“I was very self conscience, but I knew I couldn’t quit.” -JSTNE
Who is JSTNE?
I am a Brooklyn based artist who loves the arts. I love learning. I love learning about history, science, and everything. I’m a huge nerd/geek. I love Video Games and I love Comics. I love going to the museums and I love going to the movie theaters, shows, everything. I just love experiencing life. I also very much love God.
Where are you from?
I am from East New York, Brooklyn and of Puerto Rican descent.
Do you think your upbringing has contributed to your style as an artist?
Very much so! I grew up mostly around hip hop, pop, and Afro Latin music, and also freestyle. All of that is currently in my music a lot of which will be released throughout the year. Music got me through a lot of my life challenges as both a singer and dancer.
Describe the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
No one either taking me serious or being overlooked by people. When I started performing I wasn’t the best singer I was a much better dancer and so I got overlooked when cast for things and also I had trouble with singing because my voice was doing a lot of things I didn’t know how to control. I was lucky to have friend in productions that would sing my way so I could hear pitch because I couldn’t at the beginning of my performing career since I hadn’t payed attention to that part of music in awhile. I was very self conscience, but I knew I couldn’t quit. I kept having dreams of singing with all these famous artist and that fueled me and I felt like God was telling me to keep pushing so I did. I had God and supportive friends.
How have you developed your career?
Through working, studying and networking. Also being persistent. I’m constantly freaking out and that’s how I know I have to do it. I may fall flat but you never know till you just do it.
How do you navigate the music industry?
A day at a time learning every step of the way and reminding myself that if I stick to the art and make good work then everything else will become better to deal with.
What’s a typical day like for you artistically? What inspires you musically?
A typical day is getting up and listening to music. I’m always trying to discover something new, if not I’m studying. I work a lot with sheet music and so I’ll try writing lead sheets on my phone and work from there. I’m always watching favorite performances and analyzing the set and just production value. I’m always thinking of new ways to engage with my audience and just overall trying to be better at my craft. I’m also setting up meetings with my team, coming up with concepts, and everything that I can imagine at the moment. Also hearing what everyone on my team would love to do.
When do your ideas come to you?
Depends. Sometimes I’m in bed. Sometimes I’m on the train or I have a beat that I created and I’m just determined to finish it or my team is like this is a good idea you should write to it. So I would say to keep it simple either motivation or self motivation.
What is your favorite song you have written and why?
Lost In Your Arms is my favorite song I’ve written. It was very much inspired by my partner and how he makes me feel. It hasn’t been released just yet but it’s on its way to being released on February 8th 2019.
What’s your favorite piece of music and why?
This is actually really hard to answer because I went to school for music and grew up around different pieces of work I will say though One moment in time by Whitney Houston was a big song in my life. It was the song that I would pray with because while I had grown up singing I lost that talent after puberty and it wasn’t till years later that I nurtured that talent and praying I get that moment that I could be proud of where I started and where I’ve come.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Alejandro Fernandez, Juan Gabriel, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson.
Which artist would you love to collaborate with and why?
Beyonce because I love her work ethic and she’s all around badass. Also I love a good production and she’s always giving it. Rihanna because I love her and she’s just fun. Adele because there are some songs I’ve written that I just could see her on. Mariah Carey because I love her pen and legacy. Frank Ocean because I love his ideas and I feel like it would push me as an artist. Pharrell Williams because I love everything he has ever touched. Celine Dion because she’s a legend and why not. Jessie Reyez because I relate to her music, her stories and I love her personality. Lizzo because I love her to death and I think it would be a big kiki. The list goes on I’m keeping this short.
Where can we expect to see you in 5 years?
At the Grammys.
What’s your idea of success as an artist? When will you feel like you’ve made it?
Even though I’m just starting I’ve sang and Carnegie Hall a couple of times and other great venues and just being able to release my own music makes me feel like I’ve already made it. Everything else is extra and I’m super grateful. I think the next thing would be having an arena of fans singing back my own music and rather than giving them a full performance I can just sit and have a moment with them and just sing back. That’s a big dream and I’ll probably cry during that moment. Also when I can properly tweet back at an artist I admire tweeting my work. I have never been a twitter person and I just made a twitter and it’s foreign grounds at the moment.