[PREMIERE] Jasmine Thompson’s “Wonderland” of Wasted Youth
“Wasted youth in wonderland.” That’s the verse that carries the tone of Jasmine Thompson’s latest single.
A dark and eclectic melody plays under her eerie vocals as she sings about wasting your teen years away. The 16-year-old British singer is well beyond her years and feels that today’s youth is being wasted, with kids being forced to sit behind desks at school rather than being able to go out and live, love and create freely.
“You get to a point when you’re in school, you kind of feel like you’re wasting your youth,” Jasmine told Galore. “Youth can be a negative and positive word, but I feel like it’s so positive. Youth is where you’re free and you have no limitations and you have all of this time on your hands. So the fact that we feel like we’re just stuck doing nothing and we feel like we’ve got all of this creativity inside of us.”
The London native got her start covering songs on YouTube at just 10 years old, eventually building up a platform of over 2.36 million subscribers and over 350 million views. It’s safe to say that she is definitely not wasting her youth as she travels around the world and shares her music with people in a variety of different countries. Check out the premiere of Wonderland below.
Where did the concept for the Wonderland video come from?
Wonderland is based on me and my friends and a night out that we had in September where we just ran around London for a whole night and it was really fun. It was filmed in London. It’s got my actual friends in it. It was filmed in my old flat, it was filmed in places that me and my friends go all the time. I wanted it to be as real as possible. We all did our own makeup, we all dressed ourselves. It was so much fun to make.
You repeat the line “Wasted youth in Wonderland” throughout the song. What does wasted youth mean to you?
I mean, wasted youth is a phrase I thought captured the mindset of me and my friends quite well. Youth can be a negative and positive word, but I feel like it’s so positive. Youth is where you’re free and you have no limitations and you have all of this time on your hands. So the fact that we feel like we’re just stuck doing nothing and we feel like we’ve got all of this creativity inside of us… My friends are really creative and they just want to experience life and they’re so passionate about everything. It’s wasted youth because we’re restricted because we’re young, but that’s what makes us amazing. We want to spend our time running around and having experiences because we just want to fill our lives with experience and love and culture.
Why do you think artists create their best work young?
When you’re young, you’re innocent. You don’t have restrictions of words and you don’t understand as many things, and in a way that’s kind of beautiful. What’s nice about really young children like before they start making art and songs and things like that, I’m talking about little young kids, they do things because it’s just natural. They don’t know if it’s wrong or right, they just want do it because it feels like something. I feel that’s why you shouldn’t restrict an artist no matter how old they are, or like for anything, if they have a passion for it, then they’re equally as good as anyone else. Obviously there’s a lot of training and things like that but if the core instinct is there, than they’ve got it.
Some of the other lyrics in the songs are “We can’t help but fall in love with all of our messed up friends.” Is this based on the love you have for your friends? Or have you ever been in love with a friend? How did you handle it?
It’s a bit of both, I definitely think that I have so much love for my friends and we all really care about each other. There have been moments where you question, “I’m so in love with this person, why is this not a relationship kind of love?” Also, that was the night that I met my first love and we had a really sweet relationship. It’s kind of based off these stories where we fall in love, because I think young people fall in love really easily as well, and I just think it’s really pretty. It’s kind of messy and messed up, but it’s something where you don’t really care about the consequences and you just want that young, youthful love.
Probably like Dylan O’Brien because I love him. Or like Angelina Jolie, I fucking love her so much. I don’t know, anyone! I’m not entirely sure to be honest.
Who comes with you on the road? What do you bring with you to feel less homesick?
I always bring my mom with me, she’s always around. Ever since I’ve started touring she’s here with me, it would feel weird if she wasn’t coming. Also she helps me because I’m very unorganized sometimes, so she’s helping me get my shit together! I have a camera I take a lot. I’ve always got a keyboard somewhere.
Do you take a lot of photos on the road?
Yeah, I love photos! I don’t necessarily show anyone but me and my friends love disposable cameras and film cameras, I’ve got a film camera with me on the trip. We just like taking photos to keep things in mind I guess.
Do you collect anything tangible when you’re traveling to remember the places you’ve been?
I do sometimes. For example, in Germany, they have that thing called the Lock Bridge where you put on a lock for the people you love. The first time I went there, I put a spoon on the bridge because I didn’t have a lock! The next time I went, like a year later, I put an actual lock on the bridge, I got two, one was for a guy and one was for me and my friends. So I have the keys from it in my purse. I would say like photos, I’ve got tour cards from behind the stage, I’ve got a ton of those behind my bed.
You’ve got a really cool aesthetic on your Instagram. Is it thought out? What is your key to the perfect Instagram?
Instagram is a massive conversation for me and my friends! All the time we’re like, is it messy? Does it look ok? Is it too thought out? Is it too perfect? We’re always like what is the perfect Instagram? I feel like for me, I like it when it’s not too messy and I like when the colors go together. I do realize I post way too many selfies on Instagram and I need to spread it out more! But I mean, it is kind of thought out sometimes, especially when it comes to announcements. I’m just like, how do I place this in the right way? I want it to be color coordinated and things like that!
If you could take anyone to your high school prom, who would it be and why?
I don’t know! I would love to take Florence and The Machine. Not like in a romantic way! I genuinely want her to come because she’s crazy when she dances and I feel like it would be so fun to dance and twirl around with her at anything! That would be fun for me.
If you were a singer in any other decade, what would it be?
I don’t know! I don’t know what decade it is, but I love Ella Fitzgerald, I love that kind of sweet, soulful jazzy music.
If you could trade wardrobes with any TV or movie character, who would it be?
I love Jennifer Aniston from Friends. I also really love Beauty in the Beast, like her dresses and the yellow, my favorite color is yellow so I love her dress from that. Then like Angelina Jolie, I love how badass she looks in anything!
You’ve got a really cool style. How do you keep your wardrobe fresh and unique?
I always go to places like the classic teen places like Urban and Topshop. I also go to a lot of vintage clothes shops, like Oxford Street, east London, west London. There’s also like pockets where you can find cool kind of outlet stores and designer brands and cool pop up shops.
If your life was set to a soundtrack, what album would it be and why?
Jeez, that’s a really good question! I’m not sure to be honest. I love José González to describe my life. He’s got a good mix of euphoric feeling and then for when you’re feeling quite down, I’m a really weird emotional person!
That’s what makes you an artist!
Exactly, we feel things so other people can feel things!
Interview and Photography by Keri Dolan