It’s impossible to make a list of young Tampa Bay area musicians worth watching and not include composer and multi-instrumentalist Jasmine Deja. And while CL has devoted a lot of ink to the 24-year-old’s many projects (she was featured in our Music Issue just two years ago), trying to keep up with the kid who learned how to play drums in fourth grade is hard to do.
“I didn’t have many friends and realized you couldn’t do too much drumming by yourself,” Deja — who is currently part of Soapbox Soliloquy, Sonic Graffiti and Gay St. Pete Housewives — told CL. “So naturally I started teaching myself how to play guitar and record.”
MUSIC ISSUE 2018
Meet 30 young Tampa Bay musicians who are (re)making a scene
Before recording the upcoming Soapbox Soliloquy album, Deja dove into the stuff that David Bowie and Brian Eno did in the late 70s, but she's been influenced by hip-hop, too.
"Those albums really opened my mind to a different form of album composition I’d always been fond of but before then didn’t really know it’s origin story," she said of Bowie and Wilson. "Then I’ve also come to appreciate the production value of modern hip hop music, such as Kanye’s recent collabs with Pusha T and Kid Cudi. While their songs are obviously quite different than mine, I feel like they’re ultimately who’s working on pushing the boundaries of production forward in a way that rock, lately at least, seems working to do just the opposite."
Now, Deja — who grew up in what she called the “sterile” suburb of Wesley Chapel — just wishes she could make an album that was “half as fire” as the Chasing Infinity released by Joe Suel (aka Gushing) of St. Petersburg.
Deja’s energy and adoration of the local scene is infectious, and she’ll take that spirit on the road this fall when Sonic Graffiti heads west to tour in support of a double-LP it recorded at Memphis' legendary Sun Studios.
"Locally there’s lots of great talent that inspire me to push forward, to name a few there’s: Luxury Mane, who seems completely incapble of writing a bad song, PLEASURES, who’s one of those bands that really raise the bar for what it means to be a hustler, blowing minds across our beautiful nation, and a more recently emerging favorite, Gushing," she said. "[Gushing is] blurring the lines between man and robot while writing songs that just get lodged into your brain for days just to ooze out of your mouth in the hours to come."
Listen to some of her work by visiting soapboxsoliloquy.bandcamp.com.