I want to know more about the charity, Key Changes. How did you come to work for them and why is it so important being involved with them?
Key Changes is a charity that provides one-on-one professional studio sessions for people who are mentally ill (from hospitals and prisons). I got introduced to it by the person I work with every day as she is one of the trustees.
It completely changed my life. It is important to me as it’s another way of learning - you have to be fast, creative and make them feel comfortable by doing what they want; not what I want. It’s nice to not think about yourself every now and then, as we know, doing what we do as artists can be lonely and very stressful. It opened up my mind.
At some point, I felt like a horse with blinkers - which you have to be, I think, when learning your craft; like a geek in a way. Now - since I’m doing this charity work - I see in 3-D…and more opportunities come along.
It’s so great, as well, seeing those who have had a pretty rough journey open up and express themselves - and their experiences with their lyrics and music is an incredibly healing gift.
In terms of the music you were brought up on; which artists stick in your mind from the early years?
Michael Jackson, Prince (and) Kool & The Gang at every house-party my parents were putting on.
It was almost the rule! Haha.
IN THIS PHOTO: Charlie Puth
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
One of my favourite new artists is Charlie Puth. I completely connect with him as he produces, writes and play on most of his songs.
I feel like our parents played us the same music.
What tour dates do you have coming up? Where can we all catch you play?
Not at the moment - been busy writing new material.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Michael Jackson – Thriller
I, basically, learned most about my own producing from this album. I watched so many videos and interviews about the whole process - It’s just incredible. Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and Michael Jackson had such a big impact on my production and way of writing music. I actually met Rod Temperton, once, at the Jazz Café and we had a chat.
It was weird talking about ‘Michael’, as he would say, and talked about a couple of the songs that weren’t released and why. Too weird. Haha
Justin Timberlake – Justify
It’s the perfect follow-up from Thriller, for me, to learn production (which is why meeting Jimmy Douglas and working with him soon is so exciting). Every second of this album is amazing: I've probably listened to it 10,000,000,000 times. It doesn’t even sound dated - and it’s sixteen-years-old.
I just love it.
AC/DC - Back in Black
I started to learn guitar from this album. Angus Young was my hero at the time. It’s Hard-Rock - but they still add a bit of groove to it.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Determination, self-belief; resilience: you get eaten up, otherwise. Also; find out who you are: authentic artists are the ones the public like the most...
So; BE YOU!
Christmas is approaching. Do you all have plans already or will you be busy working?
I will be working until Christmas week, where I’ll go back home down in the South of France for a bit, celebrating with the family.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
It’s hard...but I’d say Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson
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