Japanese Gospel Music News: Jasmine Asumi Murakami

Jasmine (stylized as JASMINE) (born May 19, 1989), is a Japanese singer, songwriter and producer whose real given name is Asumi (あすみ).She is represented by Sony Music Japan, and is a DJ for the Japanese radio station J-Wave. In June 2009, she released her debut single "Sad to Say". Described as "the next Hikaru Utada", Jasmine cites Utada as her influence. After the success of her debut single, Sad to Say, in 2009, many people dubbed Japanese singer Jasmine 'the next Hikaru Utada'. Since then, the 22-year-old has released several other chart-topping singles and even performed as a special guest for American singer Ne-Yo at his concert in Japan. We spoke to her when she was on her first visit to Hong Kong to sing at last Friday's Asia Music Connection concert. Gospel music has helped me because when I'm writing music, especially the harmonies, I go back to some of the things that I learned when I sang in the choir. It was my dream to be a singer. My parents were both musicians, and when I was in secondary school, I thought to myself that I'm not particularly good in school or at sports, so what can I do? In the end, I thought besides singing, I don't know much else, so I began to pursue my dream.