Wednesday, 30 November 2016

NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Songstress and free spirit Jazmyn blends soulful grooves and positive energy

FLYING SOLO: The songbird, 23, giving a stellar performance at the National Gallery on Sunday.

Without missing a beat, Jazmyn Taylor calls out Tessanne Chin, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu and Beyoncé among the long list of women who’ve been inspiring her artistically over the years. “These are Black women who are doing it and nobody can stop them. They’re just my heroines, pretty much, in music,” she tells TALLAWAH with wide-eyed conviction. By all appearances, the 23-year-old songbird (who goes by Jazmyn for stage performances) has what it takes to one day ascend to their ranks.

Those of us who caught her funky solo show at the National Gallery of Jamaica on Sunday afternoon, left the venue convinced that we’d just seen a future star in action. Soulful, bouncy and energetic with awesome stage presence, Jazmyn pulls you into her act, and before you know it you’re singing along to her infectiously groovy original numbers “Tomorrow Will Come”, “Close to You” and “Here to Stay” and some of her favourite covers like Queen B’s “Déjà Vu”, Miss Badu’s “Tyrone”, Tessanne’s version of “Underneath It All” and A-Keys’ “In Common.”

“It’s a fusion. So it’s pop, reggae, soul, funk,” Jazmyn tells us after the performance, describing her sound. As she explains, she’s been singing all her life. “From I could talk I was singing, but it was just a few months ago that I decided to take that leap of faith, step out and go solo.”

In a nutshell, Jazmyn Taylor embodies that enticing, enviable combination of budding star power and academic brain power. A daughter of the Harbour View section of Kingston, the singer (who hails from a big, music-loving family) not only holds an undergrad degree in Psychology from UWI Mona but has already completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology.

“Like most persons, you follow the path set before you. You do the education and schooling. And for me music and performing and dance was always a hobby, so I never thought that I could pursue this and put my all and my energy into it,” explains the Ardenne High alumna who, after giving an impromptu performance at a Marley concert about a year ago, decided to chase the dream.

Since then, she’s been writing and recording singles alongside her academic pursuits. Lucky for her, she has a solid support team in her corner. “I have a family that’s been supporting me with psychology and is now supporting me through music,” she says. “I can’t complain. I’ve been blessed.”

So what’s next for the five-foot-six “free spirit filled with positive energy?” “I just want to make good music,” she shares, sporting a cute irie T-shirt, black jeans and curly, sideswept diva hair. “I know it’s a hard hustle, so right now I’m focused on writing and recording songs that will stand the test of time. I just want to continue doing it and touching lives.”

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