I spoke to multi-ARIA-nominated Australian singer and songwriter, Jasmine Rae fresh off the cruise to talk all things cruisin’, videos, acting and upcoming plans.
You recently performed on board the Legend of the Seas as part of Cruisin’ Country No.6, which you confessed was your first time on a boat and a cruise. How would you sum up your experience?
I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been, obviously. I didn’t know if I had to pack my floaties or kickboard, which is what I normally pack when I’m near water, but I loved it! I was really relaxed. I didn’t get sick. When I came back on to dry land, I was still bopping around; it felt like I [still] wanted to be on the water for a few days. I am still so much heavier – my body got used to the bacon and all I want to do is eat bacon (laughs). [But] I want to be a part of it more and more. I’m hooked now.
Do you have any cruise highlights?
Simply Bushed had a bush dance night. It was so cool. It was really musical and brought everyone together to do these Australian dances – be an emu, be a kangaroo – it felt silly at first but then everyone got into it. The place was packed, and I was doing the emu and everything. It was so fun! And they were so lovely – they were the kind of people that people gravitate towards. They make you feel like you’re part of a community and that’s the whole thing about country music.
Oh and I saw Drew McAlister’s song [Last Night on Earth] with Lyn Bowtell. It was beautiful – probably my two favourite voices in Australian country music – singing together in perfect harmony, with so much emotion, fantastic lights, amazing band and that was, “wow, this could be on an awards show and it would be a moment” but it was just for us.
What’s it like from the perspective of an artist walking around on the cruise? Do you constantly have people coming up to you for photos or can you walk around as normal?
It was really welcoming and lovely. It just felt like you could really connect with people quickly. Country music fans are really lovely. I was on the treadmill and a lovely lady named Jan, she was on the treadmill next to me, showed me her phone, “I’m just listening to you while I work out”. It was just a cool (experience) because you normally don’t get that.
Also, when everyone’s on holidays, it’s a different vibe. It’s almost like you could high five everyone you walk past on the cruise and no one would think it’s weird. It was really special to be honest. I loved it. I’m in Sydney now so, where I live, people aren’t as neighbourly as they were on the cruise and we were all together for only eight days, so that’s why I miss it so much.
Are you experiencing any post-cruise blues?
Kind of. Christmas is coming up and I love Christmas – and I normally get post-Christmas blues, so I’ll get rid of the cruise-blues and think about Christmas. Then after Christmas, I will just combine the two blues (laughs).
What are your plans for Christmas?
Drive down to Melbourne, that’s where my family is. I hang out with my Mum, my dog and my nieces. I look at Christmas lights and we watch Christmas movies. I love it!
You recently filmed the music video for Everybody Wants To Take My Money. Why did you choose that to be the next single?
I do like the show the different dynamics of the album. And, you know when you vent to someone about things that are happening in your life, money, bills, all that stuff and you over exaggerate just to make yourself feel better? That’s what I’m kind of doing throughout the whole song; it’s cathartic to sing, and people have said they feel the same way. They like to pump it up.
What is the idea behind the video?
I won’t mention too much, but because the song’s got a bit of an epic feel, it’s a statement that’s quite bold, it’s going to be at that kind of epic, cinematic movie.
Do you get to choose your fashion for the videos?
I get to but I don’t like to – I’m not too good with fashion, so I’ll have some people help me with it. Things look different on camera than they do on stage – you dress differently for different things – so that’s always fun, doing a day of trying on different clothes.
I feel like your songs range from the serious to the comedic. For example, take Eggs in a Basket, in terms of overall sound, theme and lyrics, in comparison to the new single .
I feel like that’s who I am. I have a lot of extremes to my personality (laughs). It makes live performance a lot of fun because it’s not all the same. It’s different for different reasons.
You also directed the video for Eggs in a Basket. What was it like first-time directing?
It was nice, because I had a clear vision in my head. I had to be studious Jasmine – it’s really about time management. I already have a lot of images for videos, but I just don’t normally direct it – I just send it to the director beforehand. But being the person on the day, it’s more just being the boss. I definitely wanted to do a few crazy things and, then, if something else happened on the day, you shoot that as well. It was very much like shooting from the hip.
The video features you, Mike Carr, Bree Tanay and a panda dancing around. How did Mike and Bree get involved?
Mike is one of my favourite artists and comedians. The way that he works characters is fantastic, so he made a whole new character for me. Bree was in my acting course and I was like, “who would like to be a crazy person on camera with me?”
You mentioned you’re in an acting course. Do you find that that’s helped you during Eggs in a Basket; Everybody Wants to Take My Money and even past videos?
Absolutely. There’s different ways of acting too. Eggs in a Basket was slapstick, not realistic acting. Whereas [Everybody Wants to Take My Money is] a whole lot more emotional, realism, kind of stuff.
Is the ultimate goal to get into television, film and/or musicals as well? Is that something that you’d like to do?
Yeah, I would. I would love to do all that stuff because YOLO. I love music [and] writing music, but I also love telling stories in lots of different ways. I write all the time but it’s not something I ever release. I would love to see what is out there for me, up skill and learn about different crafts and art forms.
If you could be a character in any television show or musical; which would you choose?
I don’t know enough of what’s out there; I’m only just getting into watching a lot of movies and TV shows. But I’d love to be part of an Aussie drama or something like that. Australian comedy is quite awesome too. But musicals, I have no idea; it just depends on what I would suit. You know when you get to a point where you’d like, I really have to not sleep for the rest of my life and just be doing things to satisfy this need to try so many things? That’s where I’m at at the moment.
Are you at that point where you feel like you have more creative control over your career?
Yeah, I am. I still have wonderful people around me giving me suggestions but it’s definitely driven by me. Even if I have an idea, I have lots of people helping me execute it, so it’s never just me; but it’s different now than it was at the very beginning when I had no idea about anything. I still have a lot to learn about music, song writing and performing, and I want to be learning about that forever. I never want there to be a moment when I’m like, “I know everything” because then it would be boring. I think what keeps me interested is there’s still more to strive for.
I’m not sure if you’re currently working on a new album – but it must be a good feeling going into the prospect of making a fifth record knowing more about what you’re doing and where you want to take it.
It’s so exciting! And I’m thinking a lot about my acting and I’ve introduced that into part of the entertaining, part of the storytelling, because that’s what acting is; as well as song writing and performing. I’m always writing, but now I’m thinking what do I want to say with my next record and that’s the most fun part to me because it could be anything. I’m just putting it together at the moment in my brain. I write about 40–45 complete songs [for an new record] before I whittle them down.
Then it must almost make it all the more special when people do actually connect with songs you’ve had a hand in writing?
Yes, it’s the best. When I Found You, the song I wrote for my best friend’s wedding, people have said that it’s their wedding song and people have proposed while I’ve been singing it. It’s funny, the songs that have been really personal to me, they seem to be the ones that people say speaks to them. You’d think something that was so personal – you’re writing complete truth, you’re not thinking about what someone wants to hear – your own personal situation and someone else feels that same exact thing. That’s what music’s all about for me, why I do it – for the connection. That’s amazing, that feeling.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is coming up in January – are you performing at Tamworth? And what other gigs do you have coming up?
I’m doing one charity event [at Tamworth], the first weekend, it’s called Country under the Vines. Just like it was on the cruise, you don’t see [other artists] for ages and then you see each other at Tamworth [so] it’s nice to check in with people and perform with friends who jump up and sing. Next year, I’m [also] doing CMC Rocks QLD, which will be headlined by the Dixie Chicks, who are one of my favourite artists!