Born in Massachusetts and raised in Maryland, singer and songwriter Jazzo is capturing hearts, ears, and minds with her beautiful music.
Through a partnership with Reverbnation, Unheard Voices goes through thousands of submissions to feature a deserving up & coming artist making their voice heard in the industry. Who captured our ear this month is the talented Jazzo.
Born in Massachusetts and raised in Maryland, Jazzo was exposed to creative arts at a very young age. Surrounded by a family of creatives, Jazzo wrote her first mixtape when she was only twelve years old using a karaoke machine and cassette dubbing. She did whatever it took to do what she loved.
After knowing she had a desire for music, Jazzo started to delve into various forms of arts including dancing and acting. And the skills continued : music and video production, crafts, poetry, marketing, and choreography. Although told to choose one path, Jazzo was determined to merge her various skills into one career recording.
Jazzo’s incredible skill set has allowed her to expand her brand and public relation opportunities. Jazzo has become a Reverbnation CONNECT artist, featured in OAG Management’s Music In the Spolight Tour in January 2016 which turned into a distribution deal with Galactic Worldwide for her single “Nightmare on M Street”. She began performing shortly thereafter with the band, Mixed Ancestry and completed over 30 superior shows in just short of a year. She pioneered an artist showcase in Baltimore entitled, “Jazzo Jams”. Jazzo Jams highlight the best underground talent in the DMV area. She was invited to SESAC as a writer and publisher and is now a RAW Artist. She won HITM Group’s Unsigned Hype Artist Competition 2016 with her unique vocal looping and live production skills. She was recently nominated for two Baltimore Crown awards: Best New Artist, and Vocalist of the Year. Next up is her promotional tour for Cygnus – EP which was a collaboration with CYGN, super producer from Lille, France. She is now managed by Smitty Smith of HITM Group. And now Jazzo is an Unheard Voices Featured Artist of the month.
So who is Jazzo? Get to know her below and rock to several of her tunes as well. It is definitely an understatement to say, Jazzo is well on her way.
UV: When did you fall in love with music?
Jazzo: Music must have chosen me. I can not think of a definitive day that it became my love. Music has been a source for me since childhood. I felt rhythm before I could walk. I danced throughout my youth and I’ve been creatively writing for decades. I think I first recognized it’s vitality in high school. Adversity really has a way of showing your where home is. And music is definitely home for me.
UV: How long have you been creating and performing music?
Jazzo: My year anniversary performing music is actually coming up: March 2017! In elementary school I was the spokesperson kid! The presenter, graduation speaker… In middle school I started performing theater. Started dancing in high school. But it was not until this time last year that I decided to add musical performance to that. I have been creating music since I was 12 but I originally wanted to be behind the scenes of it all to avoid the comparative and competitive nature of it all. But now that I’m sure of myself and the uniqueness that is me, I feel more equipped to handle those things.
UV: How did you come up with the name Jazzo?
Jazzo: Jazzo truly is a nickname. There are people from high school that call me Jazzo and have no idea that it is also my musical alias. I hate being called “Jazzy”. Way too feminine and naive. I won’t even respond to it unless my uncles or grandpa call me so. I was dubbed “Jazzo” by Bryan Norris in AP Statistics class in 2007. We were ‘free-styling’ and after spelling my name as “J to the A to the double Z” I hyped myself up screaming “Ohhh”. It has been my nickname ever since. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with Jazz as a genre of music. My government name is Jasmin, so it just works.
UV: How would you describe your music?
Jazzo: I truly believe music is subjective and one must listen to define it for themselves. However I like to call it RnB with Alternative and Electronic undertones. I am just not sure that all of my sounds accurately encompass that! The one thing I can say is, my sounds and performances are enveloping
and it is important to me that my listeners and viewers feel that they *experienced* me.
UV:What artists have the greatest musical influences on you and your music?
Jazzo: When creating, I hibernate to ensure that I am my only inspiration and influence. I am not well vexed on music history and some find it blasphemous but I know no other way to create besides using myself as muse. Five artists I have the utmost respect and admiration for are: Erykah Badu, Sade, Lauryn Hill, Dido and Jill Scott. Those closest to me can find similarities between me and those women. I am compared to a number of artists quite often, some of which I agree with, others I do not. All in all, being sincere to myself will naturally set me apart from those commonalities.
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UV: What is the hardest challenge you have encountered with building your fan base?
Jazzo: Resources are the greatest challenge. With every new state, new venue, I am finding it easy to make impressions but I know that if I had more resources, I would be able to grow much faster. I am learning to trust the process though. I truly believe things happen when they are supposed to.
UV: How important and how difficult is it to support your career with your own funding?
Jazzo: Extremely difficult. I am killing myself trying to make this dream come true. I try to remind myself that the sacrifice is only temporary and that the depth of my struggle directly relates to the height of my success. But it is quite the struggle! I often put Jazzo before Jasmin. I do feel it is important to fund myself for now. Having control is great. It is very difficult to take advantage of momentum when the money doesn’t move as fast but as I said before, things happen when they are supposed to.
Find balance in having patience and moving with haste. Wait your time but do not waste.
UV: To date, what has been your best performance? When was it, where was it and why is it?
Jazzo: Two shows really stick out for me: Sounds of Black Love (Nov ’16 Baltimore) and Art N Soul Sessions (Feb ’17 Long Island). These were my best vocal performances and my most cherished responses from the audience. Performance quality however, I would have to say the year anniversary of Thursday Night Realness. I really felt like a ‘star’ at that show. I had a full band, Mixed Ancestry and was really given the star treatment lol.
UV: What do you think about the opportunities that Reverbnation provides?
Jazzo: I love ReverbNation. I’ve been a member since before I even took myself seriously! They have been very observant of my journey and I am proud they chose me to be a ReverbCONNECT artist once they felt as though I was ready. Their faith in me really kicked me into high gear. Every opportunity I have been chosen for has really panned out.
UV: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Jazzo: Hopefully, it does not take five year but I would love for my artistic abilities to begin to fund me and to be self sufficient in that way; to be able to wake and create. I want to create full-time without limits. I do not want the hustle a bustle of trying for makeshift resources.
UV: Do you have any upcoming shows?
Jazzo: There are two shows remaining on my tour. March 23rd at RNB Live presented at Stonefish Grille in New Carrolton. And I’ll be at the Brookland Busboys and Poets (DC) April 3rd. I’ll be a bit of a bore thereafter as I work on my album.
UV: What current projects do you have out or forthcoming projects in progress?
Jazzo: I am compiling all of the vocal loops I perform on to an album. Vocal looping is something I only do live and I am looking forward to turning them into actual tracks. It will be cutting edge to have an album where the voice is practically the only instrument. The temporary working title is “Matters of the Heart”. You heard it first.
UV:In closing, I would like you to leave the Unheard Voices readers words of encouragement.
Jazzo: Find balance in having patience and moving with haste. Wait your time but do not waste.