Manchester-born, Somerset raised, singer-songwriter Jazz Mino has made light work of building a captive audience over the last few years.
Her breakout single Crush received over 100,000 streams on Spotify and has surpassed one million views on YouTube. This, as many budding performers will recognise, is no mean feat.
Having taken a year away from music in 2019, Jazz is back and better than ever with her effortlessly catchy new single Old Friends, an ode to realising self-worth and ditching toxic relationships.
We caught up with Jazz ahead of the release to talk staying creative when you're stuck in lockdown, finding inspiration in the small things and her stellar new track.
Hi Jazz, firstly thank you for taking the time to chat to us. Where are you holed up right now?
Hey M Mag! I’m currently at my boyfriend’s parent’s house in East Sussex. I was supposed to be moving out of London and staying here for a couple of weeks. Now it seems I’ll be here a little bit longer than that. Luckily, we have a beautiful giant ginger cat called Bruno to keep us sane.
For any M readers unfamiliar with your music, can you give us a bit of a break down?
My name is Jazz Mino and I absolutely love writing songs and singing my heart out. I love creating pop music with more of a chilled, boppy feel that people can just vibe to whilst they’re getting ready in the morning or whilst they’re getting out the house for their COVID-19 once a day daily exercise. Some of my biggest influences are Tove Lo, Lauv, Astrid S, Lany and A R I Z O N A.
You can listen to my Spotify here.
Can you talk us through your songwriting process? What are your golden rules?
I think my only golden rule with songwriting is that I’m true to myself when it comes to what I’m writing about. The lyrics are extremely important to me and are normally narratives about my life and my experiences.
In terms of process, I write in loads of different ways to be honest and that’s what makes it so fun. Sometimes I’ll just wake up at night and have this hook in my head and have to go record it into my phone. Other times, I’ll be jamming out chords on the piano. I also do lots of songwriting sessions and collaborations. One of my favourite people to write with is a topliner and good friend called Nay Shalom. She just always totally gets me and what I’m trying to say, which I think is hugely important in a writing session.
What do you find inspires you in your day-to-day life?
Currently, Bruno the giant ginger cat. But in all seriousness, with songwriting I tend to get super inspired with what’s going on in my life. I meditate a lot, keep a solid morning routine, exercise every day and I feel this really puts me in the right frame of mind to be creative. I tried meditating with Bruno sat on my lap begging for attention yesterday which was an interesting experience.
Day to day, I'm super inspired by positive and empowering people like Jameela Jamil, Gary Vee, Matt Haig and also my wonderful friends. I think it's so important, especially with everything that’s going on at the moment. I try not to follow any negative people on Instagram and I’ve basically made it my happiness sanctuary. When I open Instagram, I know that the first thing I’m going to see, is something beautiful, something super inspiring, or something bloody delicious. Some of my favourite accounts are ifyouhigh, Gary Vee, makeupmouse, elizabethwhibley, vegadishes, madeinshoreditch, colorxstudios, and if you need more laughs in your life right now, you MUST follow mkik808.
How important do you think it is for your music to make a statement?
I honestly use my music as an outlet to write about what’s going on in my life and how I feel about it, so I guess in a way that’s making a statement. I’m always going to speak my mind about topics I feel strongly about.
Old Friends feels like it follows a theme many will be familiar with. Can you talk us through it?
Old Friends comes out today (Wednesday 15 April) and I’m so excited. It’s a tongue-in-cheek story about cutting those toxic people out of your life that seem to thrive on bringing you down, and building yourself back up to realise you’re better off without them. I feel like everybody has had somebody like that in their lives before so if you have, I hope that you listen and feel inspired to tell them where to go!
Has the COVID-19 pandemic had much of an impact on your release plans?
To be honest, I was super lucky to have my next two singles mixed and mastered already, but the rest are yet to be mixed. I think the issue now for most artists is the lack of funding. All my gigs have been cancelled, so the money I had for my mixes will probably have to go on bills and living. There are, however, some absolutely wonderful charities who have helped me, such as Help Musicians UK, and I also know that PRS for Music have created an Emergency Relief Fund which I’ve applied for too. I was really looking forward to supporting some cool artists on tour, and perhaps doing my first UK tour this year, but I think we just have to take each day as it comes at the moment and not over plan the future.
We saw that you’re holding a ‘virtual tour’ and had you recently held your first show. How did that go? It sounds like a great idea!
I am! The first one was so much fun. I recently set up a Patreon, so the first live stream gig was on there. It was so much fun to just chill out, connect and chat with people and play some music. My next couple are Instagram and Facebook live streams and I can’t wait. People have been so kind as well, some have donated money for the live stream gigs. It shows that people really do come together and support each other during difficult times.
Keep your eyes peeled on my socials as I’m planning an Old Friends live stream launch party gig in my head as I’m writing this!
Finally, what’s next for you? Coronavirus permitting…
Well, isolation has got me writing songs all day, so you can expect a whole bunch more of them. I’m super lucky as my boyfriend is a producer, so we’ve just been making the most of quarantine by writing and working on more tunes. It’s also my dream to go on tour this year and I’ve still not let go of that. I have visions of supporting two of my favourite bands, LANY, and A R I Z O N A, and until the Government say 'no live gigs all year', I’m going to hold onto that dream.