Barry White would be proud…
Preliminary to our delectable Cake Girls concept or hand-picking grrrls for Woman of the Season, in October of 2011, our Editor sat with Jasmine Solano, an emerging Brooklyn-based multi-talent who spends most of her time spinning records at concerts, rapping and utilizing her edifying personality, to talk about the importance of artist etiquette, what it truly takes to make it in the music business and how to carry yourself as a woman in any business. Two years later, now like our Editor, she works for MTV IGGY as a reporter. We’d like to think Jasmine Solano is quintessential for practicing what she preached in the interview below:
On Artist Etiquette[quote]If you look at the history of artistry, artist development, and you go from Motown where you had such serious media [and] image training — everything had to be proper, all moves had to be under the umbrella of artist etiquette. Artist etiquette was really the biggest deal in the music industry and now, if you look at the evolution, people don’t even have to spell anything right. People don’t have to correct themselves with grammar. Everything — language wise is shortened — all inside acronyms that teenagers make up. We’re in a whole different time period.
I have a marketing and music production background so my head is always coming from a business point of view. So, for me, I keep things very proper. I may be a little late but it’s only cause I’m busy, alright! But I like to think of artist etiquette as an important tool — business wise — but then again, you do have like 18-19 year olds that are getting signed and don’t give a fuck and they don’t have to. Now, how long their career is gonna last? I don’t know. I like to people who had careers [for] over a decade. I look at everything from The Roots who are on Jimmy Fallon. I look at Beyoncé. I look at pop culture — Michael Jackson, you know and you kind of see why people have had really long careers and it normally stems from artist etiquette. If you treat your career and your passion like it’s your business, you will probably have a better bank account, at the end, a bank account that lasts longer. It all translates financially too. So, but, I have to say some things are just not important to certain people anymore.[/quote]
On Female Behaviour
I’m a big stickler on that because as a female, in business period, it takes forever to take ten steps forward and it takes a millisecond to take one step back. It’s all about your reputation. Everyone’s equal, that’s great —humanity, great— but we are different and there’s different stereotypes and there are different expectations out of women and there are a lot of patterns in history of men taking advantage of women in the work place. Not necessarily always physically but even mentally. You really have to be sure of yourself. You have to know your limits and boundaries and I would recommend to not sleep around. It sucks! If you’re like Samantha in Sex and the City and that’s your thing like more power to you but everything you do will be talked about. At least in this industry. If you want people to take you seriously, you have to keep a sense of privacy and respect for your personal life. My biggest advice is to not sleep around, know your limits and boundaries, be confident, and don’t let anybody make you feel uncomfortable or take advantage of you. And at the same time, on the flip side, roll with the punches. We’re targeted as the species that’s too emotional when it comes to business. I think the biggest strength you can have is not taking things too personal.
On Male Behaviour
I mean I could write a book about it if you really have the time. (She laughs) Personally, I’m really attracted to gentlemen. I think it takes a lot to be a gentleman ’cause (a) You don’t care what anyone else thinks. You’re gonna be proper. You’re raised with certain principles and morals and it’s not about be a wimp, being whipped, it’s about knowing who you are. Treat a goddamned woman with respect even if she doesn’t deserve it because you may be the one person that changes her life. Also, for men, when you act like a bitch, you look so weak. You look like you are overcompensating for something that you lack. Women know when you got it going on ’cause you don’t have to say it and I think that’s one thing a lot of dudes don’t know. Therefore, they think they have to be so egotistical, braggadocios in order to win women over and it’s like honestly, women are way more attracted to men who are quietly humble, they know they got it going on, they don’t have to brag about it. I think the start to that is being a gentlemen.
I’m really big into treating everybody like their important because you don’t know who’s who, you don’t know who’s going to become something and it just feels better to give out good energy. For example: If I have a show I’m saying what up to the janitor, to the security, to the coat-check girl. I want there to be good vibes when I’m trying to express myself. You don’t want the people of the venue to hate you because they will shut down the show faster. They will be rude to your fans. It all matters and I feel like the biggest thing in artist etiquette is to treat everyone who you shake hands with as if they’re apart of your family because that’s how you want to be treated. Especially, as a artist. You’re putting every piece of yourself out there. You’re wearing your heart on your sleeve, telling everyone your deepest and darkest emotions or letting your ego run wild. Either way your whole shit is exposed. You want everyone to be a support… for that because it’s a big deal. It’s not easy. It’s not an easy route to take.*Listen to the audio for full details and statements. *Soon after, we attended Kendrick Lamar‘s headlining show at The Gramercy with Jasmine Solano and took these photos of her with Dawn Richard, Angela Yee and Karen Civil. *Originally, we planned to release this interview in our upcoming print issue but it’s still waiting to see the day of light.
For more Jasmine Solano, just click here.