Sydney Middleton, Guest Writer
The noises surrounding a college dorm vary. Around 8.a.m. Monday morning, you can only hear the painfully tired groans of students that procrastinate on their homework, while Saturday nights fill the air with excited whispers and stumbles. However, in the room of Jasmine Peebles, the sound is consistent. With clicks of a mouse and the faint press of a piano key any time of the day, she is one step closer to what she believes is her one true calling.
Jasmine Anise Peebles was born to Steven and Pashon Peebles on January 22, 2000. While she is not even in her twenties yet, her musical knowledge is well beyond her years with some of her influences being artists from the 1970s and 80’s. When asked about what inspired her to get into music Peebles responds, “All of my earliest memories involve music including; family dinners, events, church, etc. Music is an integral part of my life.”
Peebles, while she gravitates more towards R&B musically, grew up around all different types of music. “Both of my parents did a great job with raising me to know that there isn’t a box for “black music” or “white music,” I’m well-versed in different types because you lose out on creativity when you limit yourself with labels, ” she explains while looking up from her keyboard periodically. Aside from the sound of her creations, the music of Prince, D’Angelo, Jhene Aiko, The Isley Brothers, Esperanza Spalding, Stevie Wonder, and Erykah Badu flows under her door.
On her desk sits hundreds of post-it notes and used up notebooks, a kiddie piano that she was given for Christmas, a MacBook, music theory books, and a lot of tangled up headphones. “Oftentimes when I’m bored, I find myself on youtube looking at the “_(insert hip hop artist here)__ type beat” videos in my recommended. The vast majority of them don’t catch my ear, but then when a beat just has ‘the thing’ to it – the thing that strikes a nerve, I just have to have it. I sit with the beat for a bit, just listen to it on repeat and try feeling what emotions it seems to draw out of me. When I can pinpoint one specifically, I go in,” she says as she describes her process. Although she spends a lot of time on her craft she still maintains a social life, job, and academic career.
When it comes to who question the solidarity of a music career or even point out the artists her age that are already in the industry, Peebles admits that it can be very discouraging. “I just realized not too long ago that the traditional college – workforce pipeline isn’t meant for everyone. Even *if* a musical career isn’t for me, I’m still going to have fun figuring out what is. I refuse to spend my life miserable because we’ve been programmed into thinking we have to live that way. Right now, I’m just starting small and taking baby steps. While I do have projects planned out, I’m not at the point to complete them yet. I have a lot to decide creatively, the message I want to convey, the side of myself that I want to present, and finding my unique voice.” Peebles knows that her passion for telling her own story through music will get her where she needs to go.
The last thing Peebles disclosed to me was her career goal and how the people in her support system directly affect it. “At this point, my greatest support systems are the new people coming in my life. you’d think it would be my family, but sometimes the people that have been there a minute are holding you back.” Peebles informs me that a lot of her support comes from her younger brother Anthony and close friends. While she knows she has a long way to go career-wise she can see the big picture. “I want to make an empire out of it, I want to be able to have my music open so many doors throughout several different avenues. I just want to be able to express myself without limits. The legacy I intend on leaving is one that shows black girls that there are no limits for us. we can do anything we put our minds to,“ she says assuringly.