2019 has been nothing short of spectacular for Jasmine Sokko. The Singaporean electropop princess finished fourth in Chinese electronic music competition Rave Now, released her first Mandopop single ‘SHH’, and became the first local artiste to win Best Southeast Asian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) in Seville, Spain, last month.
But the 24-year-old thinks 2020 will be even better.
For one, she will be starting the year with a bang (literally) at the Let’s Celebrate 2020 countdown show at The Promontory@Marina Bay, which she’s the headlining act, and putting out a performance that is “really special” to her, albeit a little out of her comfort zone.
“I haven’t felt this way about a performance for a long time. There’s a lot of anticipation because I am finally able to put my vision together. It’s my dream to perform with a really cool visual, a really cool set, and also with dancers. It’s my first time dancing so there’s a certain degree of challenge involved,” she gushed, adding that she’s been rehearsing her dance routine for a month and is excited to have her parents watch her perform.
Well, if it’s any consolation, the mysterious singer-producer - who is known for her signature masks that conceal part of her face - could be a nervous wreck and no one would know any better, just like how her visor came in handy when she would steal forty winks while filming Rave Now.
Fortunately, mask mishaps have been few and far between, though they have threatened to slip off during rehearsals or she would accidentally hit her visor with the mic, causing the audience to jump from the sound. Yikes! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen at the countdown show.
Jasmine Sokko unmasked
Though the masks have become Jasmine’s trademark, the decision to conceal her identity was not a deliberate one. She donned a mask in her first music video ‘1057’ as part of the storyline and it just became “a thing”.
Not that she minds. In fact, the self-proclaimed introvert, who wants people to focus on her music rather than her physical appearance, relishes the anonymity. “After a performance, I remove my mask, change into a different outfit and just walk into the crowd and join them. I feel like a different person. That’s so convenient,” she said.
Her mask collection numbers more than 20 pieces and is still growing, with the most valuable being the “bird beak” that she wore in her ‘Tired’ music video as her stylist spent sleepless nights conceptualising and working on it.
Now that she’s proven herself with her music, would she consider showing her face, we asked? “I’ve never thought about that. I still want to make more music!” Allllright.
Since there’s almost a close to zero chance of seeing Jasmine unmasked (for the public at least), we decided to come up with a rough composite of her face, just to see if we are anywhere close.
“Wow! That’s really pretty, but not close!” exclaimed Jasmine when we showed her the picture. “But amazing Photoshop!”
She continued: “That shoot [where these photos were taken] was really special to me because I felt like a different character with the different makeup. I felt safe putting [these photos] out without people thinking it that would be me because I look different. I think it’s the makeup.”
So that was why we were so off the mark.
Not everyone has been wrong though - she’s been approached by strangers who asked if she’s Jasmine Sokko. “I say, ‘Good job!’ And then I walk off,” she giggled sheepishly.
Despite her cool, dark, and seemingly unapproachable image, Jasmine - yes, that’s her real name, in case you were wondering - is nothing like her stage persona. She’s bubbly, quirky, and almost a girl-next-door with her head in the clouds. Case in point: she tells us she would be an astronaut if she weren’t a singer, and had no qualms about fangirling when she saw American singer Halsey at the EMAs.
Describing herself as a “bookworm and nerd”, she says “the real Jasmine comes across as shy and I have this high-pitched voice that I never realised I had until I started recording myself when I sing. The Jasmine persona on stage is more fierce and a bit more rude than what you would expect.”
“When I am on stage, personally, I just feel like I am in a different world. I am in my visor, I am hearing my own song, I am allowed to be weird and it feels good.”
Stay weird, Jasmine. Stay weird.
Want to see if the usually cool cat Jasmine Sokko cracks under pressure? Watch her play our 5-Second Challenge.
Let’s Celebrate 2020 takes place on December 31 at The Promontory@Marina Bay. Gates open from 7pm and the party will start at 7.30pm. Admission is free.
Catch the pre-show segment of the countdown show on Toggle at 10pm, and the main show on Toggle and Channel 5 at 11pm. For more information, visit toggle.sg/letscelebrate2020.