Jaz Elise fuses soul, RnB, reggae and dancehall for a sound that is unapologetically contagious. Photos by James Mitchell @_located.
Her debut EP, The Golden Hour (2021), debuted at number two on the Billboard US Current Reggae Albums Chart with classic collabs featuring Mortimer and Govana. In between new projects, new gigs and enjoying life on the rock, Jaz Elise sat down with Jamaica Nice to reflect on how she got here…
JN: Who are your music mentors and why are they important to you?
JE: Right now my music mentors range from persons I know within the industry who are my peers, OGs that’s been doing it for a while, business persons within and outside the industry , persons I don’t know but I see their journey, podcasts/ interviews from international producers and artists. And my Dad!
JN: Did you learn music in school or take any form of formal music education?
JE: My dad put me in piano lessons when I was younger and I learned how to play piano then. I stopped maybe at a grade 3/ 4 level but because of that I have a full understanding of piano theory up to a certain level and appreciation for the instrument. I’ve always been playing. I actually need to take it back up and refresh the learnings! In high school they taught us some theory in music class at Ardenne but with so many students and a heavy schedule already we never really have any time to dive in. I joined the choir for a year or so and picked up some more knowledge but it was mainly an introduction.
JN: Do you wish you had more access to music education when you were younger?
JE: While I may have been blessed to have certain access from external lessons, church or school I know not many have access to that in any form. My dad also played guitar very well and while I didn’t do official training with him he taught me a few things. I just recently started guitar nearly 2 years ago. Even having instruments in the home is an access I was blessed with.
Connect with Jaz Elise on IG here