There’s something truly admirable about a person who has let their passions in life lead them in all the right directions. For Brooklyn-based DJ Jasmine Solano, a.k.a. JSMN, her love of music has taken her all around the world and back to spin for high profile brands (DKNY, Apple, Nike and Topshop, just to name a few), and celebrities (including a little artist known as Beyoncé…) alike.

But it’s not just her incredibly diverse taste in music that’s impressive; the Philadelphia-native and one half of the DJ party duo Electric Punanny has the kind of work ethic and intelligence that would make any workaholic jealous. While in college, Solano created her own major, “music activism quest,” which was basically a triple major in music production, marketing and socio-politics. Then later on in life, she was inspired by her non-stop work schedule to create and host MTV Iggy’s Scratch The Surface. The show documented her efforts to discover something new and interesting in every city she finds herself in because, for her, music is anthropology.

TR: How did you first encounter music?

JS: My first encounter was through my mother playing strictly classic soul in the house. I was 5 years old listening to James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. Classic soul connected me to music. With that being the first genre I was ever introduced to, it set my standards pretty high. My musical taste varies, but it always has to have soul.

TR:  What are your go-to tunes for:

– Getting out of bed and seizing the day?

JS:  Aretha Franklin “Groovin’”.

– Hitting the gym/spin class/going for a run?

JS:  Gappy Ranks “Baddest”.

– Hyping up as you get ready for a night out?

JS: JamieXX ft. Popcaan “Good Times”.

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Words: Portia Baladad / Photos: Olivia Seally