A faceless silhouette strides through the shadows of graffitied back-alleys and narrow lanes. Posters titled ‘1057’ – the word ‘lost’ in numerals – scatter about the streets. The figure belts out lyrics betraying a lonesomeness unlike the addictive, uplifting electronic backing track it accompanies.
‘You don’t know my name. You don’t even care.’
If anything, Jasmine Sokko’s first music video by Zake Production and debut single ‘1057’ attempts to capture the zeitgeist of our generation in this hyper-digitalised age — lost, apathetic, resistant.
Indeed, the young autodidact singer-producer joins the trail of other rising local female musicians with another single slated to release mid-January next year. With talent abounding in her sleek vocals and solid music production for just her debut song, it is exciting to see the kind of musician this fresh face will blossom into.
So, we couldn’t be more thrilled to sit down with the talent herself to discuss all things Jasmine Sokko.
Hi Jasmine. Tell us about yourself!
I’m a singer-songwriter who used to hop between a couple of bands, playing different instruments prior to music production. It reached a point where I frustrate over sticking with one instrument as it feels kind of restrictive so I turned to electronic production where I can create all sorts of sound through different waveforms.
So, is there a difference between your stage persona and the actual you?
I think Jasmine Sokko reflects the more introverted side of me. It’s my attempt to communicate what truly happens in my head through music.
As for the actual me, I am just one of those students that hangs out with her friends and we don’t talk much about my music. It’s always about food, relationships, and all the things you would expect a 20 something to talk about.
When did you get into songwriting and music production?
I only got serious about songwriting when I joined this programme under National Arts Council called NOISE Singapore Mentorship when I was taking my ‘A’ Levels. Back then, it was either screw studies and create music, or screw music and ace studies. But I messed up both anyway. (laughs)
That being said, it made me compel to chase after what I love even if I eventually don’t get anywhere. So, music production begun during the long-ass holiday prior to university.
So, you are mostly self-taught?
Yeah, I guess. Youtube-educated. (laughs)
Who are your musical influences and inspiration?
Definitely Grimes! She has a musical style and quirky personality like no other. She is fearless in experimenting with different kinds of samples and blending them with her ethereal vocals. She is so singular and listening to her music is a magical experience in itself. I am also a huge fan of Flume. I admire artistes who dare to experiment and live in their own world.
Tell us about your debut single ‘1057’!
The first version of 1057 was a structure-less instrumental track full of arbitrary vocal abstracts with an excerpt of Robert Frost ‘The Road Not Taken’ at the front. I cringed a few days back when I chanced upon it. But hey, I guess 1057 started out as a really raw journal entry (in sound form) when I was feeling kind of isolated and confused about my surrounding. Over the next months, I added a couple of my lines from my twitter into the track, toyed around with different synths and whatnots until 1057 became more than just a journal entry!
How do you balance school and making music?
For me I try to balance by working on one thing at a time. For instance, I spend the first few weeks of semester working on music because school isn’t as hectic yet. Then shift my focus and mug my heart out when exams are around the corner. Sounds pretty cool in theory but the keyword is TRY. (laughs)
What are your thoughts towards the brewing local music scene, especially other solo female acts like yourself?
It’s a warm feeling to see the scene growing collectively. It’s nice to draw inspirations so close to home.
What sort of musician do you hope to grow into?
I would like to stay true to my values and consistent with the reason as to why I started music in the first place. For me, it’s all about expressing and being as genuine as possible. I don’t think I’d want to grow into any persona.
Okay so, what do you think is the main inspiration for your lyricism and choice of genre?
I have a couple of songs that are inclined towards deep house, some that are future bass and others I can’t quite put a specific genre to. I don’t think there is a specific genre I’m headed towards.
My lyrics are more often than not a resistance to the systematic and hyper-organized society I am put to go through. That aside, a few of my friends have pointed out that I make contents revolving around the theme of loneliness. This is where I draw most of my inspiration from for now but I think falling in love open up a whole new world to me.
Lastly, what are the future plans for Jasmine Sokko?
Yeah! I’m dropping my next single, ‘H2O’ in mid-January! The title’s still numerical and I hope to stick to that concept for my upcoming EP in June 2017.
Any last shoutouts?
Hmm… I’m grateful for my parents’ resistance. (laughs) They don’t really support my music-making but it just makes me want to rebel more. Although I’d like to mention that they are more in-between about it right now.
You can find her on Facebook for more updates. Listen to her single on Spotify too – you wouldn’t want to miss out on it!
Finally, check out her music video ‘1057‘ below:
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