The L.A.-born phenom endeared herself to guitar-loving fans across TikTok, but with big dreams and a Music Man in hand, Jasmine Star is intent on taking the next step in her young career.
Stream: “The Cliff” – Jasmine Star
The world of hard rock and heavy metal is bustling with young six-stringers looking to make their mark. And with the tidal wave that’s washed over the scene in the form of the “new wave of classic rock,” there’s more opportunity than ever for wunderkind rockers to make their mark.
Moreover, social media has thrown a wrench into the proverbial works regarding how artists are being discovered. Indeed, aspiring musicians have a platform unlike any other by way of Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and in young shredder Jasmine Star’s case, TikTok.
It’s hard to believe that Star is only 19 years of age, considering it feels like she’s been with us forever. But perhaps that is just one of the many unexpected side effects of social media taking over our world as it has. Still, not even Star, confident and talented as she is, could have predicted that she’d go from a 17-year-old would be axe-slinger covering classic guitar licks to being featured in Guitar World just a few months later.
Some two years after initially appearing on the scene, Star continued her ascent. And with a clear vision, maturity beyond her years, and fingers bursting with unbridled talent, it’s hard to bet against her. But make no mistake, Star knows what’s at stake, which is why she’s moving to create original music that pushes her boundaries beyond what she’s done before. For Star, the future is now, and for her fans, there’s no time like the present to saddle up, dig in, and enjoy the ride.
During a break in the action, Jasmine Star dialed in with Atwood Magazine to discuss her origins with the guitar, the importance of TikTok on her young career, the recording of her yet-to-be-named debut EP, and where she sees herself in five years.
A CONVERSATION WITH JASMINE STAR
Atwood Magazine: What was your initial introduction to the guitar?
Jasmine Star: My initial introduction to guitar was as an acoustic instrument to accompany my vocals. I’d been playing classical piano since I was three years old, and I got into singing and songwriting, and then I got into guitar to accompany that. But it all kicked off when I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan; that was kind of a life changer. My older brother used to listen to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but I never paid much attention to it, and then as I got more into guitar playing, I revisited it all. And once I did, my mind was just blown. From there, I became really obsessed with the electric guitar very quickly.
How did the piano influence your early musing with the guitar, if at all?
Jasmine Star: I think it helped me a lot in that I had a basic understanding of music. I’m self-taught on guitar, and I did that by picking out chords that I already knew by ear. The fact that I already knew those chords, what they were, and what notes went into them was super helpful. And then I also have perfect pitch, and that really helped me translate what I was learning on piano and then move it over to the guitar.
You're known as a young shredder, but I hear a lot of diversity in your playing. What style appeals to you most?
Jasmine Star: Aside from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen has been a massive influence on me. From there, you’ve got players like B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and Jason Becker, who all have different styles but have shaped me. I’ve always loved all of it. I love music in general, but I took the blues route initially because of that early Stevie Ray Vaughan influence. From there, I started listening to a lot of other things, and I got super into the shred stuff, but I also listen to a lot of pop music, too. I have to be honest; so much of what I listen to is currently on the radio. I can’t get enough of it.
Pop music isn't generally guitar-driven music. How do you incorporate that into your style?
Jasmine Star: I don’t know, really. It’s tough to say. I think that when you listen to so much music, you start blending it all, and it all naturally comes together. It’s never been a purposeful thing where I felt like I needed or wanted to incorporate that specifically. And I think my musical style comes from a combination of everything I listen to. If I could pinpoint it, I would, but I can’t. All I can say is that I listen to music 24/7, and everything that I hear finds a way into what I’m doing in some way or another.
Saw @Post Malone perform this song on @Saturday Night Live – SNL a couple weeks ago and I thought it was rad and so I may have remixed it and then accidentally added a guitar solo… whoops ? #lovehatelettertoalcohol #postmalone #snl
What were some of the challenges you faced when you first picked up the guitar?
Jasmine Star: How many hours could I play without having to ice my fingers? [Laughs]. Honestly, this might sound crazy, but I can’t really think of any challenges, even though I know I had them. I am sure some things came up, but because I enjoy it so much, it never felt like work to me. It’s always just been fun for me, and because of that, I can’t specifically point to a challenge. I will say that there’s always something to overcome, but again, I find those things fun, so it never impacted me in that way.
TikTok has proved integral to your growth and exposure. When did you decide to start putting yourself out there in that way?
Jasmine Star: It was something that happened very naturally. I was already on Instagram and posting videos of myself playing there. And then, as TikTok started to become mainstream, I naturally gravitated to it and began to really get into it. And then I started posting videos there, and things took off quickly. It’s been a great experience for me, and everybody there has been super welcoming.
Do you feel that musicians being discovered via TikTok will become the new norm?
Jasmine Star: I don’t know; it’s hard to say. It’s been a great tool, but I think there are so many ways to find and consume art and music that I don’t think there’s going to be any one platform that’s going to be the only way it’s done. I think that having so many new ways to discover music is an amazing thing, and I hope everyone’s able to discover as much music as they possibly can. It doesn’t matter to me where it started, just as long as it’s found.
Given the transient nature of TikTok videos, did you ever feel limited artistically?
Jasmine Star: The short videos have been a challenge, but it’s also been enjoyable. I think those limitations bring so much creativity in figuring out, you know? It forces me to figure out how I’m going to put a solo into that amount of time, and it’s a ton of fun to do that. But TikTok has also expanded how long videos can be, and that’s helped, but I like doing shorter solos. And what’s fun about it is that it forced me to move away from covering other people’s solos that may be longer and to start doing my own solos. That’s another thing that happened naturally because, like I mentioned before, I love many different types of music. And like I said, a lot of it is pop music, which has no solos, so I had the idea that I could put guitars on it because I also love that kind of music. And now, over 99% of the solos that I post are my own.
You first sprouted into the popular consciousness when you were around 17. Since that time, how would you describe the progression of your style?
Jasmine Star: That’s a good question. I’m not sure just because it’s happened so naturally. But I think the more music I consume, my style grows. At this point, I’m just trying to take everything in and allow myself to progress naturally. So, I keep playing as much music as possible and try to incorporate as many genres as possible.
Another cool thing is that because I play a lot of different instruments, those different things often feed my creativity into something else. The fact that I play piano, play guitar, sing, and all this different stuff, all of that overlaps with each other and helps with my growth. I think the most important thing is that I have fun with it. Because literally, I pick up a guitar to have a good time.
What can you tell me about the genesis of your track “The Cliff?”
Jasmine Star: I had a ton of fun writing that song. I was messing around on guitar, and from there, I suddenly started to form the riffs of “The Cliff” and started to write it. And then I was singing it to myself later, just messing around with lyrics, and I began to write them down. From there, I found the hook and the melody, and the rest fell into place naturally. I wanted to make it sound big, and I also wanted it to take on a familiar rock sound. I wanted it to be familiar but also as modern as possible, if that makes sense.
So, I worked on it from that perspective, like, for instance, that whole song is layered with sub-bass on top of the bass that I recorded to give it more depth. I did that to give it a little bit more of a modern sound and so that it wasn’t so mid-range. I’ve noticed that a lot of older rock bands tend to land in the mid-range, and I wanted to avoid that if I could. But I didn’t think too much about it, and I kept it loose and fun, which I think shows in the music.
What else do you have in the pipeline in terms of new music?
Jasmine Star: Well, I’ve just finished recording and producing an EP. I don’t have a release date yet, but I’m very excited for everyone to hear it. I’m very proud of it. I worked a lot on it. I self-produced it, and I played all the instruments on it. I’m super happy with it. I had a blast making this EP, and I truly can’t wait to release it. Some of my new music will be like “The Cliff,” but there’s some new-sounding stuff, too. I didn’t overthink it; I just tried to sound like me.
I’m not explicitly trying to make it sound like this, or this, or that; it was more just a matter of whatever came out, and that’s what I went with. I mean, there’s a lot of that rock edge that people know me for, but I’m working on expanding. Like I said before, I like my music to sound big and have that modern influence, which I feel is a great combo. I can’t say the name of the EP yet or give the release date, but I can say that it’s coming and that I’m very excited for you all to hear it.
What type of gear are you most predominantly using in terms of guitars, amps, and effects?
Jasmine Star: I wish you could see the smile that came across my face when you started talking about gear. [Laughs]. Man, that just made me very happy. So, I’m absolutely in love with my two Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, and that’s primarily what was played on my EP. I’ve got my Jason Richardson Cutlass, and then I’ve got my Music Man Sabre, and they both play incredibly well. As for gear, I use Dunlop and Origin Effects pedals, and I’m using Victory Amps. I love their stuff.
What about the Music Man guitars that attracted you to them?
Jasmine Star: I think they’re super well-made, and they play phenomenally. I liked their tone, and because they’re newer guitars, they have a sound that’s a bit different from anything else. I can’t quite identify what the sound is, but I know it when I hear it, and I absolutely love it. You mentioned pedals, and I love them, but it depends on the song. Tone is very important, and it’s arguably the most important thing about being a guitar player because it doesn’t matter how good you are; if your tone doesn’t sound good, then people aren’t going to want to listen to it. And my Music Man guitars have the best tone. So, for me, the main thing with guitars is playability and tone. I need those things for a guitar to deliver, and my two Music Man guitars deliver 100% of the time.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jasmine Star: I’ve wanted to be a professional musician for as long as I can remember. You can ask people when I was young, I was talking about selling out Wembley Stadium; that’s what I wanted to do. So, my five-year plan starts with putting this EP out there and seeing what happens. From there, I want to work with the best, most passionate, and most kind people and make beautiful music. I want my music to be heard worldwide, and hopefully, in five years, I will have sold out Wembley Stadium. So, stick with me, keep listening, and stay tuned.
Stream: “Perfect Day” – Jasmine Star
— — — —
? © courtesy of the artist
:: Stream Jasmine Star ::