Over at BELatina News, we love discovering and showcasing new talents that resonate with our readers and with our own hustle.
One of the characteristics that captivate our attention is the determination an artist must have to make it in the entertainment industry. While it is no walk in the park, some artists manage to balance their personal life with their career; artists such as 20-year-old Puerto Rican and Salvadorian Jasmine Ortiz.
What is so fascinating about this upcoming multi-lingual and multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer, and actress is that she is doing all of this on top of excelling in her school career at the University of Miami. Yes, we ask ourselves too: how does she make the time to accomplish all she does independently?
At the beginning of this year, Ortiz released a fun, catchy pop song, “Cherry on Top,” produced by multi-platinum producer TRACKDILLA, known for his work with heavyweights music industry such as 2Chainz, Lil Wayne, and French Montana, to name a few.
With “Cherry on Top,” Ortiz received her first viral hit, reaching over 1.1 million views on Youtube in the first two weeks of its premiere.
“Cherry on Top” accelerated her rising career, and we got to speak to her about her current endeavors as she prepares to release her next single, “Jaguar.”
To start, tell us what you have been up to? You’re in Miami, right?
Yeah! So I am currently a junior at the University of Miami, where I study musicianship, artistry development, and entrepreneurship with minors in political science, songwriting, and music business. In the past year, I’ve really been working on developing my sound as an artist and working on my own production and songwriting skills—focusing on all the mental things that have to come before taking the next step forward.
Tell us about “Cherry on Top.” How did this song come to life?
It was so much fun to make! That was in collaboration with TRACKDILLA, who I started working with last summer. He was a fantastic collaborator; he has actually become an industry mentor for me. I’ve had an excellent time working with him on many different things in addition to “Cherry on Top.” The title was inspired by this crazy hairdo I gave myself during quarantine, where half my hair was blonde, and half of it was pink, and my brown roots were coming in the middle. I thought it looked like Neapolitan ice cream, and I edited a little cartoon cherry on top of my head, and that’s literally where the title came from! As far as the content, it’s talking about the nostalgia you feel for the beginning of a relationship – when it’s really new and cute and happy, and very simple.
How was filming the video?
This was actually done in July of 2020. So what we did was follow the standard procedures during this COVID time. We took COVID tests, wore masks, and socially distanced as much as possible. It was my co-star and me on camera, making it a lot easier because it was a very small set and a small cast. Any locations we used were obviously with permission. We were really far away from everyone, so that made filming it so much easier. It was a day and a half between like four or five different locations.
I see you keep yourself BUSY! How are you currently balancing your music and student life on top of your mental health?
Mental health was the hardest thing to cope with at the beginning of all of this. Like many of us, there was a period of like four months from March to May or June where I didn’t do anything. I wasn’t productive; I really wasn’t able to be. I know it was hard to find motivation for myself. I am a very outgoing person; I am a Gemini; I definitely draw inspiration from the world around me and friends and family. Being so isolated for so many months completely cut off that inspirational source, so it was really hard for me to create during that time. As things started opening up more, my mental health improved. Being back here at the university in person has been a huge asset; being able to see my friends and roommates – not feeling so alone in this whole situation has been incredibly impactful for me. As far as time management goes, it’s really just knowing what to say “no” to. I’ve learned that I’ve had to prioritize my career and myself over many things this past year. It’s important to know where to draw the line.
What are your scholarly aspirations, and what do you recommend Latinas such as yourself to do to help balance their school and careers?
I want to say to anyone else in a similar position or anyone looking to get into higher education or pursue their dreams: congratulations because we are working against many obstacles. And the fact we are where we are is truly an accomplishment in itself. A lot of us come from immigrant parents, myself included, and they have worked so incredibly hard to give us the opportunities we are able to have today. I am so grateful to my parents, my dad, and grandma for coming to this country. I really commend anyone whose parents have had to do that or even themselves. As far as going into education, just get what you want out of your education because you pay a lot for it.
Who or what are your influences as a Latina in your music? What did you grow up listening to?
My parents put me on early to the Latino greats such as Selena and Carlos Santana – those were huge inspirations growing up.
As an independent artist, you are in charge of your creativity, and that means in your social media too – tell us how you keep up with everything online and with creating new content?
I will say it’s an extreme challenge. It’s definitely a work in progress at all times. You have to stay on top of it and be diligent. Something I like to do is create a lot of content at once. That, way I am not going crazy doing it day to day or week to week. Then if I have other things that pop up, I can sprinkle them in. That’s super helpful to stay engaging, to stay interesting, and to stay fresh.
Lastly, as an empowered Latina, what are you passionate about besides music and education?
Advocacy. I think there are so many issues that we’re dealing with right now. Both socially and culturally, and people really need to have their voices heard. Everything that we’ve seen in the past year – we’ve seen a lot of violence against marginalized communities – that needs to be spoken about, especially in the pop culture mainstream realm. I see many artists who started speaking out about it, and I think that’s really important. In addition, we’re coming into the year 2021, and we still don’t have the proper infrastructure to prevent further climate change or reduce our carbon footprint as a country. That’s something I’m really passionate about because, to enact this social culture change that we want to have happened, we need to have an Earth that will sustain us for more than the next hundred years.