Events

Jazmine Sullivan

miércoles

14 feb, 2018 – 8:00 P.M.

8656 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910 Mapa

  • Jazmine Sullivan

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Jazmine Sullivan: At the age of 19, musical prodigy and accomplished singer/songwriter Jazmine Sullivan already has six years of experience under her belt in the music industry. She's anything but your typical singer and just one listen to her voice will make you understand why some of music's most respected artists like Faith Evans, Stevie Wonder and Missy Elliott have all praised the legend in the making.

Just a brief timeline of some of Sullivan's musical accomplishments is enough to make any artist blush. At 12, she made her national television debut on Showtime at the Apollo, where she sang "Accept What God Allows". At 13, she was asked to sing at the birthday party for musical legend Stevie Wonder. Of their meeting, she says, "When you meet Stevie Wonder, its a great feeling," before adding, "I was young though, so I didnt understand it until I got older. I started thinking like, 'Oh my God! I sang with Stevie Wonder when I was like 13.'" That was only the beginning. She began wowing audiences with her live sets in her hometown of Philadelphia at the popular Black Lily, where artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq, Kindred the Family Soul and Floetry performed before they became national recording acts. Shortly after her jaw-dropping performances, she was signed to Jive Records personally by the president of the label, Clive Calder, where she began working on her debut album with the likes of heavyweight producers Missy Elliott, Timbaland and production duo Cool & Dre, to name a few.

Developing an effective marketing strategy that would allow a younger audience to identify with Sullivans maturity as an artist proved to be difficult for Jive and three years after being signed, the two parted ways. "I cant say I wasnt sad. I was very sad." But being the strong-willed and determined individual she is, it hasnt halted her grind. Now, at 19, Sullivan is confident that her dreams will now come true.

While most artists recount always listening to music while they were younger, Sullivan's first introduction to music began at church. "I remember singing like around five or six in the choir," she says before recalling a particular incident. "I was in the junior choir, but I was the first child admitted into the young adult choir. I was so proud of myself and with the support of my family and church I began singing." As Sullivan got older, she began researching and polishing her art as well as admiring some of her favorite vocalists, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, Mary J. Blige and Donny Hathaway.

Last year, Sullivan found the time to graduate with her class at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), the same school that Boyz II Men attended, and made a lasting impression by writing the senior class song. "I said, 'I should make my mark some kind of way on this school.' I thought it would be cool if I did something to get everybody involved, so I wrote for different people and their voices. And it was nice, because a lot of kids in our senior class werent used to singing solos and didnt have a solo for the four years that they were there, and they got their time to shine." She also made a lasting impression on the schools principal, Mr. Johnny C. Whaley Jr. Of her, he says, "The moment Jazmine Sullivan arrived at CAPA, I realized that she had a very special gift. I developed a greater appreciation for her talent upon discovering that she was a gifted songwriter as demonstrated by her work on the senior class song presented to our vocal teachers. Although we prepare students for the next level of education, Jazmine is destined to perform and I strongly believe that future success is on the horizon."

Now more than ever, R&B is primed for a comeback. A few artists like Mary J. Blige, Fantasia and Mariah Carey have continued to make solid R&B records, but Sullivan cites John Legend as someone who has made it easier for her music to be appreciated. "With John Legend, he seemed to break something new; by just singing with his piano and [having the audience] listen. So I think it's coming back. I'm glad that I wasnt let out too early, because people may not have gotten me because [my music] might have been over their heads." From the time she was first signed, Sullivan has been constantly changing. While she was considered a 'neo-soul' artist with her earlier work, she now understands that her music must at times meet the demands of listeners. "I can deliver a hit radio single, but it's me wanting to find the compromise where I'm delivering something that I'm proud of and something that can get people dancing. I think a lot of producers didn't realize that because when I used to go into the studio, and I wasn't writing like I am now, they saw me as this older person because my voice was so much older. So they would give me stuff that reflected [my voice], but they didnt realize that I was 15."

While she awaits her next record deal, you will find her name on background credits for Fantasia's Free Yourself and songwriting credits for two tracks off of Christina Milian's next album, including the Cool & Dre produced first single "Say I", which features Young Jeezy. If anything, the journey to this point has only made Sullivan mentally stronger and wiser about the music business. "I know that I can't settle for singing at the local bar every other week or doing spot dates. I just know that it's big, it's legendary and it's not confined to one type of group of people," she says with conviction. "Everybody is going to love me and this is not being cocky, this is just what I see."

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