The world of Jasmine Solano




ブルックリンを拠点に、DJ/MCとして活躍するJasmine Solano(ジャスミン・ソラノ)。過去にはGhost Face、Rakim、The Clips、Questlove等の実力派アーティストとステージを共にしたり、Wiz Khalifaの“Deal or No Deal Tour”のオフィシャルDJとして全米ツアーをまわった経験を持つ。幼少時代にHIP HOPに魅了され、若干17歳でDJ活動をスタート。今注目の彼女に、Universe magazine独自の視点から迫ってみた。

Jasmine Solano is a DJ and MC based in Brooklyn. She has been on stage with artists such as Ghost Face, Rakim, The Clips and Questlove. She also toured across the US with Wiz Khalifah for his "Deal or No Deal Tour" as his official DJ. She has been fascinated by Hip Hop at a very young age and started DJing at when she was only 17. We interviewed this remarkable lady from the Universe Magazine point of view.



Jasmine:出身はフィラデルフィア。幼少時代からSalt-N-Pepaの真似をよくしてたわ(笑)。9歳の時に、たくさんの小学校の友達を集めて、最終的に1500人くらいの観客の前で友達とSalt-N-Pepaのパフォーマンスもしたしね。その時から、ステージでパフォーマンスするのが大好きだったのを覚えてる。10代の時は、スポークン・ワードやポエトリーにもはまったわ。たくさんのヒップホップ・アクティビズム(ヒップホップの活動)にも真剣に参加したし、フィラデルフィア出身だったから、'97年、'98年のネオ・ソウルやOkayplayerムーブメント('87年発足のフィラデルフィア発アーティスト組織団体。The Roots、 Mos Def、故J. Dilla等多数のアーティストが参加)にも関わったわ。フィラデルフィア時代は、まだ若かったから、シーンに関わっている人達を尊敬していたし、ファンでもあったわね。17歳の時には、友達とよくジャムセッションもしてた。そして、学校に通ってからラジオでDJを始めたの。


Universe:Please tell us about your background as an introduction.

Jasmine:I'm from Philadelphia. I performed Salt-N-Pepa when I was 9. I gathered a bunch of my friends to be Salt-N-Pepa and we performed in front of like 1500 people of my inner city elementary school. From a young age I was always performing. Then when I was a teenager, I got into spoken word and poetry. I was doing a lot of Hip Hop activism. I was from Philly and the whole Neo Soul, Okayplayer Movement (an artist organization from Philadelphia which started in '87. Many artists such as The Roots, Mos Def and J. Dilla took part) was really at its time around '97and '98. When I was in Philly, I was still too young to be with all those people so I just admired them. I was proud to be a fan. I would have a lot of jam sessions with a lot of my friends. And then I go to school and I start DJing on the radio when I was 17.




Jasmine:高校の時に、近所のレコード屋で働いていた一人の男性がいて、彼は私のよき相談相手でもあったの。レコ屋に行くと、持っているお金を全て使って、当時はまっていたアンダーグランドなヒップホップ、例えば、Beat JunkiesやDef Jux Crewなんかを買ってたわ。そして、ターンテーブルを習ったり、グラフィティもトライしたこともあった。とにかくヒップホップに惚れちゃったの。私が14から18歳の頃は、90年代のヒップホップが変化し、しっかりと形成していく過程の時代だった。そして、ちょうど17歳の時にボストンのラジオ局でDJをスタートしたわ。ラジオ時代に、マイクでリスナーと話すことを学び、ショーのホストを努めることになったというわけ。 また、音楽プロダクションとソーシャル・マーケティングの学校にも通っていたから、イベントをやったり、イベントプロデューサーとしてのバックグラウンドがあったの。NYに引っ越した時はビデオプロダクションで働き始めたわ。そして、小規模だけど自分のプロダクションとインディーズ・レーベルの経営も始めたの。Vashtie(映像ディレクター/デザイナー)と一緒にビデオをプロデュースしたり、彼女のビデオ「CRS」を私がプロデュースしたり、Kid Cudiが有名になる前のビデオ「Heaven at Night」をプロデュースしたりしてた。それと同時にDJもやってたから、NYに来てからの始めの3年間は、ほとんど寝てなかったわね。10時間くらいプロダクション会社で働いて、夜は毎晩DJをしてたわ。睡眠時間は2時間くらいで、毎日ハードスケジュールの繰り返しだった。でも、成長段階だったし、NYにおける仕事に対するメンタリティに憧れていたんだと思う。全てのことを形にしていきたかったから、'08年は、音楽も作っていたわ。ふたつのカンパニーに自分が注いだエネルギーを、今度は自分のブランドに同じ風にやったらどうなるかな?と。試しにファーストのシングル「That's not it」をリリースしたら、その後は全てが変わり始めたの!リリースは'10年の9月だったわ。思い起こせばその前年から、自分の望んでいる方向に変わり始めていたかも。Ninjasonikとツアーに行ったり、フリースタイルバトルでは、女性は私だけで、8人の男性ラッパーと戦い優勝したり、Rock the Bells(米国最大のヒップホップ・フェスティバル)のオープニングを担当したり、Ghost FaceやRakimのオープニングをしたり、BETに登場したりと全ていっきに起こり始めたわ。'10年には全米60都市もまわった、Wiz KhalifaのオフィシャルDJとしてDeal or No Dealツアーに参加させてもらったの。ショーでは2時間DJして、自分のソングもラップしたり毎晩ソールドアウトのショーだった。Wizがメインストリームに入るちょっと前の時よ。まだメインストリームのアーティストでもないのに、全米中がWizのムーブメントをフォロ−していて、素晴らしかった。そのツアーが終わった後くらいに、mtvUでVashtieがディレクションしたシングル「That's not It」をリリースしたの。


Universe:How did you get to become a DJ? Also, tell us about how you became a MC.

Jasmine:When I was in high school, there was this one guy at this local record shop who was my mentor. I would go in and spend all the money that I made on my job buying music like Beat Junkies and The Def Jux Crew and all these back packer Hip Hop. I was really into that. So I learned about turntablism  really young and I would try to do graffiti on my own. I was so in love with Hip Hop. Like 14 to 18, it was still going into the 90's you know? All when Hip Hop was still going into its transformation, into something really solid. Then I started DJing on the radio in Boston when I was 17. I really started to learn about being on the mic talking to a listener and I started hosting shows. I went to school for music production and social marketing so I was always putting on events and I had a producer background in terms of events. Then when I moved to New York, I started working in video production and I was running a small production company and a small indies label. I started producing videos with Vashtie (video director / designer), and her "CRS" video I produced. We produced the video for "Heaven At Night" with Kid Cudi right before he blew up. At the same time I started DJing so I wasn't sleeping for the first 3 years that I lived in New York. I would work 10 hours a day production and I would be out all night DJing and I'd sleep for 2 hours and I'd do it all over again. But I was in the grind. I was so attracted to the New York grind and I wanted to be a midst in everything. Then in 2008, I was making music. I've been making music secretly all my life and I thought, what if I put the energy that I put into these two companies into my own brand? What would happen? I just put out my first single "That's Not It" and everything just kinda blew up after that. We released it in September of 2010. But 2009, all this stuff started to happen. I went on tour with Ninjasonik. I won a battle for a crown contest against 8 other dudes and I won in free style and I was the only girl. Then I got to open up for "Rock The Bells (America's biggest Hip Hop festival)" and then I opened up for Ghostface and Rakim, I was on BET and it just started to snowball and it was amazing. In 2010, I went on the roads as Wiz Khalifah's official DJ for the Deal or No Deal tour. That was 60 cities in the US and I DJed for like 2 hours a night and I DJed for Wiz. I would rap my song and sold out shows overnight. This was right before he blew up so it was amazing to see the cult following around the whole nation right before he hit the main stream. Since then, we released the video that Vashtie directed on mtvU, "That's Not It".



Universe:自分が好きで続けてきたことが見事に叶ってますね。チャンスを確実につかみ取ってきている印象もあります! 今ちょっとお話に出た「That's not it」について少し聞かせてもらえますか。

Jasmine:それが面白い事にオリジナルのサンプルは、幼少時代に踊っていたSalt-N-Pepaなの。Spinderella(Salt-N-Pepaのメンバー)の「Whatta Man」で、今回のこの曲にパーフェクト。歌は、よく男の子が女の子をナンパする時に使うやり方に対して、わざとおもしろ可笑しく表現して、からかってる感じよ。よくあるメインストリームの曲は、男性ラッパーがわざと女性が聞きたいだろうと勘違いして、お金、洋服、車、ジュエリーで気を惹こうとしているけど、実際はたくさんの女の子達が笑ってるのよ。だからこの曲は生意気な感じにからかってるの。That's not it(そうじゃないのよ!)みたいに。おもしろいでしょ!


Universe:It seems like what you have pursued and loved has all been put together. It's like you are definitely grabbing your chances! Can you tell us about the song "That's Not It"?

Jasmine:It's funny because originally the sample is from Salt-N-Pepa. It's Spinderella (member of Salt-N-Pepa) from "Whatta Man" which is very fitting. The song is about the hilarious antiques that certain men use to try to hit on you. And I'm just being very sarcastic about it because I basically find that main stream songs is what they think that women wanna hear, and I'm making fun of that. Because there are tons of women who will laugh in your face if you try to only use money and clothes, jewelry and cars. So it's a very sassy sarcastic song being like "That's not it!" you know? So it's really fun.




Jasmine:基本的にレコードはみんなクラシックなものばかりが多いの。そうね、その中からのベスト3だと、Stevie Wonder、 James Brown、Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hitsかな。クラシックなソウルシンガーばかりの名前をだすのは恥ずかしいけど、彼らのレコードは素敵なの。アートワークも大好きだし、古いレコードは自分の昔の思い出に浸らせてくれるのよ。私の母は、クラシックやソウルミュージックを幼少時代によくかけてくれたから、この種の音楽はとってもノスタルジックな繋がりがあるんだと思う。


Universe:It feels like you have a lot of inspiration from the songs you listened in your teens, but please name us 3 of your favorite records.

Jasmine:A lot of my vinyl that I have are classics. My favorite records would be… definately Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits. Though I hate to name all classic soul guys, but those records are beautiful. I just love the art work and it just brings you back to a certain time. My mom raised me on classic soul so I have this nostalgic deep connection to classic soul music.



Universe:Wiz Khalifaの「Deal or No Deal tour」のオフィシャルDJになったきっかけと感想を教えてください。

Jasmine:最高に良かったわ! Frank151でラジオのショーをやっていて、その時に、Wiz Khalifaが「Deal or No Deal」のアルバムのプロモーションをしていたの。Frank151のおかげでWizと繋がって、アスペン(コロラド州のスキーリゾート)で行われたX GamesのショーでDJすることになったの。そこでDJとして気に入ってもらえて、Wizがツアーに一緒にいこう!って誘ってくれたのよ。全てスムーズに上手く進みツアーは大成功だったわ。


Universe:So you've been on tour with Wiz Khalifah as his official DJ. How did you get the opportunity, and how was it?

Jasmine:It was good! I was doing Frank 151's radio show and they were promoting "Deal or No Deal" his album.They put us together and we DJed in Aspen (a ski resort in Colorado) for the X Games. It worked out great and he was like "We're going on the road!" and I was like "Okay!" and it worked.




Jasmine:もうちょっとでEPをリリースする予定でエキサイティングしてるわ。Junior Sanchezがプロデュース、Hollywood Holtとコラボしたトラックで、「Turn it Up」という曲がシングルになるの。私はみんなと共通点がある女の子だし、セクシー路線で売ろうともしていない。常に音楽に対してインテリジェントで忠実な人達をレペゼンし、自分のいるコミュニティを誇りに思ってる。だから、音楽やコラボを通してメッセージが世の中に伝わっていると思う。メッセージは、真のリリシスト、真のDJ、そして、全てを超越する女性であることね。


Universe:What kind of message would you like to give out to today's world?

Jasmine:I have an EP coming up which I'm so excited about. The track of Hollywood Holt  is called "Turn It Up" produced by Junior Sanchez and that's gonna be the single from the EP. I think what the people are gonna see is that I'm just a relatable lady. I'm not using sex to sell. I represent the middle ground of people who are intelligent and know a lot about music, who are loyal to their peoples. It's a community that I surround myself with and I take pride in that and it comes through with my music. I think that you'll see that the message is that of a true lyricist, a true DJ and a lady above all else.



Universe:Hip Hopは、男性に支配されているイメージがある業界でもありますが、女性として難しいことはありますか?



Universe:Hip Hop industry is so dominated by men's force from the beginning, but do you find it difficult to work with them?

Jasmine:I've been a tom boy and friends with guys all my life so working with guys have never been an issue. I hang out with skaters and punk rock, Hip Hop kids so I tend to be drawn to alternative cultures and it's easy to work with people who are open minded. Even though I'm surrounded by dudes, it's more fuel for me to push through and represent all the women who are waiting for me to do it. No matter how many people don't want you to succeed for whatever reasons, you gotta remember the people that are at home and it's a big deal to them that you succeed because it's an inspiration to them. At this point, that's what I'm really doing it for.




Jasmine:ハイブリッドね(ふたつまたは、それ以上の異質のものを組み合わせ一つの目的を成すものを指す)。多様なジェネレーションとカルチャーの全く新しいスタイルね。好きなブランドはMarried to the Mob。私のファミリーみたいなものよ。Mobの服は、社会のシステムに反逆的なちょっとメンズライクなストリートウエアなの。ヴィンテージ、レトロ、クチュール、ヒップホップストリートウエアのミックスしたスタイルにはマストね。これが私のコンビネーションだし、いつも着心地のいいスタイルだわ。


Universe:You are very stylish, but how would you describe your fashion style in one word?

Jasmine:Hybrid. A brand new creation of multiple generations and multiple cultures. I wear Married to the Mob. They are like my family. Their clothes are like women saying F*** You to the system, to men, and it's street wear. For me, I have to have a mix of vintage, retro, couture with Hip Hop wear. That's the combination and always comfortable.



Universe:Hip Hopはもちろんですが、その他に好きな音楽ジャンルはありますか?

Jasmine:レゲエミュージックね! DJとしては何でもかけるわ。ソウルから90年代のHip Hop、エレクトロでもね。


Universe:What music besides Hip Hop are you obsessed by?

Jasmine:Reggae! As a DJ, I DJ everything. I could do Soul, 90's Hip Hop, Electro, everything.







Universe:You have a wide knowledge about music!

Jasmine:Yeah. Especially because I worked at a radio station that had 20 different shows. And I could go to a rave one night, or I could go to a bashment party or a real indies fashion party and I'll know the music. In 2005, I travelled around the world to 12 different countries and I studied the music in each and everywhere like India, Africa, Brazil, China and that's my thing. Musicology. I love it!






Universe:How did you learn music?

Jasmine:I would go to all the local record shops and try to talk to as many people. I would buy the music and really listen to it and make comparisons and go to where the graffiti was. Where you find graffiti, you could find culture!



Universe:なるほど「グラフィティがある場所にはカルチャーがある」とは名言ですね! それでは最後に、今回の地震で被災している方々を勇気づけるメッセージをいただけますか?



Universe:Wow, "Where you find graffiti, you could find culture!". At last, what would you say to Japanese earthquake victims?

Jasmine:New York after 911, even though it wasn't a natural disaster, the tone of community is always a mix between fear and strength. It's really funny because you deal with a lot of devastation but in return you gather a lot of community support and love. It reminds you to be more peaceful everyday. The only thing you can do with a tragedy is turn it into a lesson and a gift. That's like the only thing you can do because in end of mourning process it's tough and it happens every time we deal with loss. But if you can turn it into something that make you so much stronger and makes you appreciate everyday, it will be worth it in a sense. I would just say to everybody in Japan to turn it into an appreciation for life and as tough as it may be, be kind to one another and help each other. Hopefully I'll be over there soon to DJ some reggae and lift your spirits. Much love and support to Japan!


Interview&Japanese Text::Mimi Tamaoki
English Text :MAMIZO




DATE : 06.05.2011 | CATEGORY : MUSIC