Despite not releasing any new original music since the release of her album Heartbeat in May 2015, it has been a very eventful year for Jasmine Rae so far.
From the highs of playing to sell-out crowds as part of the Granger Smith Australian tour and Groundwater Country Music Festival in July, to dealing with the consequences of legal action undertaken by the co-writers of her hit song When I Found You, 2018 has proven to be a roller coaster for the three-time ARIA nominated and two-time CMC Music Award winning singer/songwriter.
In late July this year, Jasmine joined Granger Smith and his alter-ego Earl Dibbles Jnr on his sold-out Australian Tour shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and the Gold Coast for the Groundwater festival. The shows, promoted by Groundwater Touring, were a huge success.
“It was an amazing experience. The crowds at all the shows were brilliant,” Jasmine said.
While many international headliners like to keep their distance from their opening acts, Granger and his team were the complete opposite.
“They were so good to us. Everyone on the tour became instant friends and I loved chatting with Granger about his recording process and how Yee Yee Nation came about.”
“They have a really refreshing way of going about things. A dream big, no-nonsense energy that is infectious. I love that Granger has created characters and alter egos that he includes in his shows and videos.
“He and his brother created Yee Yee Nation – ‘a lifestyle movement’ not just regular merchandise. He records a podcast where he talks about issues he feels passionate about. It feels like everything they do has a purpose and means something.
“My band and I learnt so much from the whole experience, hopefully we’ll get to play more shows together in the future.”
The shows were a welcome distraction from events earlier in the year.
Just weeks before an acclaimed performance at Tamworth Country Music Festival’s Live & Loud event, Jasmine was facing the realisation that the co-writers of When I Found You (Sean Carey and her former keyboard player Beau Golden) had decided to sue Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and other parties without her consent, claiming the song The Rest of Our Life recorded by McGraw and Hill and released in late 2017 was a “blatant copy” of the Australian country song that topped the CMC Top 30 Countdown and was the most played song on Australian country radio in the first half of 2016.
In responding court documents, Sheeran and his co-writers Amy Wadge, Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac responded by saying The Rest of our Life was independently created, while McGraw and Hill have tried to distance themselves from the matter in their response on the basis that they didn’t write the song and simply recorded a song pitched to them.
As the recording artist and face of When I Found You and the writer who first came up with the idea for a song for her best friend’s wedding, Jasmine has had to deal with criticism from music fans who don’t agree with the action her co-writers took, despite not being involved in the legal action herself.
Adding to the initial dilemma, Carey and Golden chose not to tell Jasmine they had decided to go ahead with the legal action. She only found out about it following media reports on Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ and news outlets across Australia and the world.
“I didn’t know they had decided go ahead with any legal action until someone told me about an article on the Billboard website. So I was very unprepared for the whole situation, the questions from media outlets and the opinions people started sharing with me before I’d even been able to digest the whole situation properly.”
The question Jasmine has been asked most, is why isn’t she joining her co-writers in the legal proceedings?
“Essentially, I don’t agree with the way they have chosen to address the whole issue,” she says.
“They’ve been encouraged to immediately assume the worst and seem to be trying to create ways to involve people who had nothing to do with the writing of the song as well, in order to try and get more money and publicity from the situation, no matter what the impact is on anyone else.
“They’ve even tried to involve my partner in the whole thing because I didn’t go along with what they wanted to do. That has really shocked and hurt me.”
One upside to the situation has been the renewed interest in Jasmine’s song.
“I keep hearing stories from people throughout the world who have told me that they’ve played or performed When I Found You at their wedding. For me, it’s the ultimate compliment as a songwriter.
“I recently released an official instrumental version of the song because I get so many requests from people who want to sing the song themselves on their special day.”
If the case is not settled out of court soon, it’s likely the parties will duel the matter out in a New York court in a jury trial early next year.
In the meantime, Jasmine will be doing what she does best. Writing, recording, performing and releasing new music.
During the tour with Granger Smith, she performed the new song ‘Right Now,’ written with James Draper and Jordan Brady from the duo Winterbourne.
She intends to record that song very soon and perform it and some other new tracks, along with all her fan favourites, at upcoming performances at the Mount Hunter Country Music Stampede in Western Sydney on October 12, the Kick The Dust Up Festival in Canberra on November 10 and the Burra Country Music Festival in South Australia on November 17.
“Playing the shows with Granger has reminded me why I do what I do and why I love it so much. I can’t wait to record and release my new songs and play more shows very soon,” Jasmine said.