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Meet Jasmine Navarro aka Smooth Jas in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Navarro (aka Smooth Jas).

Jas, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a kid, I was always interested in music. I took piano lessons for a while in elementary school, where I really flourished and mastered a few classical pieces. However, I struggled to commit to practicing and ultimately ended up seeing playing piano as a chore. In middle school, I pursued acting and modeling, but didn’t really find my footing anywhere, and gave up on that pretty quickly, too.

It wasn’t until the first few weeks of my freshman year in high school, when a friend pretty much tricked me into a blind choir audition, that I got back into music. I had always loved singing, but the structure and community of high school choir inspired me in a whole new way. After high school, I got sucked into the world of community college classes and minimum wage jobs and getting my life started, that I put music on the back burner again. It was only last summer that I realized how much I needed an outlet for my thoughts and feelings and started making songs with my ukulele and GarageBand. From there, my project Smooth Jas started, which is basically just me making songs in my room and playing them live with friends.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
So far, I’ve kind of been re-learning music. It’s been so long that I don’t remember how to read sheet music and since I was trained in choir, it can be hard to find my voice and break out of singing In a style that’s supposed to blend with other voices. I’ve picked up the guitar myself without any classes or anything, so learning how to play dynamically and learning about all the sounds you can get out of a guitar has also been an interesting challenge. Plus, I get really bad stage fright, so I totally bombed my first show because I was so nervous. Luckily though, I’ve become friends with some really talented and smart folks who have been giving me tips and letting me play with their gear and taking me to jams so I don’t feel alone in learning, and it makes it more fun to learn.

Smooth Jas – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from others?
This project started out mostly being an outlet for me to work through my thoughts and feelings, and since it’s still in the infant stages, that’s probably where it’s gonna be for a while. But I’m excited to explore new sounds and make music that gets people excited and inspired, especially folks who are from marginalized (POC and/or queer) communities like myself. I’m trying to figure out how to be myself and talk about my thoughts and feelings in a way other young people can relate to, in an effort to make people feel like they’re not alone.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Personally, I define success as being at a point where you’re creating something that’s genuine and that you’re proud of. If you know you’ve done your best, and your end product is something you can really get behind because you know you put your all into it, that’s where it’s at!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brandie Wedderburn, Alexias Williams

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