The former TOWIE star wants to help young girls realise they can make their dreams come true
Of all the reality TV stars who’ve attempted to launch music careers, ex TOWIE star Jasmin Walia is arguably one of the most successful.
The 26-year-old has just released her fifth single – her second with Zack Knight – and the music video is fast approaching a million views after less than a week.
But it hasn’t been easy for Jasmin given the reputation former The Only Way Is Essex stars get. Despite this, she’s determined to prove everybody wrong and is slowly building up a fan base all over the world.
With her fellow TOWIE star Megan McKenna making waves in Nashville, Tennessee as a country artist and Jasmin climbing the pop charts in India, it looks like Essex girls are proving anything is possible right now…
Hi Jasmin! Tell me about the new single…
It’s called Bom Diggy. It’s another song with Zack, I love working with him! It’s a mix of English and Ethnic.
You sing in Punjabi – were you nervous about doing that?
Punjabi-Hindi. I did on Temple as well, but I suppose a bit more this time. It has to be on point! When you’re singing in another language the accent is really important.
My family is Punjabi so we do speak it, but most of the time every one talks in English.
The video is seriously sexy, was it fun to shoot?
We wanted to go for a Wanted/Armed robbery feel. Beyonce and Jay Z’s Bonnie & Clyde ‘03 video inspired me. This song was supposed to be a love song but when we were in the studio and decided to increase the tempo of it. It went from a love song to a club song!
Would you ever release a ballad?
I definitely will, it would show off more of my voice. I love party songs and upbeat, happy tracks but I also like ballads because you can get emotional. It’s just a process of writing the perfect song and making sure people can connect.
Bom Diggy is almost at a million views in just five days; does the reaction to your music surprise you?
It’s mad. The song is number one on the Indian Pop Chart right now. Obviously I’ve come from a reality TV show but I’ve always wanted to get into singing. I don’t think we should have ever been judged in the first place. If we want to be singers, actors, fashion designers or whatever people shouldn’t try to hinder us.
Getting turned down on The X Factor was a bit of a knockback for me. It was hard to move on but I did. I just thought, “I’m just going to work hard to get better every day”. You get out what you put in.
Are you planning on releasing your tracks in India? You have a big fan base there, right?
Yeah, I’ve released a few tracks with a Bollywood label so it’s an exciting new adventure for me. I feel like there’s a lack of mainstream Ethnic artists. I don’t really know any British-Asian singers other than Jay Sean. The very few who are representing right now are up and coming and people need someone to relate to so I love incorporating Ethnic into pop songs.
The only artists I knew of from my culture when I was growing up were Jay and Raghav. There wasn’t a female for me to look up to. I want to be the kind of person young girls can look up to.
What’s it like performing in front of crowds like the one in Oslo last week?
That was crazy. I did a surprise performance, Zack was on stage and I joined him out there. The atmosphere was incredible – I couldn’t even hear myself! It’s amazing to perform to crowds like that.
My happiest moments come when I’m on stage, releasing a new song or recording a video. I didn’t realise just how happy that made me until I started doing it almost full time. I’m such a happier person now.
How do you deal with negative comments?
When the new video was released, I had a few comments from people saying I was really skinny and I actually commented back on my YouTube channel. I never retaliate but it really upset me.
When I was younger some girls took the Mickey out of me for being skinny, they used to call me anorexic and say things like, “You make yourself sick”.
Which was completely far from the truth. But I was really skinny, at one point I weighed six stone, but I was really stressed with school exams and just life in general. It’s just not very nice.
Megan McKenna is trying to launch a singing career – do you feel there’s some competition there because you’re both from Essex?
Not at all! Megan and I both went for The X Factor and we both got turned down, so we have that in common! I really like Megan and I have nothing bad to say about her. When we were at The X Factor together she told me she sang country and I had no idea, but I know she loves it. We’ve got completely different sounds and good on her! She’s another person proving people wrong that think that, because we’re from TOWIE, we can’t do it.
Zack Knight and Jasmin Walia’s new single Bom Diggy is available to stream and download now.