In search of just who new pop music sensation Jasmine Ortiz is exactly, ye olde intrepid reporter was pleasantly surprised to learn that the sublime Ms. Ortiz is exactly what her buzz in the industry builds her up to be: a smart, compassionate, versatile and extremely talented singer-songwriter who also happens to be a pretty gifted actor, to boot.
Critically and commercially lauded for such pop music masterpieces as Trick or Treat and Cherry on Top, this self-described trilingual pop artist is neither fish nor fowl: Rather, she is on the cusp of being one of the most fresh and exciting musical voices on the pop landscape, infusing her soulful lyrics with enough pizzazz and electricity to supply Con Edison for multiple lifetimes. Maybe you’ll agree with our assessment when you give her latest music a listen while reading our interview with the talented Ms. Ortiz…
Vents: Hi Jasmine! Thank you for allowing Vents Magazine to interview you today! Before we get started, how have you been during these tumultuous times?
Jasmine Ortiz: First of all, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to interview me! I have been really just trying to navigate all of the twists and turns, while staying busy and focusing on any silver linings I can find.
Vents: Congrats on a very busy and exciting time for you! Let’s unpack a few things: First of all, you have the Popfuzion video release which will be dropping on November 27. What can you tell fans about the video and what precisely this means to you?
JO: I am really excited about the video drop, because it was super important to me to be able to express what Trick or Treat is about and how it can relate to anyone in my generation, dealing with the trials and tribulations of dating – and getting ghosted.
Vents: Your music video for your song Trick or Treat has really taken off, scoring over one million views in under a month. Does the success of this particular song and video seem surreal to you, especially in 2020?
JO: It definitely feels extremely surreal to me, given that this video and song is super different from anything I’ve done before. It was amazing to self-produce a track like Trick or Treat and really see people getting behind it and believing in the project. The video was incredible to film, and features some of my best friends as characters within it. I had a lot of fun re-creating some of my favorite scenes from iconic horror movies, Psycho, It and The Shining. We even installed a door in my basement with the help of some friends, to be able to chop through it with an axe!
Vents: Let’s stay on your single just for a moment longer: What can you tell us about what your latest single Trick or Treat means to you personally?
JO: Trick or Treat to me really embodies the ways in which one can process pain and the betrayal that is often felt when getting ghosted. In my case, I wrote the song based on a personal experience of getting ghosted by someone I had been seeing for over a month. However, no matter your dating history I think it can feel really relatable to hear someone singing about someone else being flaky, or disingenuous; because it happens all the time. I love the song and I’m so happy that it has been resonating with people.
Vents: You’ve worn a lot of different hats in the entertainment industry over the years, but you have a huge following in particular for your music. How did you first become interested in making your own kind of music (to borrow a line from Mama Cass)?
JO: I definitely drew a lot of inspiration from the pop sensations I listened to growing up, like Britney, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. As far as developing my own sound, younger artists that have just broken through in the past 5 years have definitely influenced this new, innovative style coming to the forefront. I really began to take my career seriously at around 16, right in the middle of my high school career at a performing arts HS. It was then that I began to experiment with different sounds, first as the lead singer/guitarist in a rock band, then as a Latin pop star, and now into the mainstream pop market as well.
Vents: What is it about music specifically that feeds your soul?
JO: I think music has undeniably therapeutic qualities to it, whether you’re creating it or consuming it. For me, I definitely enjoy it in both ways, but when I’m really struggling to process difficult emotions or circumstances, that is when I turn to music to help me through. I am able to turn something painful into something beautiful, and for that I’m forever grateful.
Vents: For the unfortunate soul or two out in the world who may not be familiar with your style of music, how would you describe it?
JO: I would describe my current sound as a mix of different facets of what’s hot right now in pop. I supersede a lot of boundaries of genre within my music, crossing some hip hop, R&B, and alternative pop sounds.
Vents: Social media plays a significant part these days in almost every artist’s career. How instrumental have platforms such as YouTube been in getting the word out about your activities?
JO: Social media is definitely a necessity as an artist in this day and age, and creating content that is exciting and engaging is really time-consuming. However, I really enjoy getting to connect with fans and also being an advocate for important issues on my platform. YouTube has played a pivotal role in getting my music out there, especially with the recent success of Trick or Treat. I am really excited to see how my next release, Cherry on Top will do on the platform as well.
Vents: As noted above, you wear so many different creative hats. Acting is also a big passion of yours. Along a similar line as your music, what got you interested in expressing yourself through acting?
JO: I’ve been acting since I was 5 years old, signed to a bi-coastal acting agency by the time I was 6. I’ve done a lot of work for Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, and a bunch of kids shows. I have also done an abundance of print work, commercials and some short films. I am super interested in crossing over into the film market again in conjunction with focusing on my music career, and I started out so young simply because I would watch Disney Channel or Nick and tell my mom “I really want to do what they’re doing, how do I start?”
Vents: Are there any specific actors who have inspired your own acting?
JO: I would say that one specific actor stands out to me, not only as an inspiration for acting but also for advocacy and diplomatic action as well. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my biggest inspirations, not only as the phenomenal actor that he is, but also with his work in advocating for environmental protections, and in speaking at the United Nations on the topic.
Vents: You’ve successfully navigated the choppy waters of being a child actor and have gone on to become a respected actor in your own right. Why is this transition sometimes so fraught for younger actors and what is your advice to anyone who gets into this business at a very young age?
JO: I definitely appreciate every opportunity that has been afforded to me, and am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had that have allowed me to grow. I believe that the entertainment industry as a whole can be very difficult to navigate for many people, but given my exposure at such a young age; and my pivoting to my music industry for the larger part of my life, has allowed me to truly understand what I’m in for, and to enjoy the process every step of the way.
Vents: Academia is also a big part of your life. Why has it been so important to you to work as hard as you have on this facet of your life when your music and acting are doing so well?
JO: I have always considered myself a lifelong student. I genuinely enjoy learning and educating myself about new topics, especially current events. I am also very involved as an educator, working part-time with Best Delegate to teach middle and high school students how to debate, research, and present policy ideas on topics within the field of international relations; similar to the debates seen within the real United Nations. I believe that as a musician, it is really important to stay informed, and use your platform to advocate for those who don’t always get to advocate for themselves.
Vents: If we were to check out your cd library, what artists and album would we see?
JO: A lot of variety! The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pierce the Veil are some of my favorite bands, and artists like Amine, Drake, Blackbear, and Rihanna always dominate my Spotify wrapped.
Vents: Where do you see yourself in the next twelve months? Is there a big plan, or are you a little more off the cuff?
JO: I am actively working on an EP set to be released in the Spring of 2021, and I’m super excited about that project fully solidifying my shift into the pop world. I have been actively planning out awesome content I’ll be putting out for fans, and ways in which I can engage with them even further. I am definitely rolling with the punches, and no matter what I will continue working harder than ever to push ahead and get my music out there.