Exclusive: Jasmine Ortiz on Her Nostalgic Single '21'

On June 25, Jasmine Ortiz released her single “21” along with an accompanying music video. The music video for “21” was filmed at the University of Miami where Ortiz attends the Frost School of Music. With “21,” Ortiz explores the nostalgia she feels for friends and school. Over email, Showbiz Cheat Sheet sent Ortiz some questions about the single and her experience filming a music video at the University of Miami.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Jasmine Ortiz felt inspired by her friends while writing ’21’

Ortiz worked on “21” during a week-long writing session with music producer Cesar da Emperor. The singer-songwriter spent the week both writing and recording music, and “21” was the last song she made at the end of the week.

“I started out by coming up with some lyric and melody ideas for the verse, then Cesar came up with the chorus melody and I put words to it. It was a really collaborative and cohesive process,” Ortiz told Showbiz over email.

Like many around the world, Ortiz found herself needing human connection during quarantine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I remember feeling so isolated and alone during the initial quarantine that we underwent last March,” she said. “During that time I leaned very heavily on my friends and we supported each other by having zoom hangouts or FaceTime.”

Ortiz briefly moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2020 while taking classes online, and she returned to campus for her spring semester at the beginning of 2021. Her time away from her friends due to quarantine and her move to LA led to the creation of “21.”

“This song was really inspired by that transition period back into normal school life and into seeing my closest friends in person again after so long. It’s about reminiscing on our good times in the past and getting excited to make more memories in the future,” she told Showbiz.

Jasmine Ortiz filmed ’21’ at the University of Miami

Before Ortiz, the only artist ever authorized to film at the University of Miami was Drake. The rapper filmed his 2018 music video “God’s Plan” on the college campus.

“As a student at the University of Miami — and a huge Drake fan — I couldn’t see a better way to pay homage to them both than by re-creating some of my favorite elements of the ‘God’s Plan’ music video within the video for ’21.’ The scenes on campus were some of my favorites to shoot because as a rising senior those locations hold a lot of meaningful memories to me,” said Ortiz.

She continued, “It felt incredibly monumental to be able to film this love letter to my school and friends at the very locations where I truly bonded with them.”

The singer wants the song to inspire listeners

While “21” is incredibly personal for “Ortiz,” she hopes fans will be able to relate to the single’s larger message.

“What I really hope listeners take away from ’21’ is the feeling that it’s never too late to re-connect. After 10 months of being away from my college friends and campus, when we finally reconnected it felt like no time had passed at all,” Ortiz told Showbiz. “This song is both nostalgia and hope for the future personified.”

Looking toward the future, Ortiz has a number of projects in the works. Fans can look forward to a new single sometime in August as well as new live performances.

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