Abby Jasmine, the former Vine sensation turned R&B singer signed to Cinematic Music Group, is ending 2020 on a high note with the release of the deluxe version of her album “Who Cares?” Which features four new songs, not on the original album. This project is one of Abby Jasmine’s most vulnerable bodies of works to date and complements the newfound spotlight placed on self-care that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. We caught up with Abby at her recent press conference to talk about challenges she faced while making “Who Cares?” (Deluxe), the state of R&B and more.
Responses were slightly edited for cohesion.
With everything going on in the world was it easier or harder for you to make music?
“It was definitely harder for me. I’m big on my house being my relaxation zone so having to make my house the place where I need to be productive and get my shit together [was hard]. I lacked a lot of self-discipline before the pandemic. Now I’m just pushing myself to work harder and I’m getting into the rhythm of working from home.”
How did you come up with the cover art for “Who Cares?” (Deluxe)?
“It was a collaborative effort between me and my creative team. I wanted to showcase having the finer things and having people cater to you all while still not being concerned about that. I’m a down to earth person, material things don’t really excite me and I wanted to show that.”
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced related to the album and how did you overcome it?
“I think my biggest challenge was - and this is actually why I called it ‘Who Cares?’ – opinions. Everybody, at the time I started making this album, had opinions on things I should do and songs I could make. I kinda decided that I needed to cut that middleman out. I’m a big overthinker. If someone says something to me, even if it’s a joke, I’m gonna think about it. Especially since the music I was making was so different than the music I had made before, I felt like I was growing and being more honest and open with myself I didn’t want anybody to discourage me. So I just locked myself and my producers in a room and I said ‘Listen, it’s just us. They're gonna hear it when it’s done,’ because I rather hear the opinion(s) when it’s (the album) done and I can go back and change whatever.”
How has releasing an album and figuring out how to perform the album during quarantine affected your creative process and your mindset when writing?
“I think I still approach it the same way because in my head we’re eventually gonna get to go outside. Honestly, I can’t switch up too much because then I get distracted so I try not to stay from what I’m doing too much.”
What was the most challenging song to make on the album?
“The most challenging song to make was ‘Coneheads’ because I put a lot of pressure [on myself] early on to write this song. When I was still making the project I was showing people the songs and ‘Coneheads’ was the only one that wasn’t finished but I was showing it to people like that. Everybody was like ‘Yo this is fire. This is gonna be one of the hardest songs on the project,’ and that put pressure on me, as a writer, but I got stuck with writer's block for a couple of months. I was having trouble with the hook so we reached out to this writer, Nick, and he wrote the hook. As soon as he wrote the hook for the song I was like ‘Alright, I can write the rest of this song now.’”
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
“It really depends on the day. Usually, for our sessions, I walk into the room and they ask me how I’m feeling today and depending on that [answer] we’ll make a vibe.”
There’s a big debate regarding the quality of modern R&B and a popular belief that R&B is a dying sound. Do you believe you’re helping to change that belief with your latest album “Who Cares?” (Deluxe)?
“People have told me R&B is dead since I got signed but to me, R&B never died because I’m big on R&B. I feel like elements of R&B exist in damn near everything we listen to. It’s not dead. It’s not gone. It's just transitioning into things that are not as traditional as traditional R&B. I feel like I’m helping R&B out a little bit. I take elements of it and put it in my music. It might not be the traditional way that people are used to hearing it but I think the biggest thing about R&B is vulnerability. When people are vulnerable on a track it just makes you feel something and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m tryna make you feel things. If that’s helping R&B then hey, I’m here to help.”
What is the message you hope your listeners take away from “Who Cares?” (Deluxe)?
“I would want people to take away [my] growth in the music, in the writing and in me as a person. I feel like you can find out things about me from my first tape to recent projects. I have been sprinkling bits of information about myself and I want people to grow too.”
So what’s next for Abby Jasmine?
While she didn’t go into detail, Abby mentioned that she’s been working on creating a song with Interscope Records recording artist, Melii. Leaving her fans wondering what these two New York natives have cooking. Abby Jasmine also mentioned that she has Bia and Young Baby Tate at the top of her list of artists to collaborate with. As for her own creative process, per fan request, she is likely gonna take it back to her roots formed during her time on Vine and start rapping more in the near future.
To stay up to date on all things Abby Jasmine follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @abbyjasmine.