Gone are the days when opportunity knocked. These days, it rings. Three years ago, when Yo Yo Honey Singh made a call to California-based singer Jasmine Sandlas, she didn’t know how one thing would lead to another, or in her case, how one song would lead to another, and life could change so much. So much so, that she would eventually pack her bags and move to Mumbai for good.
The song for which Honey made the call to Jasmine was ‘Raat Jashan Di’ from Zorawar. That’s right, that’s the song you find yourself swinging your hips to and clapping your hands to at every dance hub in the city. That might even be the song playing on the loop on your iPods. But it’s probably not the first time you’ve heard Jasmine’s smooth vocals. Remember ‘Yaar Na Miley’ from Kick? That was her, with Honey Singh again, although she recorded ‘Raat Jashan Di’ first. Over to Jasmine…
On Honey Singh and the songs
Honey called me one day and said I have the perfect song that we can do together. That was ‘Raat Jashan Di’. He sent me a brief. I loved it and wrote something on it. What you hear of me in the song is written by me as well. I sent him a WhatsApp recording and he said it sounds great. I told him I’ll go to the studio and record for you but he said no, your phone vocals sound really good. He’s actually used my phone vocals for the master of the song! Certain portions of ‘Yaar Na Miley’ are also my phone vocals. He calls me his favourite phone recording artist (laughs). It’s a pleasure working with him. He respects my vision and cheers me on. He has been really supportive of the music I have done independently before I did these songs.
On her musical moves
I was born in Punjab and moved to California with my family when I was 12 years old. I used to watch all the movies of Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit when I was in India. But once I moved to California, hip-hop completely took over my life. I started putting out my music on MySpace in 2007. In 2008, I released an album called ‘The Diamond’ and in 2012, I did an album called ‘Gulabi’. I did one song with Bohemia called ‘Adhi Raati’. Before ‘Yaar Na Miley’ happened, at least 20 of my songs had been out already. So when it did, I thought it will be just another song. I had no idea how massive it would become in Bollywood. It was a beautiful surprise.
On acting offers
When ‘Gulabi’ released, a few Punjabi filmmakers approached me to act as the lead in their movies. But I haven’t yet had my fill of music and I don’t want to confuse my audience. If I do take up an offer, it would be because the role is really good or a small cameo. A dream role for me would be if somebody like a Shah Rukh Khan or a Salman Khan walks into a club and there’s a song where I sing and perform. I just want to do my thing and leave. It’s happened for me in ‘Raat Jashan Di’ and I would like to do more of such cameos.
On California and future plans
I think if I had lived my whole life in India, I don’t think I would have been doing music. None of my family members are from the entertainment industry and I don’t think I would have been encouraged to pursue a career in music if I was here. Living in California has completely influenced me as a person and as an artist. I bring a little bit of hip-hop to my music. My songwriting is fresh. I don’t think I would have been able to write ‘Tere Bina Kick Mujhe Milti Nahi’ if I was in India. I hardly heard Bollywood music in California. So I think that being disconnected from this world has allowed me to be free as I am, and in the way, I write songs. California has made me more fearless and more independent. I am inspired by the artistes there and I would like to do something similar here for my people, the people of Punjab. The plan is to release a lot of songs here. I must have written close to a 100 songs while I was there. One of the songs, ‘Ishq Da Sutta’ from the movie One Night Stand just came out now. It’s an exciting time. I have moved to Mumbai now and I’m not going anywhere till I’m done with the city!