Jasmine “QT Jazz” Robinson is an up and coming singer, songwriter, actress, and brand ambassador. Speaking with this young lady was a breath of fresh air (I was blown away that she is only 19, soon to be turning 20 on October 9th); she is grounded, well rounded, inspiring, full of life, and hilarious.
Growing up in Atlanta, QT Jazz was exposed to the behind the scenes version of music industry because her mom was the business manager for various artists like Tiny and Kandi from Xscape and Tamar Braxton. Starting to sing at the age of 3 (and “dancing” – inside joke she shared), her mother saw that natural born it factor in QT Jazz and began to groom that special something within her daughter. QT Jazz was constantly training in various activities like; gymnastics, piano, vocal lessons, and dance. These experiences and training have allowed her to grow as a person and an artist. Every new star also needs to focus on exposure at first, and one way in which many of them do this is by uploading their music to streaming platforms like SoundCloud. They can even invest in UpPlays (visit UpYourPlays here to find out more if you’re an aspiring artist) to reach a wider audience. Luckily, this young lady has had the opportunity to open for or perform with Monica, Neyo, B.O.B., and Mindless Behavior. She has also gotten into acting; however, the details could not be disclosed at this time. Stay tuned!
Her current musical works include the following:
- Aaliyah’s “At Your Best” remix (Prod: @Six9Five) – https://soundcloud.com/qtjazz/jazz-at-your-best
- Xscape’s “Understanding” remix – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HAQJfbZGqJQ
NOTE: The Xscape “Understanding” remix, which includes Zonnique (Tiny’s daughter), Bahja, and Kelsie, was done as a tribute to Xscape to pay homage and to slightly drop a hint on who should be casted in an Xscape biopic (if it happens). You go ladies! Talk about staking your claim.
In 2014, QT Jazz was approached by Celfie Cosmetics to develop a lip gloss line. Check out the QT Collection lip gloss line which is available for purchase on her website – www.qtjazz.com. If being a singer, songwriter, dancer, or actress wasn’t enough, she is also a Coca-Cola Social Influencer and a Sprite P.O.U.R. (Purveyors of Urban Reality) reporter. Check out the things QT Jazz had to say.
Questions & Answers Session:
What about you do you feel will inspire other?
“Most people (kids and adult) will wait to a certain point before they pursue a career or their dreams. My story, which will be reflected in my future writing in the material I am putting out, will show you that you don’t have to wait. Just be about your business and start now. Don’t be afraid or hesitate to jump right in.”
Since the music industry is male dominated, what positions would you like to see represented by more women?
“Honestly, there are people in the industry that are decision makers. These are people like Radio PD’s, A&R’s at record labels, etc. I feel that these are male driven positions only because of women’s hesitance to stand up. They will be classified as having an attitude problem is they stand up or they are just pushed off to the side. Really if you are not afraid to stand up for your own then these positions can be held by women and they can make a difference.”
What was your first big performance and how did you feel about?
“One performance that was important for me was when I sang the national anthem at the Cleveland Cavalier’s game. That was like an “ah” moment to me because LeBron was still there and Shaq was there. It was popping in Cleveland. I was really small and there were all these big people around me. I don’t get nervous at all. I think that when you say you are nervous it is almost as if you are unprepared for something. I have to say that I was a bit shaken up when I had to sing the national anthem. That got to me a bit.”
As an actress, how do you feel about that moment when Viola Davis won the Emmy for leading a series (the first African American woman to win this award)?
“I mean she said it, and she really took a leap when she said it. You can’t win awards for roles that just aren’t there. Even for me, there are few roles that come across where I can be portrayed as a wholesome African American teenager or adult. It is rare that I get those auditions. When they do come across, everyone in Atlanta is auditioning for it. That’s why that Aaliyah movie was such a big movie because I know everyone auditioned for that thing – including me. Those were true words that she (Viola Davis) spoke. The whole speech was a powerful moment.”
What inspired you to remix Aaliyah’s “At Your Best”?
“Aaliyah has always been a huge inspiration for me. I felt like that was the right lane as far as how I wanted to be portrayed and to follow up behind such an icon. My mom always says that you got to pay attention to what people like about you. The thing people like about me or to see me do is dancing. So since she was such a cool, smooth dancer and she was known for that; that was definitely one of the key reasons why I wanted to participate in doing an Aaliyah remix. I wrote the song from top to bottom in an hour or so and it was amazing to me (the whole experience).”
How would you describe your sound and what elements influence it?
“I would describe my sound, if I had to put in a genre, as pop/R&B sound. I would describe my writing style as having a message. I like to listen to people like Tori Kelly, J Cole, or Frank Ocean. Those people and when I listen to them, they give me a different feeling or meaning to their song. Every time that I listen to it, I get something else out of it. That is what I want to implement in my music. A message where it doesn’t matter how many times you listen to the song, you are going to leave with something new. I also think of my style as commercial (universal music that can be played around the world).”
Being an up and coming artist, how are you going to set yourself apart from the crowd?
“When you start talking about setting yourself apart from the crowd and being a new artist, I think the quality of music is always important. Some people just sound like new artist (the mix may not be right or it wasn’t mastered properly). I would want the quality of my music, to set me apart. Plus, I never push the boundary of too inappropriate. It’s just because that is who I am. It used to be a time where music was enjoyable for adult and appropriate for children. I feel that if you can pull that off and be genuine to whom you are; then you will always win.”
The youth of today are facing so many issues and challenges, how important is the platform you have to share you experience to help the youth?
“It is important to me to share because to me everyone wants to be a part of something. That’s why we do these hashtags. That’s why we do the social media in general. I feel like, even for the artist that I look up to and how I want people to do me – when I listen to Tori Kelly, I think wow she is just like me. It makes me somewhat a part of her to listen to her music. That’s what I want people to do to me. That’s why I try to be as honest and in the most politically correct form because I want to show that I mess up sometimes and it’s okay. It’s okay because I am still learning and I am still growing – hey, I am just like you kind of thing. That’s why it is so important because everyone should feel a part of something.”
What is the one life lesson that has stuck with you the most?
“It’s so funny that parents think we don’t listen, but we secretly are. My dad has this saying – no one can take away what you know. That is why it is so important for me to train, to learn dancing, learning how to sing because no one can take that away from me. They can take your money, and they can take people from you. But with what you know, you are invincible.”
What is something that you can say that you will never do that goes against your character?
“I don’t know, I can’t say I will never do something really. I never thought I would cut my hair short. What I will say is that I will never attempt to do anything that will dishonor my family – my dad in particular.”
In closing, what advice would you give to up and coming entertainers?
“There are three things I would say. One – train and study up. People think it is who you know or it’s what you know. I feel it all depends on how good you are. The “who you knows” can make you popular and get you into places. The “what you knows” can educate you. When you educated and popular, that doesn’t mean people are going to buy into you. However, if you are educated, popular and likeable, you are good. Two – believe in yourself. When I was younger and doing something, I always associated how good I was with love. If I did something good on set and someone praised me for it, then that would be them loving me. As I got older, I would still kind of look for that confirmation as me doing a good job. If I didn’t get it, I would feel less then. I had to tell myself (and I had really good friend telling me) that I don’t need confirmation from others – I have to believe in my own “ish”. Just do you! Even if you mess up, that’s okay. Three – find a team (or people who ride for you). They don’t have to be the smartest or the most proper person (if they work for and are loyal to you). God will put certain people in your life who will work just for you. A big A&R may not have your best interest. Build your team with people who feel genuine to you. Plus: Since the power of the internet is so strong, watch what you post online. Those posts can prevent or permit opportunities.”
As you can read, this is a special young lady with a very promising career ahead of her. I don’t know about you, but speaking with her inspired me! The key elements that I took away from this call were: to believe in yourself, be true to yourself, honor yourself and family, and continue to study up/learn to perfect your craft. Join me in supporting her on her future endeavors. For more information, go to her website – www.qtjazz.com. Here are her social media handles to follow her and keep up with all thing QT Jazz:
- Instagram – @qtjazz
- Twitter – @qtjazz
- YouTube – qtjazz
- October 9th – Mini radio station take over in Macon, GA. The station is 97.9 – WIBB. Basically, she will be playing some exclusive music and bring some celebrity friends down to partake in the festivities. “I going to do some grown stuff for once on my birthday”
- October 11th – performance with 97.9 – WIBB
Best wishes and much success to you QT Jazz!
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