Jazzy Amra is an R&B artist from New York City signed to the label Heads Music. The music label partnered with Wyclef Jean to release her music. According to Heads Music, she will be releasing her first project titled “Amra” this fall. On top of current collaborations with Dave East and Wyclef, Amra is currently on tour with Wyclef, but sat down with The Source to talk about her sudden rise in the music industry.
The Source: Where did the name Jazzy Amra come from?
Jazzy Amra: My full name is Jazmine, so Jazzy is a nickname.”Amra” means princess in Arabic. When I decided to go full on to pursue a music career, I took that as a chance to reinvent myself. I wanted a positive name that made me feel good. Growing up, I had a hard time finding myself and being comfortable in my own skin, insecurities that stemmed from my upbringing. Despite those unfortunate events I went through as a child, it didn’t take away from the fact that I am special and that I am royalty. “Amra” was the best name to describe me.
The Source: What was your motivation for getting into music?
Jazzy Amra: My motivation for getting into music was my mother. When I was about 3-4, I used to live with her and my two siblings at a rehabilitation center. We eventually got out and she still had custody of us, but then relapsed. We were then removed from her care. After that, I hadn’t seen her in years. My only strong memory of her was hearing her sing to Lauryn Hill, Mary J., Toni Braxton, La India and so many different artists. She always used to sing “I Believe I can Fly”to us.. that’s probably the first song I ever learned. Singing always felt good to me. My mom’s passion for music inspired me.
The Source: According to your biography, you grew up in the Bronx. What part of the Bronx are you from?
Jazzy Amra: I’m from Kingsbridge Road.
The Source: There are many layers to R&B music. How would you classify your specific style of R&B?
Jazzy Amra: I would say I’m hip-hop & R&B with that soul to it.
The Source: Who were the some of the artists (R&B and otherwise) you looked up to musically growing up?
Jazzy Amra: Growing up I loved Aaliyah, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Mya, R.Kelly, 112, the whole Bad Boy family, Boyz II Men, Usher, The Fugees, the list goes on and on. I was adopted by my aunt at the age of 5 and her son, Andy would always blast music around the house and those were the artists he would play.
The Source: Who are some of the current (R&B and otherwise) artists you like?
Jazzy Amra: I really like H.E.R .. H.E.R music is just a vibe.. it puts me in the zone. I’m also listening to a lot of Jhene Aiko, Nicki Minaj, Drake, A-Boogie, Rihanna, Tory Lanez and many other artists.
The Source: I read before you signed with Wyclef that you used to attend BET’s 106 & Park when it was on television and sing to the crowd during the commercial breaks. That is pretty creative marketing and a great way to practice becoming a singer. How did that idea come about?
Jazzy Amra: I was a freshman/sophomore in high school at the time. I would attend 106 & Park for the experience of being around cameras and for the opportunity to see my favorite celebs. When they would ask, “who has talent in the crowd?” I would be so shy to raise my hand, but I saw it as a chance to break out of my shell and face my fear of singing in front of people.. I know it sounds crazy, but I used to be so afraid of singing in front of people. If people wanted to hear me sing, I would make them turn around or close their eyes.
The Source: How has your experience been working with a musical legend like Wyclef been?
Jazzy Amra: Working with a legend like Wyclef reassured me that this was really written for me. 10 years ago, if somebody would have told me I was going to work with Wyclef Jean, I wouldn’t have believed them. Working with Wyclef really kicked off everything. He introduced me to traveling and performing in front of big crowds. My first time on an airplane was in January 2015 when I went to Las Vegas to perform with him. He’s definitely my mentor and I got my confidence up working with him.
The Source: You and Dave East seem collaborate often. What’s the reason if any behind the musical connection?
Jazzy Amra: Working with East is always a great experience. He’s super talented. I remember one of the first times I had a studio session with him… I saw him write his verse in 5 mins. I was like, “whoa… he’s different.” But, he’s home team, so I just feel like it’s only right that we create together.
The Source: Can you talk about your upcoming mixtape “Amra” that is slated to come out soon?
Jazzy Amra: “Amra” will my first solo body of work ever. It’s currently set to be released in the fall. “Amra” will be an introduction to who I am, my story and my music.
The Source: In the past R&B artists would never release mixtapes. Currently, that has changed to where R&B artists releasing their own mixtapes is normal. From your point of view, why has this practice become normal among R&B artists?
Jazzy Amra: I think mixtapes give us R&B artists more creative freedom and helps us work a little smarter. It’s basically a stepping stone. If you’re an upcoming artist, the smart thing to do would be to put together a mixtape and put it out there see what the people are feeling from you, as opposed to just making an album. I feel like that’s something you work your way up to.
The Source: Any last words for people who want to keep up with Jazzy Amra and things they should look out for in the future?
Jazzy Amra: If you want to keep up with me, follow me on social media @JazzyAmra and just stay tuned. I’m really active on social media, so I’ll be posting about what’s to come.
Jazzy Amra Single – “Caught Up”