Artist to Watch: South London’s Jasmine Jethwa Lights a Fire Inside with “Money to Burn”

Jasmine Jethwa © Daniel A Harris
Jasmine Jethwa © Daniel A Harris
Jasmine Jethwa reasserts her claim as one of London’s brightest rising stars in her new single “Money to Burn,” a breathtakingly vulnerable, beautifully cinematic eruption of heartache, grief, and self-empowerment.
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Stream: “Money to Burn” – Jasmine Jethwa




If I had a penny every time you cared, I’d be poor as a poet in a broken bed…

South London singer/songwriter Jasmine Jethwa keeps proving herself an unparalleled artistic force. She did so on her 2020 debut EP Hurricane, and she did it again with last year’s dreamy and lush single “Golden,” which instantly became an Atwood Editor’s Pick. Through both her songwriting and her vocal performance, Jethwa creates a world of wonder and intimacy, pulling her audience in with her such that we can feel, or at least wholly understand, exactly what she’s going through at any given moment. Her approach is raw, yet polished; hearty, yet light – and nowhere does she hit harder than on her latest tempest. A torrential downpour of searing passion and achingly intimate emotion, Jasmine Jethwa’s “Money to Burn” is a breathtakingly vulnerable, beautifully cinematic eruption of heartache, grief, and ultimately, her own self-empowerment.

Where do we turn when outside forces are breaking us down; when the flames around us have gone dark? We look inward to find our own light, and that inner strength, once we have it and harness it, truly becomes one of our greatest assets.

Money to Burn - Jasmine Jethwa
Money to Burn – Jasmine Jethwa
If I had a penny every time you let me down,
I’d be rich as a King in a crown,
I’d be rolling around in diamonds and pearls, I know
If I had a penny every time you cared,
I’d be poor as a poet in a broken bed,
Cause I’ve waited too long on your promises, I know,
Ooh I know,
Oh my love,
How long have you banked on me,
You say you’re lost,
Story’s getting old

Released February 1st, 2023 via independent label Akira Records, “Money to Burn” is the third single taken off Jasmine Jethwa’s forthcoming sophomore EP, Same Streets But I Don’t See You Around (set to release later this year). Following last year’s tracks “Have I Ever Been” and “Golden” – the latter of which I praised for “the kind of aural architecture that sends shivers down the spine,” showcasing a “voice of pure gold” – “Money to Burn” is an all-consuming enchantment. Jethwa’s smoldering voice melts gracefully over hypnotic guitars and a lush orchestral bed, rising with radiant harmonies in a rich, captivating, and delicate chorus that simultaneously breaks us down and builds us back up again:

If your lies were money,
I’d still have money to burn,
But I believe,
You owe your love it, all belongs to me
If I could cash all the hurt,
I’d still have money to burn,
But I won’t leave,
You owe your love, it all belongs to me

“‘Money to Burn’ was a song that for me, felt like it wrote itself,” Jethwa tells Atwood Magazine. “I was in a situation where I didn’t completely trust that I was being told the whole truth, and at the time I felt pretty powerless. I wrote this song as a way to find my power again, with ultimately a vulnerable sentiment but sonics that are strong and defiant.”

“This version of the song is with the very first vocal we ever did, at the end of my writing session on a late night in May. We tried different variations, re-singing it, producing it all over again, but nothing quite captured the feeling the way the original guitar and vocal did. And through this I learnt that like the song, sometimes the simplest form of the truth is best.”

Jasmine Jethwa © Daniel A Harris
Jasmine Jethwa © Daniel A Harris



If I had a penny every time I caught you out,
I’d be drinking ’til the sun and the stars came down,
Bet you thought,
I didn’t know about her,
Ooh, I know
Oh my love,
How long have you banked on me,
You say you’re lost,
Story’s getting old,

Sometimes that initial take is the very best one you get: It’s raw, it’s fresh, and you’re able to convey all of your words with authentic, unadulterated emotion because you’re speaking them sincerely, from your gut, for the very first time. In truth, that first take isn’t a performance for anyone else; it’s really intended just for the artist alone to feel what it’s like to experience those lines rolling off your tongue.

And yet, there’s a magic to Jethwa’s delivery. “Money to Burn” feels like a diary entry ripped from the page and brought to life through music; the song flows with an effortless grace as Jethwa spills her heart out in song, once again, for all of us to see her, hear her, and feel her on a deeply visceral level. Poetic and impassioned, this is not only a prime display of Jethwa’s ever-burgeoning artistry, but also a song we can continuously fall in love with, again and again, as we get lost in its sweetly soaring melodies and those deep, dark caverns of emotion.

Sometimes it’s when we’re at our most vulnerable that we create our most seductive works of art. This certainly seems the case for Jethwa, as she once again asserts her claim as one of London’s brightest, and boldest, rising stars.

If your lies were money,
I’d still have money to burn,
But I believe,
You owe your love it all belongs to me
If I could cash all the hurt,
I’d still have money to burn,
But I won’t leave,
You owe your love, it all belongs to me

— —

:: stream/purchase Money to Burn here ::
Stream: “Money to Burn” – Jasmine Jethwa



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Money to Burn - Jasmine Jethwa

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