Just 19 years old, Jasmine Thompson is a talented, pop singer/songwriter based in London, U.K., who has been known to millions of YouTube music fans since she was 12. Now in 2020, she is signed to Atlantic Records and she’s teamed up with Grammy-winning artist/DJ/producer Zedd on an excellent new single, “Funny.”
“Funny” is the first collaboration between Thompson and Zedd, who is known for creating worldwide hits such as “The Middle” with Maren Morris, “Stay” with Alessia Cara and “Clarity” with Foxes. “Funny” is a fresh, hooky pop/dance song that has the potential become a big hit. Interestingly, the song was produced by Zedd during the coronavirus shutdown, and its video was also filmed during this period.
Thompson first became known when she started posting videos of her singing cover versions on YouTube when she was just 10. Thompson has an appealing, expressive singing voice, and her videos became very popular, with some videos attracting 50 million views. Impressively, she now has 3.5 million YouTube subscribers, and she was signed to Atlantic Records when she was 13.
Thompson has since released three EPs on Atlantic, with her most recent being Colour, in 2019. She has co-written most of the songs on her EPs, and she has collaborated with several hit songwriters & producers in the U.K. and in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Thompson co-wrote & recorded a strong pop ballad called “Love For The Lonely,” which was released this spring. This song, combined with her new single “Funny,” demonstrates that her latest releases are among her best.
Thompson has also had chart success as a featured vocalist on a pair of U.K. and European hits. In 2014, she teamed up with DJ/producer Robin Schulz on the single “Sun Goes Down,” and a year later she collaborated with DJ/producer Felix Jaehn on the single, “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better).”
Here’s the video of Zedd & Jasmine Thompson’s single, “Funny.”
In addition to her work as an artist, Thompson has also co-written songs for other artists. Notably, she co-wrote the worldwide hit “FRIENDS” by Marshmello & Anne-Marie, and she co-wrote “Kinda Crazy,” which is on Selena Gomez’s latest album, Rare.
We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with Jasmine Thompson. She discusses the recording of her new single “Funny” with Zedd, and how she filmed a DIY-style video of the song. She also tells how she got started in the music business by posting her videos on YouTube.
DK: I like your new single “Funny” with Zedd. How did you connect with him for this song?
Jasmine Thompson: I worked with the songwriters on “Funny” (including Casey Smith & Michael Pollack) and then they passed it along to Zedd. Originally, it was supposed to be more of a piano ballad, more melancholic. They thought Zedd would love to collaborate on it, and it was such a lovely surprise because he just nailed it on the head. Zedd interpreted it in such a different way than the melancholic way that it started out. He saw it in a more hopeful, positive light, so it was really nice having those two different flavors in there.
DK: Have you worked with Zedd before?
Thompson: No, I hadn’t worked before, but it was such a pleasure working together on this track. Sadly, we haven’t actually met in person yet, because of the lockdown. I’m based in the U.K., and originally, I was supposed to go over to L.A. which is where he’s based. But because of COVID, all the borders are shut, so we didn’t manage to meet. We’ve just been working with each other through doing Zoom and FaceTime as much as possible.
It’s been a really fun experience, getting each other’s vibe from communicating through the internet. We managed to do what we’ve done through constant emails and text messages. For me, it’s very memorable to achieve this in such weird circumstances that we’ve never had to go through before.
Here’s the video of Jasmine Thompson’s song, “Love For
DK: I like your new video of “Funny,” which has a very DIY style. Was it filmed from your home?
Thompson: Yes, it was all done in my flat. It was so much fun, because we were originally supposed to film the music video in L.A. But with the lockdown, the borders closed and things stopped. So we tried to figure out how to do it, and we got in touch with this director, Jack Karaszweski, who’s incredible. He made this whole storyline based around the way that me and Zedd actually met. So in the video it’s all about communicating via text, and at the beginning there’s an imaginary figure who’s like my annoying ex…it’s not based on an actual character. But it starts with the ex texting and bothering, and then Zedd gets in contact. And then, Jack wanted it to go kind of crazy—it was so nice going into different things like zooming to the puppies, and then you bring in the gaming world which Zedd is heavily into. It was fun how Jack managed to merge these different worlds together.
It was a bit of a challenge to film at home. I was on the phone with the director and Skyping him at the same time, trying to get the right angles. And I filmed on my laptop and on Photo Booth, so it was a lot of back and forth on Skype, and sending constant WeTransfer files. Because of the lockdown, we’re all trying to do everything as DIY as possible. You know, I miss having the hair and makeup stylists, the camera operators and all the people who are usually behind the scenes in a normal music video. But I think we did a good job doing it DIY, and I’m proud with what we were able to do at home.
DK: A couple months ago, you released a very good ballad called “Love For The Lonely.” Can you talk about co-writing and recording that song?
Thompson: I was in the studio with another incredible artist called Nina Nesbitt, who I’ve known her for a while. I think we wrote “Love For The Lonely” in 2017. I was in the studio with Nina, and I explained to her this situation I was in. I was really just seeing someone for the sake of seeing somebody, and Nina had this chorus idea, and she understood everything that I was trying to explain, and really captured it in that moment. So we spent the rest of the day writing and recording the song with (producer) Jordan Riley.
Here’s the video of Jasmine Thompson’s song, “Loyal.”
Then a year-and-a-half ago, I started working with a producer, Ollie Green. He’s a good friend who’s a talented singer, musician & writer. I showed him “Love For The Lonely,” and we both agreed that we wanted to give it a little revamp, and he kept going back and doing different versions of “Love For The Lonely.” It was a long process, but it was such a nice, satisfying feeling when a couple months before it was released, it was at that state where we wanted to put it out. It was a really nice experience…we put a lot of effort into that song.
DK: Besides working on your own artist projects, you’ve also co-written songs for other artists, including the big hit “FRIENDS” for Marshmello & Anne-Marie. How did that song came together?
Thompson: It’s a bit of a complicated story. I wrote it with writers in London, and then it got passed on to another team…it was like a jigsaw puzzle. That was one of the first times I was involved in pitching a song to another artist. I was with writers that Anne-Marie wrote with in the U.K., and then it got passed along to people who wanted to rework it, and then they pitched it to Anne-Marie. What was lovely, was that they reworked it and made it better and Marshmello [was involved] as well.
DK: You also co-wrote a song “Kinda Crazy,” which Selena Gomez recorded for her latest album. How did you connect with Selena?
Thompson: This was a couple years ago. I was in the studio with Justin Tranter, who’s an amazing songwriter. He’s written hits for Selena and so many people. I was writing with him, and we were originally supposed to be working on my project. I had this idea based on a story about some guy I was seeing, and I said, “It could be cool if we did this idea.” We continued writing this song and we got to the end of the day, and we both looked at each other and we were like, “This song is sick; we both love it.” But we also agreed that it wouldn’t necessarily be for me, so we straight-away decided that to pitch it out. And because Justin works a lot with Selena Gomez, he sent it to her and she loved it, and she wanted to take it for her album. So it was a really proud moment when Selena said that she wanted it for her album.
DK: You’re still only 19 years old, yet I read that you’ve been popular on YouTube since you were about 12. How did you get started singing cover songs and becoming known on YouTube?
Here’s the video of Jasmine Thompson singing “Let Her Go”
at age 12. This video now has 50 million views.
Thompson: It’s funny, because I was thinking about it the other day. When I turn 20, it will be a decade of putting out music, and being on social media since I was 10. It was such a natural, lucky experience. It started out as an after-school activity because I’d been playing piano since I was 8, and I was always singing. My mum thought it would be fun to try putting out some YouTube videos.
I spent the next two years where none of the videos did anything…it was just nice building a friendly community. There was a core group of 50 or 100 subscribers who are still very good friends of mine today. They were so supportive and gave me feedback and said, “Try this camera” or “Try this microphone.” Then eventually, I started releasing more covers like “Let Her Go” by Passenger (now with 50 million views) and songs by Sam Smith, and they really took off. It was a lovely moment, because a lot of the artists that I was covering, they started sharing my versions of their songs and were really supportive. That’s how some of my videos started to blow-up online. And that was how my label, Atlantic Records, found me through my YouTube covers. It was nice as well to use YouTube as a way of creating, because I wasn’t necessarily ready and old enough to put out songs yet that I wrote. I was starting to write my own songs, but it was nice getting out there first by singing covers.