Jasmin Bade’s “Rent” —

Photo Credit: Desfura

Raised in Melbourne, Australia. On TikTok, you’ve shared posts about things Americans say about Australians. What are some things Americans say that surprised you when you first came to Nashville?

When I first moved to Nashville I was definitely taken aback when frequently hearing “God Bless” or to be greeted with a “Ma’am.” Those were the two that surprised me the most because mostly every other ‘American’ phrase I’d heard on TV or online! Still waiting for a genuine “Y’all come back now, ya hear!”

Listening to Johnny Cash and The Chicks growing up. How did these artists influence you to write your own songs?

Johnny was the truest of Storytellers in my book. He just had so much wit and there’ll never be anyone like him. He really taught me the importance of being immersed in the narrative of the song while singing it; like in A Boy Named Sue where he shouts “Now you gonna die!”

The Chicks have this incredible ability to perform the most heartbreaking of ballads, like “Cowboy Take Me Away,” and then on the same record they’ll have you in fits laughing to “Goodbye, Earl.” I definitely learnt how to belt singing along with Natalie Maines in the car.

You shared that you first heard Kasey Chambers’ debut album, The Captain, when you were at your aunt and uncle’s home one Christmas. It inspired you, at age 6, to start singing lessons and learn to play the guitar. That led you to start busking on the streets to raise money for her Cambodia orphanage (she even sent you signed song books as a thank you). What about this album made you really all in love with music for the first time?

Honestly this was so long ago I can’t remember too much, but I do remember mum saying I was singing in the car the whole ride home, apparently even when I was sleeping. I know I was fascinated by the sorrow in her voice. The way it sounded like she was then and there in the moment as she was telling the story of the song. I don’t think I really understood what they meant at the time, but I know I spun those CD’s so frequently they got pretty scratchy!

You saw Beccy Cole at the Tamworth Country Music Festival when you were 7. Running to the show you took a tumble only to not only see Beccy herself but have her comfort you. Fast forward Beccy played your single, “X’s and Y’s,” on the ABC Country Radio’s Saturday Night County Show. How was meeting Beccy at the Festival a pivotal moment for you?

Well this was a while ago but I do think I remember falling down and her rushing over to see if I was okay. I couldn’t believe it was her, because mum and I had just become huge fans of hers! We listened to her CD for months on end after getting back home after the festival.

When I found out “X’s and Y’s” was going to be played on her show on ABC Country, I was just really proud of younger me for continuing to fight for this thing. There have been times that it might’ve been easier to throw in the towel and just do what it seemed everyone else was doing… Not many girls from inner-city Melbourne, Australia end up pursuing a country music dream and move to Nashville, Tennessee. So to have the acknowledgement of someone I’ve looked up to for so many years was just a real ‘pinch me’ moment.

“X’s and Y’s.” American Songwriter said the song has “a fun, bubbly vibe and lyrics that are almost Shane McAnally-esque.”

How did writing the song (that you recorded in your brother’s closet and charted in Australia) with Emily Kroll and Jessi Pugh help you through what you described as one of the worst times in your life?

This song was with me through the thick of it, really. I went through a breakup with someone who I thought at the time would probably be ‘the one,’ and my whole world kind of turned upside down. One of the only constants I had was knowing that “X’s and Y’s” was going to be my next single and that Emily and Jessi would be there with me through it. They’re the kind of girls you know you can count on, whether it be an industry thing or not, and I’m just so grateful I got to ride this one out with them.

Last year ended with you realizing that “I might actually be ok if everything doesn’t work out exactly the way I’ve always planned it.” Your first single, co-written with Spencer Jordan, highlighted mental health. What message do you hope listeners take away from the lyrics in “I’m Fine?”

Dayum Donna! Getting deep there! Well I had this amazing trip away, visiting my friend Erin in Cape Cod. And it was kinda like a smack in the face for me. I’ve always had these huge country-music-star-wins-a-grammy-and-saves-the-world kind of dreams, and I think I felt that if I didn’t achieve every single one of them, I couldn’t be truly happy. But on this trip to The Cape, I was reminded of the beach towns I knew growing up. Where life is a little slower and not everything is riding on one song or one meeting or ONE thing whatsoever.

I released “I’m Fine” in 2019. The whole point of the song being in an effort to reduce the stigma around mental illness and increase awareness about the importance of mental health. Well when you think your entire life depends on ONE thing, your mental health can take a hit. But that’s totally normal. I want listeners to know that they’re not alone in this. A lot of us out there are feeling it, we are stressed sometimes! Well, a lot of the time! But if we can speak about it, have friends to go to, have a therapist to find solutions with, it’s going to work out. It might take time, but we’ve all got a Cape Cod somewhere. Sometimes my Cape Cod is just calling a friend on the phone, but I feel a thousand times better whenever I do.

“Rent,” co-written with Emily (who also co-wrote Priscilla Block’s “Just About Over You”) and Brian McKenna. “I think everyone has had someone in their life that takes up too much space in their mind. I had this ex that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. No matter what I did, no matter how much distance between us, he was just living in my head. I literally flew back to Australia for a while to try and get him out of my mind, thinking that if I was away from the city that I thought was ‘our’ city, then he’d be gone. But unfortunately if someone’s ‘playing house’ with your head, they’ll follow you wherever you go. So I figured I’d better write a song about it!”

You shared a list of songs with a similar message, including Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It” and Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More.” How did you come up with the analogy that this now unwelcome person was ‘renting’ space in your head?

Well he just wouldn’t get out of my head. It was getting kind of ridiculous. Every single thing reminded me of him, and I tried to get rid of it all, until I realised, it wasn’t so much a physical space he’d been taking up, it was a mental space. But the two really aren’t so different after all.

You wouldn’t let someone live in your apartment rent free, so why should your mind be any different? Like how RUDE when someone is taking up a room in your head and hasn’t even signed a lease… selfish much? Give me back my key please…

Favorite venues to play in Nashville?

I love playing Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa on Broadway. It has this vibe that no where else on Broadway has, not to mention the decor! Girl went all out! Sometimes we’ll have little country cowgirls come in with their parents, like 8 year olds in boots, and it’s so fun seeing them dance along.

Also, The Listening Room will always be a favourite for me, and I played my first time there a few months ago. It was a sold out show and I was up on stage in a writers round with some of my best friends in this crazy business right there beside me. When a crowd is fully immersed in your story, and listening to every word you say… you just can’t beat that. I really felt the support that day. Like maybe I’m actually meant to be here. That’s a stage I’ve seen my musical idols perform on for years. It’s one of the very first places I went when I moved to Nashville. So it’s a dream come true to get to play there now.

“Were you an MTV kid? Punk’d and MTV Cribs were two of my favorite shows growing up and even though they’re over, it’s still a legitimate goal of mine to hear Ashton say to me ‘you just got Punk’d’” Who would you ‘punk’ if you could?

Obviously Taylor Swift. OBVIOUSLY! She has the greatest reactions! But also James Cordon. Because he’s James Cordon.

You stopped in Los Angeles on your way home last fall. What other cities are on your U.S. travel bucket list?

I want to go to Colorado so badly! I have a friend who just moved there so it’s super high on my travel list. I love the mountains and I want to see Red Rocks, so that would be incredible.

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