THIS is not the first time I have featured Jazz Mino…
on these pages. She has been talking about her new single, Warriors, and how it differs from her much-loved interpretation of Crush. The songwriter reveals new artists she is responding to; what it is like being based in London; whether she has had time to reflect on a busy, successful 2017 – she looks ahead to gigs and ambitions for this year.
I ask Mino whether there will be more material and how she crafts that incredible stage presence. She selects her favourite albums and reveals some important advice for new artists – telling me how she spends her time away from music.
Hi, Jazz. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been great, thanks, despite the miserable rain in London! Spent my weekend trying to battle the weather, failing...and then settling on hiding inside and finishing up my Easter eggs.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hey, everyone. My name is Jazz and I’m a singer-songwriter most known for my single, Crush, which hit number-five in the U.K. club charts. I used to hate marmite but now I love it. But, there was a weird transition period where I was sort of ‘meh’; so I still disagree with the slogan (smiles).
Warriors is your current track. Can you reveal the story behind it?
I think I speak for a quite a few people when I say 2017 was a pretty rough year and I really wanted to write a song about standing together and knowing that, no matter how bad things get, your squad have always got your back. I needed a song that would uplift me on those days where I’m down - and I really achieved that with Warriors. When I listen to it, it gets me into the mindset of being able to achieve anything.
How does it differ from previous tracks like Crush? Did you adopt a new persona and colour scheme for Warriors?
Crush was quite a playful track about not over-thinking things and I think Warriors shows a different, bolder side to my personality. Singing Warriors makes me feel more connected to my friends and fans, as it’s about how they’ve made me feel and the confidence and courage they’ve given me to rise up through difficult times.
The colour theme for Warriors is blue/double denim. I associate the blue with feeling downbeat and double denim is something which has really come back and started trending again over past year. So, the theme is sort of a play on this: feeling down and coming back with a bang….
Do you think we all need to find strength and togetherness this year? How important is music in that regard?
I do and it’s very important to me that my music speaks from the heart. I strongly believe that, if we all support each other more and give out more kindness, the world still might not be perfect but it would be an easier place to live. We live in a very individualistic world where the focus is on bettering yourself in all aspects of life - leaving no time to spare for anybody else.
In London, it’s very easy to get completely caught up in this idea and, whilst I think it’s healthy to have goals and focus, there needs to be more of a balance. For me, life isn’t just about self-improvement; it’s about embracing each moment and sharing happiness and laughter amongst others.
Will we see more material later this year? What are you working on?
I might have a few more releases planned for this year! You’ll just have to keep posted on my socials (smiles).
(Vero – Search ‘Jazz Mino’ for new song previews and exclusives).
You had a busy 2017! Have you had time to take it all in? Do you feel you have grown in confidence as a songwriter?
The past six months have been a bit of a whirlwind but, to be honest, I’ve just tried to enjoy everything as it comes and it’s been a great 2018 so far. In terms of songwriting; I’ve definitely got more confident with speaking my mind and putting out music that I’m really proud of and love. When you put your all into something and it connects with you on such a deep level, it’s the best feeling to hear that it’s connecting with others in the same way.
What is it like living in London? Does the city provide inspiration for you? Is it quite challenging finding that work-relax balance?
I really love London but, yeah, it can be tricky finding a work-life balance…especially when I love working on my music. But, no matter how much you love something, I’ve realised, over the past few months, that you still need a mental break. I work from home a lot, songwriting and recording, and it’s so easy to let a whole day slip by without even going outside.
Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to make sure I give myself a proper lunch break completely unrelated to music - and it’s really helped this balance and to get some perspective.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I’m very much focused on enjoying everything as it comes along; so, I guess I don’t have any strict goals. I’m looking forward to releasing some new material and hoping that it connects with everyone as much as my last three singles do. I love singing my stuff live, too, so I’m also looking forward to playing more gigs.
If you had to choose the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Right now, my favourite albums are:
Someone Out There – Rae Morris
Don’t Kill My Vibe (E.P.) – Sigrid
Melodrama – Lorde
Can we catch you perform anytime soon? What dates do you have coming up?
Yeah. My next London show is:
18th April: The Old Queen’s Head, London. Tickets available here.
Your performances and stage manner has been praised. Do you feel at your most comfortable on the stage?
Being on stage and singing my heart out is one of my favourite things to do in the entire world. There is just no feeling like it. I really do give my everything on stage and being up there, communicating my inner-most thoughts, vulnerabilities and feelings is euphoric. I love sharing my music online with the world but I think there’s something so special about connecting with my fans at a live gig.
I also tend to play all my unreleased material at gigs, so it’s nice for my fans to get a sneak preview of what’s next on the release radar!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
That time one of my favourite artists, Oliver Nelson, got in touch to say he wanted to remix my song! That’s a big high of my music career so far. Also; being championed by one of the senior editors at Spotify for my voice and live performance. He literally changed my life and continues to support my music.
To be honest, there are so many amazing highlights! I feel incredibly humbled and grateful.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be yourself, trust yourself and don’t let anybody make you feel less than...
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I recently came across the Indie-Pop band, Zkeletonz, who I highly recommend. I saw them live for the first time last week and they were brilliant! So full energy and fun.
IN THIS IMAGE: ALMA
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I have little time, but I’m trying to make the most of that time. When everything is always so exciting, it’s hard to turn your head away for even a second - but, I’m learning to appreciate and love my downtime just as much as music.
I love running, long walks in the park and catching up with friends and my family. One of my sisters is pregnant at the moment, so that’s really exciting (and it’s the first time I’ll be an auntie!).
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
One of my favourite songs and artists at the moment...
Atletico (The Only One) – Rae Morris
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