SB: Tell everyone a little bit about who you are.
SS: I am a young, determined, focused up and coming female recording artist from Newark, New Jersey making sure my music is heard by the masses. They are ready to listen and I am ready to be heard! I’m a bold brave-hearted Boricua never afraid to chase this dream and fight every step of the way for this to become reality.
I’m as real as they come, a real person, grounded, all about my music and the people who listen, feel me & support me. I put 200% in everything I do in life, family, music career etc. I put my all, my heart, blood, sweat, and tears in this ’til this day and won’t stop ’til I drop.
SB: For those that don’t know, you are a singer, song writer, spoken word poet and a dancer. Would you say you favor one more than the other or that you are just a complete package?
SS: I’m passionate and love all aspects of what I do from writing, production, and performing. I am the complete petite package, packing a punch, highly underestimated; just like you, God, me, one of a kind triple threat and truly in a class all by myself. All that combined makes me who I am.
On a funny note, as much as people along the way said ‘just choose one, rap or sing, sing or rap; too feminine to rap’ I almost feel like I had to fight to have right and respect to do what I do.
SB: So you were writing as a child, a pre-teen, what made you start down this adult career path?
SS: Music has always been my life. As young as I can remember, Kindergarten, and what I have wanted to do, since I was a little girl, no question. Career day came I raised my hand and said I was going to be a singer/rapper.
It is my life, through the ups and downs, music really help me get thru. I grew up with such a love for it. Something you love so much, makes you so happy, for it to blossom into a career, is a blessing and a dream come true. My saying is “all for the love of music”.
SB: Do you feel it was hard being raised by a single mother or that it has helped you in your lyrics and style or your development as an artist?
SS: It was a difficult childhood raised by a single young mother, but it has made me who I am today.
A strong independent young woman with some tough skin and with a loving heart prepared and showed me how cold and hard life could be. Watching my mom go thru everything life was throwing at her was hard, but when you love someone so unconditionally, like she loves me and my sisters, she went thru hell and back to better herself for us to have a better life.
I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for her and my grandmother. Since it’s the January issue and today’s my beautiful mother’s birthday, I just wanted to tell her and let her read this, put it on print: I want to let the world know your babygirl wishes you a Happy Birthday! I love you with all my heart and thank you for being my everything to me and I dedicate this to you.
SB: Well obviously besides your Mami, who else has been your influence over the years?
SS: My grandmother has been a great influence; my backbone, she spent her whole life working and being there for us, living for us, which seeing her example pushes me to even go harder in my pursuit of success. She came here from Puerto Rico with nothing at 18 years old. She worked as a seamstress and worked her ass off, then became a corrections officer at a co-ed prison. She’s retired now but I imagine my grandma 4’11 with a 9mm listening to Mobb Deep on her way to work, mind you it took her almost her whole life to establish a solid career. At the time, one of the oldest to be put thru the academy and graduate, lol sorry about that grandma lol. All I want is to be able to return the love and take care of them both, her and my mother.
SB: So you’ve worked with George Lamond and written for Radke, been on the Billboard charts, do you like song writing or producing and working with others more and working more behind the scenes, or do you want to stay as an artist and performing?
SS: I enjoy doing all of it, everything together as a whole has been quite exciting for me, and a blessing to have those opportunities presented. Knowledge is power and to me the key in success and in life the more you learn the more you grow.
The more things you get your hands into the more you have a chance to survive in this world period. I’m a jack of all trades and determined to master them all, maybe even make it better.
SB: Where did the name Scarlett Santana come from?
SS: When signing with C&C Music Factory, Robert & I came up with Scarlett Santana.
SB: Tell us who is Jasmine Mercedes?
SS: Jasmine is my mom, my grandma, my sisters. Everything I learned by being raised by them made me who I am today. Also, I’ll always be Jasmine Aka Jasmine Mercedez, besides my name it’s what I was known as coming up as a independent artist.
SB: Do you want to concentrate on one genre and own it like Dance/Pop or will you be crossing into other genres and markets such as Spanish songs or hip hop?
SS: Everything and anything that I can get my hands on. I love all forms of music. I get a beat, it’s hot, doesn’t matter what genre, it’s like Xmas like a kid with a new toy my imagination goes crazy!
SB: For those out there that are young and want to do what you do with their life, what advice do you have?
SS: The first thing I’d say is to be ready for a roller coaster ride of your life. You need to be tough, focused and committed. You have to be tough enough to endure the bad and be able to overcome it and embrace and appreciate the good that comes with the music industry.
It’s a struggle aside from that, you must believe in yourself and your dream. Because once your dream becomes a reality, all your hard work will have paid off. Now that doesn’t mean to stop there. This is a constant grind, it’s your career, you get what you put in, and what you want is longevity. You can take a breather but keep going, make yourself the best that you can be and better.
Read up and learn every aspect of the industry from contracts to copyrights. Like I said before knowledge is power. It’s a ruthless industry out there kids, only a few you can trust and a few is an understatement, word! [In my bboy stance Mean mugging lol.]
Try as hard as you can to surround yourself with positive good people. All that hard work pays off when you establish a career and always have faith in the Man upstairs, through all of this you need Him more than anything in life.
SB: Where will I see Scarlett Santana in 5 years?
SS: Good Question! In five years I hope to be recording my 5th or 6th album and branching off into the other areas of the music industry; business ventures whether it is collaborating musically with other artists or writing for them; and making more music.
As long as the fans are listening to building an empire where I can be a support system for other artists like myself, God willing! Keep it locked and watch my journey unfold!