Jasmine Solano. JSMN. @xojsmn. Call her what you want and then understand that she is a force to be reckoned with under any given title. She's smart, talented, driven, sincere and gorgeous - all things that add up to a wonderful person who shines a light on the path to our global community. We define a MISSBISH as a sophisticated bad*ss, and that's exactly what Ms. Solano is.
What sparked your interest in music? How did you end up DJ'ing?
My interest in music began around age 5. My parents played classic soul all the time - my mom loves soul music and my dad is a great singer and dancer. I would say they have a lot to do with what sparked my interest. I started DJing on the radio at 17. Bought my first pair of Technic turntables at 18 and the rest is history!
You live in NYC, what was your journey to settling down in the Big Apple?
Even though I’m originally from Philadelphia, my eyes were always set on NYC. I took a detour, going to school at Emerson College in Boston yet moved to NYC right after.
Major musical influences? Who is/was your mentor?
Wilson Pickett, Betty Davis, Nikka Costa and Erykah Badu. As for mentors I’ve had several in my life, some for long periods of time, others for minutes. However my folks and best friend Danai stay constant in that role.
Is Electric Punanny still a major focus or are you going solo?
(Laughs) Electric Punanny is my baby! I would never flee it. My partner in EP, MeLo-X and I have been running it since 2008 even though we have solo careers. We do both simultaneously.
"The key for me when traveling is to not drink alcohol, sleep more and make sure to sweat and workout soon as I land."
How did your MTV show "Scratch the Surface" come to be?
MTV World asked me to host for them and at the time I was traveling and touring so much - I pitched them the idea of documenting my journey and letting me tell a story in each city. I’m grateful they said yes!
There seems to be a huge wave of female DJ's currently, how do you feel about that? What makes you different?
There’s always been female DJ’s. They just don’t get as much shine as male DJ’s. Now that DJing has become trendy overall, you’re seeing a ton of new “DJs” pop up in general.
We met at S10, is exercise a big part of your life? What's your go-to fitness regime?
I try to make exercise a very integral part of my life. I was an athlete growing up, playing tennis in the junior circuit and dancing in several crews. Now, because of all the traveling I do, late hours I work and not to mention businesses that I run - it’s imperative I fit in an exercise schedule. I try to do different workouts all the time so I don’t get bored. I’ve done Bikram Yoga on and off for 6 years and I DJ and ride at Soulcycle. You can also catch a few of my “choreo-workout” videos I post on Instagram.
Traveling so frequently makes being healthy difficult, how do you maintain?
The key for me when traveling is to not drink alcohol, sleep more and make sure to sweat and workout soon as I land. That helps your immune system so you don’t get sick and it helps get over jet lag quicker.
Do you partake in the party aspect of the DJ life? How do you balance the nightlife with the day hustle?
To me DJing is a sport as well as a job. You wouldn’t show up to work or a championship game drunk or high (hopefully), and neither do I. However that doesn’t mean I’m not jumping on top of the DJ booth dutty-wining my life away. I definitely have a blast, just not in the typical partygoer way. Balancing the day hustle and nightlife has only gotten easier over time. After DJing for over a decade, I’ve learned how to stay healthy, prioritize my hours and sleep when needed. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m a nap queen.
“The busier and wiser you become, the less time you have for bullshit. ”
1-year goal? 5-year goal?
To grow. In this business you never know what’s around the corner. If your main intention is to grow professionally and personally, you’ll be alright.
Best piece of advice someone has given you in the last year?
Save your money, baby.
Existing in a world of fashion, music, celebrity and publicity, how do you stay true to yourself and not let it all go to your head? Do you think you've changed or do you feel yourself changing?
Ha, I'm in no position for anything to go to my head - thanks for the flattery,though. When you work inside the industry you see all the smoke and mirrors. I've definitely changed over the years, and for the better. A pattern I have is when I meet good people who do good business, I keep them close. I stay loyal, they stay loyal. That’s rare in this industry. Also the busier and wiser you become, the less time you have for bullshit. I’ve learned to never stick around in a situation that isn’t propelling you forward to where you deserve to thrive and be.
Three hidden gems in NYC.
1) Turntable Lab (East Village) - The go to spot to get the finest DJ equipment here.
2) Rockaway Surf Club (Rockaway Beach) - Restaurant / car / surf lodge / event space.
3) Red, Rose, Lavender (Williamsburg) - A garden center and floral design studio.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
A woman who is dedicated to reaching her highest potential, whatever that may be.
Photos by: Ja Tecson