Sarah from Esper Scout pointed me in the direction of Jasmine and I’ve very glad she did! Jasmine is one of those musicians who you genuinely feel grateful to have heard, an absolute musical genius, combining folk, pop and indie in a magical way. You really are being treated at this gig!
Please introduce yourself!
I’m Jasmine Kennedy; you’re not supposed to have heard of me so don’t worry about it if you haven’t!
When did you first start playing music and what records were you listening to then?
I was probably 8ish when I started playing acoustic guitar and wrote my first song. It was about running away from home, of course. I don’t recall exactly what I was listening to aside from cassettes on rotation in my dad’s car. Deacon Blue, Prefab Sprout, Motörhead probably… I was also very in to stories on tape, I think my songwriting has always been influenced more by stories I’ve read and heard than music I’ve listened to. I moved on to electric guitar when I wanted to play a cover of I Believe in a Thing Called Love in my school leavers assembly. Now I happily switch between the two to avoid retuning.
What advice would you give to young people thinking about picking up an instrument or starting to play gigs?
Do it and do it the way you want to.
I’ve never been convinced there’s a universal approach to playing/writing music – the best way is the right way for you. You’re never too young (or too old) to give it a go. And try not to be disheartened if/when you’re not as good as you’d like to be right away. You’ll get there. And when you do get there, keep going.
Is it true that you stood as a candidate for the Green Party? If so what sparked that off for you and how did you find the whole process?
It is true, yes! I stood as candidate for councillor in Birstall & Birkenshaw. As I was a paper candidate in a ward with a very strong Tory majority it wasn’t quite as involved as you might expect… I was in my PJs on the doorstep when I agreed to do it; it was all very much out of the blue. I felt really out of place throughout most of the process, particularly at the count, the atmosphere was like nothing I’ve known before. I’m really grateful to have been part of it and to have had the chance to experience it but I don’t think you’ll be seeing Jasmine Kennedy MP anytime soon.
What’s your favourite fact?
I don’t know about favourite but my most used is definitely the fact that Batley is the home of Fox’s biscuits.
You’re playing our third Birthday Party, what was the best Birthday you’ve had?
I’m 94% sure it was my 16th. A group of us hired a YHA camping barn near Trawden. It was midwinter in the middle of nowhere. Entertainment consisted of ourselves, a rickety table football and DVDs with no sound. We ordered a lot of pizza and threw our sleeping mats as near as we safely could to the open fire and enjoyed Nosferatu as narrated by two friends. Some of us have returned a couple of times since, most recently to record a live music video! But I don’t reckon we’ll ever top the first visit.
Cake plays a fundamental role in all of our gigs, what’s your pudding of choice?
Now there’s a question! I’m going to have to wimp out and pick two. Favourite pudding changes so easily with circumstance. Summer: Lemon top ice cream in Scarborough.
Winter: Jam Roly Poly & Custard.
You’ve quite a wide range of cover versions online, how do you decide which ones to pick and are there any bands you’ve been considering recently?
I decided to get a free trial of Adobe Premiere Pro CC and spend the 30 days it lasted recording as many covers as I possibly could. It was a lonely summer. Hence the many covers I have online! I tend to just pick songs I like that I think I won’t ruin. There have been so many songs I love that I’ve tried and failed to do justice to. I sometimes get requests from people to cover songs too which I always take as a compliment and try my best, but the same rules apply if I ruin them they’re going nowhere!
I’ve a list as long as my arm of songs I want to cover! I might do a covers EP. I’m currently workingon Shepherd by Anaïs Mitchell which I’ll never actually record because it’s untouchable.
Your website mentions a love of Coronation Street. What’s been your favourite all time corrie storyline? Any other TV reccomendations for us?
It has to be Roy & Hayley’s wedding. It had the perfect balance of comedy and drama that Corrie does so well. So many perfect moments; group singalong on the coach, Fizz, Beccy and Hayley on the pump wagon, the big reveal of Sophie & Sian’s relationship, Roy’s incredible speech…
‘The world can change its rules, its laws and its opinions as frequently as it chooses but I will remain standing by you; that will not change.’
Any other business?
Brb going to rewatch the Roy & Hayley’s wedding episodes.