Singer, songwriter, and actress Jasmine Clemente never backed down when others questioned her dreams to become a music artist. Despite not having a blueprint to success, she forged on, made connections, built on her successes, and has enjoyed the many fruits of her labor which include several singles, albums and a burgeoning acting career. Join us as we shine this week’s Spotlight on very talented Jasmine Clemente, and find out how she’s used the power of positive thinking and good ol’ hard work to manifest her dreams into reality!
What inspired you to pursue singing and acting? When did you know you wanted to be a multimedia artist?
Despite growing up with a family that never pursued the performing arts professionally, they all loved to party and had great taste in music. My mother pumped the radio loud in the house, my father played acoustic guitar for fun, my grandparents owned a piano in their home, and all of my extended relatives could either sing or play an instrument.I don’t really know what possessed me to take it seriously, but I think I vaguely remember someone saying that I couldn’t make it as a singer in the real world because it was too hard. Although I’m not sure if that’s what triggered it, I think that was the driving force behind me proving that I could. In any case, after singing Mariah Carey cover songs at numerous school talent shows, neighborhood block parties and family weddings, I grew comfortable performing in front of an audience and took it a step further once I reached adult hood. Eventually I started singing at small venues around Manhattan and even flew to L.A. for a summer. The pursuit of acting didn’t happen until after I got my first demo signed to an independent dance music label. It was called, “Free My Spirit”, on Fuzion Records which paved the way for more opportunities. When that record dropped, I performed it at major night clubs all over the Tri-state area including NYC, New Jersey and Philidelphia. Shortly after, I recorded another song called “Soul Mate” on Qabecity Records which introduced me to a South African audience.
How have you seen your work impact others?
My favorite compliment is when people tell me how glad they are that I didn’t sell out as an artist, because I write all of my own lyrics and keep the message in my music positive; it inspires them to do the same. For example, when my single, “Free My Spirit” dropped, I read a post from a fan saying that she’d play my record on repeat every morning when she’d get dressed for work because it pumped her up! Playing my record on repeat! I loved knowing that my song made someone else feel so good! Another person told me she’d quit acting but after seeing my progress in the entertainment business, she decided to pursue her dreams again. It’s these kinds of things that remind me that I’ve made the right choice in walking this path.
Not to mention, I’ve teamed up with the Motivational Speaker, www.gersonmartinez.
Who or what inspires you to think BIG?
Mariah Carey inspires me to think big because after divorcing her husband, Tommy Mottola, she was almost black balled from the industry, but that didn’t stop her from making a come-back. One can say that Mr. Mottola had more power than Mariah because he was the one who discovered the songstress and made her career, but the icon stepped over toes and showed him that her god-given talent would continue to carry her far! The Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, is another inspiration of mine because she overcame a tragic physical disability by using her divine gifts to channel her pain through painting. With all of these examples, (and much more) I feel as though it’s everyone’s right to think BIG!
How do you deal with [the idea of] the “F-word”—failure?
I used to be harder on myself, partly because I am an artistic perfectionist! But I’ve realized that being alive is an unfolding divine process and so there will always be changes. And with changes (up’s and down’s) no one has the right to define your process as a failure or a victory except for you! Despite striving for success, I do not rush myself or pressure myself if something doesn’t feel right in my gut. Many times, professionals become so fixated on achieving the financial goal, that they miss out on the real blessing because they’ve ignored their own internal guidance (Intuition). I’ve learned that regardless of winning and/or failing in the eyes of society, what matters most is having a peaceful state of mind because that’s where the real wealth is!
What is your advice to aspiring and established Latina artists?
Never, never, never, never let anyone tell you that you can’t become something that you dream of becoming or doing! If the vision has entered your mind and the desire has entered your spirit, then it’s for a reason. The problem is that a lot of people today have silenced their passion and grown comfortable with mediocrity. To each their own, which is fine. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, then we all have the freewill to choose life on our own terms. However, if what you want is BIGGER than what someone else wants, they still have no right to tell you to shrink your vision just because they can’t see how it’s possible. Of course people may try to protect you from getting disappointed since this cold world can surprise you harshly, but these are nothing more than challenges designed to make you stronger once you’ve overcome them. In order to transform, we must come out of our usual comfort zones. The other thing I will say is this: Everyone is DIFFERENT. Don’t be afraid to shine your uniqueness in order to be accepted by a group of people or to blend in with the rest, be it within a company, your culture, a social clique, the generational times – whatever. If you happen to stand out like a soar thumb, that may be a good thing because maybe you can teach us something. So be yourself!