Under The Illumination is the third album written and produced by singer-songwriter Jasmine Chadwick, co-produced by multi-instrumentalist and arranger Michael Kevin Farrell.
This autobiographical album is a raw, honest, and sometimes heartbreaking examination exploring poignant yet hopeful observations about the world and her own life experiences. Jasmine’s songs beg you to search the nexus between happiness and sorrow, and the distance between childhood dreams and adult realities. They ask deep questions about life and love and reveal deeper truths about who we are, why we’re here, and what we each have to offer to the world.
"The songs on Under The Illumination have been cathartic and have allowed me a space from which to heal” Jasmine said in a recent interview. “I am intensely passionate about all that I love and these songs speak to the beauty and creation of all that have touched my heart. I found the process of making this album to be both painful and liberating as my perception about certain topics that were very difficult to face went through a transcendence. I had to come face to face with the way things really are, which meant I had to let go of the way I believed them to be. The lies we tell ourselves to get through life can have a powerful hold on us. Letting go of these old beliefs brought me to a deeper understanding and made it ever so clear to me that I can’t fix anybody, that the best thing I can do is to accept and love them as they are. This includes loving and accepting myself where I’m at, as well. It has brought me closer to myself and has made me more conscious and ever so appreciative to those who have shown me this type of unconditional love throughout my lifetime. Each moment, connection and encounter is a gift. Time may not heal all wounds but time can teach us to accept all things we are powerless over and give us the strength and fluidity to move forward.”
“During the making of this album, there was a point at which I felt like giving up on it. I was overwhelmed by everything that was going on in my life and around me. One day, while looking for some papers, I came across this old letter I had written but never sent to my grandmother. In it, I had shared with her that I was working a job to put myself through school, and I did not enjoy it − that what I really wanted to do was sing. I even told her, in the last line, that I had started learning to play the guitar. This letter to my grandmother brought me back to myself and reminded me of where I came from, how far I had come in my own growth, and that making music had always been my life’s passion. I carried that letter with me during the entire process of making of this album.”
“I hope this album reminds anyone who listens to it that they hold endless possibilities within themselves. That any dream can come true, any obstacle can be overcome, as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, put in the effort, work hard and believe that your dreams can become reality. You must believe in yourself before anyone else will. I am no different than you. If I can do it, so can you.”
Born with a passion to sing and to express herself, the first 'stage' Jasmine actually performed on was the rocky bluff side by her family home, where she would sing for dock workers in the harbor below on their lunch hour. She grew up in a musical family on a little island in rural Canada, absorbing a variety of influences and after years of interpreting other songwriters’ material, Jasmine worked to transfer her own raw emotions from poetry into lyrics and began her songwriting career with the belief that "music is the universal language of the heart.”
Before packing her bags and acoustic guitar and heading to the city of angels to pursue her dream, Jasmine collaborated with a local drummer and childhood friend, recorded demos and played around the Vancouver area. In Los Angeles, Jasmine was a fresh new voice on the music scene, performing at coffeehouses and open mic nights. The road was far from easy, but this period of struggle forged her as a woman and helped her realize what she wanted to say as an artist. During this time, she also began writing songs with Nashville Grammy-nominated songwriter Jan Buckingham and songwriter/musician Jace Smith. They both took her under their wings, giving generously of their time and invaluable experience, helping to further shape her songs and hone her skills as a singer and songwriter. This exposed Jasmine not only to the world of professional songwriting, but to the recording process, which led to meeting other musicians who also helped her to grow musically. Numerous songs were written and recorded during this period at Sound City Studios in LA, North Hollywood and in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jasmine took these songs to the stage at many of Los Angeles' top venues. As a result of her rapidly growing fan base and fresh sound, Jasmine was awarded L.A. Rock City's "Best Folk-Rock Artist" award. After encouragement from fans, musicians and industry insiders, Jasmine set out to record This Is Who I Am.
The songstress' debut solo EP, This Is Who I Am, was greeted with strong reviews from major critics (including Rolling Stone's Paula Edelstein), as well as with national airplay on large market stations and placement on both television and in film. This recognition as a new voice and gifted storyteller led to Jasmine’s selection as an opening act for Grammy award-winning artist Sarah McLachlan on her most recent Lilith tour.
This first album, with poetic lyrics and an emotional vocal delivery, hinted at what lie on the horizon for Chadwick and what was ultimately realized on her sophomore album Vertical, followed by the single Unspoken. Both of these hidden gems deserve to be heard and are slated to be released as previously unreleased tracks along with the rollout of Under The Illumination.
Writing, producing and arranging the songs for all of her albums, Jasmine assembled world class collaborators. This Is Who I Am, Vertical and Unspoken included Grammy-winning Manny Marroquin and Joe Chicarelli, as well as engineers Bill Malina, Pete Amato, Brian Scheuble, keyboardist Micheal Farrell, guitarists David Levita, Shane Fontayne, Joel Shearer and Brett Boyett, bassist Sean Hurley, drummers Blair Sinta and Victor Indrizzo, and also featured The West Los Angeles Children's Choir directed by Barbara Klaskin Silberg, along with additional mixing by Jared Robbins. The albums were recorded at different studios around Los Angeles, including the legendary EastWest Studios and Sunset Sound, and mastered by Grammy nominee Dave Kutch at the Mastering Palace in New York City.
On Under The Illumination Jasmine once again collaborated with Michael Farrell, David Levita, Sean Hurley, Victor Indrizzo, and was also joined by top Los Angeles string players Paula Hochhalter, Benjamin Powell, Leah Zeger and Zach Dellinger, with Danny Levin and Jesse Molloy on horns. All lead and backing vocals were performed by Chadwick, with additional backing vocals by Janea and Tamara Champlin. The album was engineered by Chris Steffen at The Village Studios, assisted by Gabe Burch, with additional engineering and vocals recorded by Alex Williams, assisted by Sarah Ma. All selections were mixed by Grammy award winning Michael H. Brauer at Brauer Sound Studios, assisted by Fernando Reyes with the exception of “Cupid’s Girl” mixed by Chris Steffen at Sage and Sound in Hollywood, California and “Soldier” mixed by Alex Williams. The album was mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound in New York City with cover photography by Don Q. Hannah and additional photography by the legendary Henry Diltz.
“Every choice we make in life is rooted in our fears or in love,” Jasmine said speaking about the most personal album she has ever made. “We each have a responsibility to ourselves to keep our hearts young and to protect the hearts of the children around us. When we remain open to life and love with the heart of a child, we are so much more aware of the beauty that is all around us. Music’s heart is like this − always open like the wilderness, ready to let us in − knowing no beginning or end. Never lose hope, love really does conquer and overcome everything. Every time. Overtime. Don’t ever be afraid to hold light to the truth. It is but for a moment that we kiss this earth and the truth, like these songs, are rooted in love and all that is rooted in love lives on forever. I am so grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey.”
Jasmine looks forward to sharing Under the Illumination with audiences, and will be playing songs from the album live during an intimate tour with dates to be announced soon.