Real Talk – Jazz Mino

Jazz Mino is a London based artist, her latest single ‘Part Of This’ is available to stream now. She began busking on the streets of London before being discovered and has since found success in the UK charts and has over 10 million streams on Spotify.

“Part Of This” on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/track/1uwziTeyXuq6cTYFFWHrbb?si=nEum7gLETHu3o9r6oaYYzA

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jazz_mino_uk/?hl=en

YouTube – https://m.youtube.com/jazzmino?uid=MS6BPqHtnM1zIsL1z1ciYQ

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jazz__mino

Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/jazzmino

Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/us/artist/jazz-mino/947818447

What are some of your early formulative musical experiences ?

My earliest experiences with music are my gran teaching me to play piano. I first started grades and then just found myself really enjoying creating my own melodies! I also used to play violin in school as a little girl but my teacher was pretty mean, so it didn’t last very long! Sort of wish I’d stuck at it though 

You started out busking on the streets of London, what did it teach you about performing?

It taught me so much about performing and really helped battle performance nerves, or feeling flustered in between songs about what to say. I just got super comfortable with being totally in the music and just loving doing it. I feel like busking gives you a thick skin as well cause there are a lot of days where you get zero appreciation but you still find yourself performing like you were in front of thousands!

What three albums made the biggest impact on you as a person and as a songwriter?

Ooh good question. I’m not sure what album, but I was exposed to Queen’s music from a young age. Their music taught me that every single tiny detail in the vocal matters, and to find a uniqueness in every single song. 

RIOT! – Paramore. I was OBSESSED. The songs have so much passion and they’re such fantastic writers. I LOVE Hayley & also loving her new solo stuff! Lauv – ‘I met you when I was 18’ Every. Single. Damn. Song. 

Tell us about your latest release, ‘Part Of This’.

Part Of This is the saddest and most heartfelt song I’ve ever written. But it’s also about courage. We’ve all been through these tough times and felt stuck like we don’t know which way to go. Part Of This is about having the courage to just listen to your gut and be brave enough to make the right decision for yourself, no matter what the consequences. That period of my life completely broke me tbh but I wouldn’t be who I am right now, or be making the music I’m making, or even sing in the same way without it. At the time I was going through a really difficult relationship (we broke up), and it was my way of trying to reach out and be honest about how I feel. 

What was your approach to writing “Part Of This”; do you like to sound things out acoustically before taking them into the studio?

You know it really depends, most of my songs I start with just a topline in my head – Then I create some chords and start to produce it… But Part Of This was different. I wrote it on the ukulele in my living room. I started strumming and these words just poured out. I think I surprised even myself a little with how I was feeling, but the lyrics seemed to just describe the situation perfectly. 

How does “Part Of This” make you reflect on your past work? Do you wish you had approached things differently in the past?

No, not really. I think stylistically it’s pretty similar to my singles this year, maybe a bit more dreamy vibes. But I think everything I’ve written has it’s own individuality to an extent. I’m super proud of everything that I’ve released. I think it’s important to just keep being creative, growing in that way and just being true to yourself and what sounds you’re feeling in the moment. 

What is your biggest problem with the music industry?

Right now – Covid!  I’m missing gigging live so much and also watching live music! Haha but in all honestly, sometimes the sexism of the industry bothers me. But I’m just happy and feel super lucky and grateful to be making music everyday, being on my own path and sharing my music and connecting with people. That’s what it’s all about really!

How do you measure success as an artist?

Ahhh it’s actually such a difficult one!! When I first started out I wasn’t in a great place mentally and I’d measure success on like, numbers, Spotify streams & stuff like that – But I try to think of ‘success’ now as being super proud of something that I’ve written and releasing it to the world. Of course streaming and stuff has an important role, but fundamentally, having the right people appreciate your talent, and being able to grow without compromising your creativity is key. I’m also still figuring things out, I definitely don’t have it all figured out.

Any upcoming projects or performances on the horizon? (pandemic permitting of course)

Yes actually, I MIGHT be planning my first UK tour in 2021 which I’m SO excited about! But let’s see what Covid says eh…

You have also ventured into acoustic performances. How was this? Do you enjoy performing songs in an acoustic setting?

I think acoustic performances feel quite natural to me, as I started out playing piano with my songs, and the more electronic influences came over time as my tastes developed. I honestly just love performing in any setting! Acoustic is lovely though, it adds a level of intimacy especially when playing live. In fact, when I’d just written ‘Part Of This’ I spontaneously sang acapella at a gig and it was the most connected I think I’ve ever felt with my audience.

Do you see yourself branching out to any other genres in the future? If so, what territory would you like to venture into?

I don’t think so, I tend to just write around what music I like. and I’ve always loved pop music since being teeny. I think it’s fun  and refreshing to bring different influences into songs, but fundamentally I don’t see myself moving away from pop. 

You have been very active during the pandemic as an artist. How have you used this time to perfect your craft and use this time productively and most importantly, stay positive?

Haha I’m glad you think so! I’ve not always felt it Initially I was doing a lot of live streams gigs which was so great and people were so generous. My fans really got through me lockdown number one in the UK. As well as that, I’ve been spending time learning guitar, developing my production skills, and writing  A LOT. I think writing so much and having that space to improve creatively has helped me stay positive. I also run a lot, meditate, and I released 4 singles this year! So I’ve just tried to keep busy, and keep my mental health in check by running & meditating everyday, & staying in touch with friends.  I think all these things have helped me stay positive really.

Describe your progression as an artist this year?

This year is the first time in 2 years since I’ve released music, and I feel like the music I’ve released this year really captures who I am as a person and what I’ve been through. The singles had a theme of cutting of negativity from my life and building myself back up! 

So this year’s been pretty great. BBC Introducing have been super supportive, which is awesome and I’m super grateful for the team! I’m super proud of what I’ve achieved this year and I’m just super excited to keep writing, releasing & developing. 

Do you feel genres create limitations? Are genres dead in the modern age and is an artist essentially boxing themself in by sticking to creating one genre?

Hmm I think we can all loosely fit in a genre, for example I’d describe my sound as alternative pop – But what I think makes music so amazing is that it’s always unique. I’m sure there’s other artists that would describe themselves as that too and have totally different sound! I also think a lot of music is inspired by and takes from a few different genres. I think if you wanna give yourself a genre, go for it it and if you don’t, then don’t.

Interview by Theo Wildgoose

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