Jasmine Ortiz is a music-lover if there ever was one. Not your ordinary artist, the New York native is a multilingual musician, multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer, and songwriter, who indefinitely sees music as her one true love. With the studio being her happy place, the 20-year-old continues to live out her dreams on the daily.
Currently residing in Miami and attending University of Miami, Jasmine is majoring in Musicianship, Artistry Development, Entrepreneurship, while minoring in Political Science, Songwriting, and Music Business. Currently taking a course on Recording Music Operations class, learning recording budgets, split sheets, and artist management, the rising star carries a depth of knowledge about different areas of the music industry—utilizing the valuable information and applying it into her own life and career.
Jasmine states, “There’s a lot of different parts of me that a lot of people don’t know about yet. I’m excited to be able to let fans get to know me and have my social media reflect that as well. I’m presenting more about my life.”
Most recently, Jasmine unleashed the official music video for “Cherry On Top,” a song that’s reminiscent of the nostalgia in enjoying the simple things in life when dating. Additionally, she’s extremely passionate about women’s rights, addressing racial injustice, advocating for human immigration policies, climate change, and education reform.
Flaunt caught up with Jasmine Ortiz, who was posted in Los Angeles recording music in the studio at Create Music Group. Read below as we discuss her upbringing in New York, biggest influences, speaking 3 languages, producing and writing all her own music, shooting the visual for “Cherry On Top,” studio essentials, the independent grind, her favorite colors, and more!
Being from New York, how does that play into your life and career?
I was born in Manhattan, lived in Queens until I was about 2 years old. I honestly don’t remember that much. I did go to the city once a week, every week growing up so I know New York very well. It feels like a second home to me. I grew up in the Poconos Mountains of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, so small town to big city to the other big city, that’s how it’s been. I grew up with a lot of love from my family, a lot of support. I definitely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. I wouldn’t have had access to the resources they’ve been able to provide for me to really pursue this, also their experience having worked in the industry themselves.
Biggest influences coming up?
Honestly, Lady Gaga’s one of my top influences because of how unique and original she is and has always been since she came onto the scene. She’s always been completely unafraid to be who she was as an artist, as a person, and make the music she wanted to make. She ushered in a new era of pop through the early 2000’s to the 2010’s. Making things bold, loud, and super expressive coming out of the early 2000’s pop rock era to the early 2010’s pop EDM house dance music vibe. She’s super influential, I admire her and love her so much.
Another person that inspires me a lot is Carlos Santana. As a fellow Latino, he’s super amazing to me how he’s able to break down barriers between culture and the genre he’s played in. How he’s done collaborations with people like Rob Thomas in the pop market, while being this crazy insane guitarist both in Latin and rock music. He’s super dope, I love him a lot. He inspired me as a guitarist.
Talk about being multilingual, you speak 3 different languages.
I grew up speaking English and Spanish in my household, we’re a bilingual household. I spoke Spanish until I was 2 or 3. I went to preschool and was learning English in school, that’s really what I started speaking mainly. My first words and the earliest conversations I can remember were all in Spanish, that’s a huge part of my life. I still speak Spanglish sometimes around the house or to my friends. I’ll call my house slippers “chanclas,” because it’s so much more natural for me to say that than slippers. Little things like that.
For Chinese, I studied Mandarin when I was in middle school. I went to a local community college. On the weekends we’d learn how to speak Mandarin, how to read and write it. I studied for 5 or 6 years, it’s definitely influenced my desire to learn other languages. Also my knowledge the culture, which I think is really beautiful.
You write, produce, perform your own music, also compose it in music theory. How is it doing it all?
I really got super into production in the last 2 years. I came into college not knowing much about Logic or ProTools, or what any of the terms really meant. From watching other students do these crazy intricate productions and learning from my professors at my school, I really got super into producing on logic. Over the past 12 to 14 months, that’s really transformed my sound as an artist because I finally had all of the resources and tools at my fingertips. I could create the sounds I was hearing, emulate certain things I really liked about different types of music. It gave me a lot more flexibility and ownership over the sound I was creating.
I love being involved in every stage of the process. Even collaborations where I’m working with a producer who’s making a track and I’m writing the melodies and lyrics, I love that too. Having that collaborative energy is so great for getting better ideas and having an even better song. It can be awesome to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Right now, I’m working with a producer called Cesar Da Emperor. He’s incredible, we have amazing collaborative energy. We’ve been writing songs every day this week, it’s been great. Music theory stemmed from me being an instrumentalist and a pianist from the age of 3. I had to know my scales, my chords, everything before I was even in middle school. That’s been super beneficial for me. Getting a refresher of all that formal education in high school and in college, it feels like second nature. That’s been really beneficial walking into some rooms where people might not know music theory. You can help orient where the song’s going or what key it’s in, it’s definitely a huge tool.
Who or what inspired your new single, “Cherry On Top”?
This song has a really funny backstory. Over the summer in quarantine when everyone was bored at home, I was also bored at home. Like many of us, I decided to dye my hair, and I’m not talking about the purple I have now. I was blonde at the time. I was getting sick of it so I wanted to dye my hair pink. I only had enough dye for half of my head. [laughs] I decided to roll with it and ended up loving the half blonde, half pink thing, but then my roots started growing in. I had brown, blonde, and pink, it was a lot going on. I looked like a Neapolitan ice cream. I photoshopped a cartoon cherry on my head and got the idea for the song, just like that.
Where was the video shot?
The video was shot between 3 locations: Coney Island Boardwalk in New York City. Beautiful location, I’ve been going there since I was a child. I have a lot of good memories, it was pretty far from where I lived because I’m only an hour and a half or so from Manhattan. Since Coney Island’s all the way in Brooklyn, it’s about 2.5 hours from where I live. Whenever we’d go, it’d be a huge treat really really fun.
We shot at a drive-in movie theater closer to where I live in Pennsylvania, beautiful location. I went there all the time in high school, a lot of cool memories there. We shot at a Casino Movie Theatre which is in Mt Pocono, Pennsylvania. This 1950’s movie theater/arcade/mini golf, it’s insane. It’s so cute. They let us there because I’ve literally known the owners since I was a child. I had my 12th birthday party at that location, so a lot of really cool local connections.
Best memory from the shoot?
My costar’s name is Shan Sawant, he’s a close family friend for years and years. We said “hey why won’t you be in this music video with me?” Since he’s interested in acting. My favorite memory is when we’re in the rental car leaving a diner in New Jersey, because we had to rush to the next location. He’s trying to find the exit to the diner and ended up driving straight off of the curb into this intersection. The car got stuck because the curb’s too high, it was a low car. He had to reverse it super fast to get back on the curb of the parking lot, then turn around to go the right way. It was funny because everyone else in the crew had left already, it was just us in the rental car. We’re like “oh my gosh, we’re not gonna make it to the second half of this shoot.” [laughs] Crisis was averted luckily.
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Cotton candy. Oh yeah. [laughs]
Talk about being a full-time student at the university of Miami and being on the Dean’s List.
Being a full-time student is definitely a challenge no matter what you’re doing, especially if you have a super intensive major. I know everyone at my school has had a moment where they’re like “this is overwhelming.” In my position, I’m a full-time student and an artist full-time. That takes up a lot of my time, energy, and headspace. Not only coming out to LA to record music, but keeping up with social media every day. Running all my different platforms, creating that content takes a lot of time and effort.
It’s been super important for me to enhance my time management skills so I’m not going crazy. I’m still taking care of myself, eating on a normal schedule. I’m still exercising. It’s definitely a lot to wrap your head around, but I do love being in Miami. I love all of my friends there. I’ve really met an amazing community of people, artists, creators, it’s been an amazing rewarding experience. I’m happy to be back this semester, because I was remote and living in LA last semester.
3 things you need in the studio?
I definitely need someone who knows how to record my vocals, that’s #1. No shade but I’ve definitely worked with engineers that might be used to producing in a different style or working with different tones of voice. The engineers and producers I’m working with now have been incredible with vocal engineering, that’s super important because the vocals are really what sells the song. #2 would be cool ambience, Cesar’s studio is so awesome. It’s so cute. He has these little emotional support recording buddies, it’s amazing. I love the atmosphere, super important for creativity. Making sure you’re in a positive space, a space that doesn’t feel suffocating or intimidating. #3 is definitely food and water. [laughs] It’s so hard to remember to eat when you’re in an 8-hour session. It’s important to have snacks on deck all the time.
What food or snacks do you like?
My favorite food is sushi, I love ordering sushi to the studio because it’s bite-size and easy to eat between takes. That’s important sometimes, to pop it in your mouth and keep going. I like having fruit in the studio: bananas, apples, etc. I get these smoothie pouches all the time because they’re super easy, flavorful, and filling. That’s a good way to avoid taking a break if I don’t have time to fully eat something.
What’s the reality of the independent grind?
I wake up every day and have to figure out what’s going on my Story today? What am I posting on my feed? When am I making my next batch of content? When’s the next release? When do I have to start planning the video for the next release? When’s there going to be a photo shoot for the next release? I have to constantly think about marketing myself more efficiently and handling that side of it too. Engaging with people in my comment section, reply to comments is a full-time job in itself.
Someone could be getting paid a lot of money to do what I do every day for myself. [laughs] It’s definitely rewarding different ways, but also challenging. A huge part of it is knowing when it’s okay to take a break and not letting it drive you crazy, because it can be really overwhelming. If I’m not on social media to use my account for a certain purpose, I’m not on social media. I usually take a full stop break unless I’m posting or engaging, or doing something that I need to do day to day. That’s important, giving yourself mental and physical breaks. Resting when your body is telling you to rest.
What’s the legacy or footprint you want to leave in the music industry?
I want to leave It better than I found it. Everyone has that mentality going in. I know it’s hard to make those changes or impacts, but I really want to use my platform to advocate for others. That’s super important to me. I’m passionate about so many social issues like environmental justice, racial justice, gender inequality. All of those things need to be spoken about on public platforms that artists have, that they’re not utilizing as frequently as they could be.
I really look up to people like Leonardo DiCaprio who have at this point in his career still focused on his artistry, but is devoting so much of his time to his nonprofit that works on environmental resources and combating climate change. He speaks to the United Nations about different climate justice policies he feels need to to be enacted or the severity of the crisis. That’s something I strive to engage in when I’m at that point in my career. That’s the legacy I want to leave.
Is purple your favorite color? I see you have purple hair.
It’s crazy, I have 2 going on at the same time. I love to wear purple, purple’s my favorite color to wear. Turquoise is my favorite color overall. I’ve always had 2 favorite colors: one to wear and one to look at. That’s a weird thing about me. I’ve literally been wearing so much purple since I dyed my hair purple, I love the monochrome look.
Something that fans may not know about you?
I’m 5’ 2”, which is one inch taller than Lady Gaga. Another fun fact, Kendrick Lamar and I share a birthday.
What can we expect next?
Since I’m in the studio now, I’m recording single after single after single to have different songs to release over the next year. I’m super excited about the stuff I’m making now. It definitely signals a turning point for me both sonically and as an artist. The direction I’m going, really connecting more with who I am as a songwriter and a creator. I’m really happy with this era we’re stepping into, all the music and visuals will be really exciting for people to see.