‘Swift-esque’ singer spurred by spontaneity

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Jasmine Gannaway has been working on new music while studying at Murdoch University in Perth.
Camera IconJasmine Gannaway has been working on new music while studying at Murdoch University in Perth. Credit: Richard Rossiter Photography

If you checked out the inaugural Homegrown Festival in Geraldton recently, you may have caught Jasmine Gannaway live on stage.

Born and raised in Geraldton, Gannaway has been singing for as long as she can remember, encouraged by her family from a young age.

Describing her sound as “folk alternative” and “a little Taylor Swift-esque”, Gannaway is inspired by life — writing songs about anything and everything that happens around her.

But the 20-year-old’s writing style is rather unorthodox, creating music when inspiration strikes.

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“They just happen on the spot — I don’t pre-write stuff,” she said. “When I plan songs, it just goes skewed; I find I try and just feel what I’m feeling and that’s what’s worked so far.

“I need to work a lot on how I write songs, but that’s the best stuff I’ve got so far.”

Although Gannaway has always had more of an interest in singing, she took piano lessons for five years in high school and taught herself to play guitar.

While studying at Nagle Catholic College, Gannaway and her friends, Emily Littlely, Seth McKenna and Lewis Pope, decided to start a band, calling themselves The INKS.

Despite their young age, their sweet mix of indie and alternative music quickly attracted a big fan base. It wasn’t long before they were invited to open for a number of huge acts, including Australian legends Cold Chisel when they stopped by Geraldton in 2014.

“That was so exciting — it’s almost like a dream now,” she said.

“I’d give anything to go back and relive that exact moment.

“It was surreal. I wish I’d taken way more advantage of everything in that opportunity but it didn’t hit me.”

Although it’s been a while since The INKS performed together, Gannaway has started jamming with McKenna again.

The duo is hoping to record and release some original material in the not-too-distant future.

On top of her blossoming music career, Gannaway is studying a double major in conservation and wildlife biology and environmental management and sustainability at Murdoch University.

Having grown up with a mother who works as a wildlife carer, Gannaway has always cared about the environment.

Finding it easier to share stories about the environment through visual mediums, she started drawing and painting in Year 7.

Gannaway said art and music had become such an important part of her life.

“I feel sort of lost without art,” she said.

“I feel almost non-existent in a personality without it. My family are the biggest drivers of everything I do.

“I hope it just gets better and better.”

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