Interview: "Never Going Home" - Jasmine Ortiz
The music video for your new song is really cool! I noticed that you pulled some thematic material from "The Matrix". What was your intention behind pulling from that movie? How do you think it adds to the theme of the song and how it's about not returning to a possibly toxic relationship? *
Jasmine: Thank you so much! I have always loved the Matrix series since I was younger, and the visuals inspire me a lot because of their hyper-futuristic, high-fashion aesthetic. My intention behind pulling from that movie was to provide a double entendre for "Never Going Home". The song is lyrically about having a great time with friends and going out to have fun. However, the music video reflects this in a slightly different way by depicting myself as a character in The Matrix, who is "Never Going Home" because I am fighting agents and chaos within this world. From group fight scenes to a motorcycle chase, the video is just as dynamic as the song itself.
I know you mention on your EPK how much your Esophageal Tracheal Fistula impacted your literal voice as a baby but also how it has motivated you to find your voice now. That is a big obstacle to overcome at such a young age, how has this helped you tackle other challenges in your life?
Jasmine: This reality has absolutely impacted me in many ways, as I have had to overcome the ability to sing or speak at all. I am extremely grateful for modern medicine and the way it has helped me be able to achieve success as a vocalist despite these challenges. I feel that this has given me immense perseverance and drive to continue striving toward my goals no matter how difficult they are to achieve.
On your EPK you mention your other passions, such as social justice work. How do you balance your music career with these other pursuits?
Jasmine: During my time in college, I have consistently been a traveling member of the UMiami Model United Nations Team, allowing me to exhibit my passion for social issues, policy development, and debate while still focusing on my studies as a music student. I have also learned a lot about this passion through my minor in political science which has allowed me to find avenues to combine my interests. I plan on remaining active in social advocacy by volunteering with local organizations in Miami and making sure that the voices that need to be amplified in artistic spaces, can continue to be.
You've released multiple songs now that are offered in English, Spanish, and Chinese. What are your plans for continuing to use multilingual themes in your music?
Jasmine: I am very grateful for my experiences learning different languages from a young age. As a child, Spanish is what I heard spoken most by my grandmother so I have what feels like a natural understanding of it. Later on, learning Mandarin in middle school allowed me to further my knowledge of world cultures and how language impacts them. I plan on continuing to utilize my knowledge of different languages as an inspiration for my music, and a way to make the stories I tell in my songs even more accessible to different parts of the world.
What artists or genres first inspired you to pursue music? Any favorite song from your childhood?
Jasmine: I grew up listening to anything from Carlos Santana to Ella Fitzgerald, and in my middle school to high school years became very obsessed with hard rock and post-hardcore music. I have also always been a huge fan of Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, and One Republic in their early 2000s era. To pinpoint one specific influence would be really hard, but I always listened to pop-rock or alternative music and found a home in it, so that genre has inspired me the most.
Since you're graduating from college soon, what plans do you have as you pursue your music career? Do you plan to stay in Florida or move elsewhere?
Jasmine: I am currently planning on staying in Miami, working with some amazing producers that I know locally here. However, I am open to wherever opportunities may take me and I’m excited to have more time to travel and focus on my career full time. I plan on developing a lot of music this summer, to put together my first project either as an Ep or an album. I also have a release coming up - a remix of my song “When It’s All Done” by Steff Da Campo, in early May.
Interviewed By Hannah Conkin