Once you hit play on Jastin Martin’s music, it’s hard to stop listening.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Jastin is a trap-soul singer, songwriter, and producer, boasting an undeniably soothing voice that separates herself from other artists in the music industry. Growing up to the likes of Bob Marley, Lenny Kravitz and Evanescence, the rising star pulls from a melting pot of influences — all of which mold her into the artist she is today.
In describing herself, she states she’s “extremely ambitious, as well as extremely outgoing. Very much a people person. Very free- spirited. I flow with the days.”
Fast forward to 2023, Jastin Martin unveils her highly-anticipated debut album titled Miss Me Yet? Clocking in at 10 tracks, the project perfectly showcases her minimalist approach, giving fans a front row seat into her world over evocative instrumentation.
AllHipHop spoke with Jastin Martin, who was in high spirits in her hometown of Houston. Read below as we discuss her roots in Houston, favorite artists, signing to Def Jam, her debut album, studio essentials, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Jastin Martin: I usually always like to say a mix between R&B and trap-soul. Neo-soul. It’s a mesh.
AllHipHop: Being from Houston, talk about your roots in the city. There’s a lot of music culture out there.
Jastin Martin: So much, I love my city. I love being from Houston. I always say I’ll probably never move away. [laughs] But yes, so many different sounds. We have the Beyonce’s, the Travis Scott’s, the Don Toliver’s. It’s very easy to be heavily influenced by all the different sounds. I grew up listening to a lot of different music too, just influenced by what all my family was listening to. It mixed in with me also me from Houston.
AllHipHop: What was the moment you fell in love with music?
Jastin Martin: I loved music since under the age of eight years old. I remember I used to go to church. I was super young, seven or eight. I literally would cry when the choir would sing, because it’d touch my spirit. That’s around the time when I started writing songs and playing instruments. I played instruments pretty much my whole life until I turned 15. I got to high school, then I switched to choir. So I fell in love with music at a really young age.
AllHipHop: Who are your favorite artists?
Jastin Martin: One of my favorite artists is my labelmate, which is crazy. It’s Jhene Aiko.
AllHipHop: Talk about signing to Def Jam, that’s huge.
Jastin Martin: It’s so crazy for me. It’s still surreal, because Jhene is now my labelmate. I remember growing up, I was around the age of 10 when my mom put me on to her. The first song I ever heard by Jhene was “Stranger,” it was so different. I fell in love with her sound and sonically. It’s crazy to be signed to Def Jam, but also to know that some of the most amazing and talented artists are my labelmates is even more crazy to me.
AllHipHop: How did you find your way to Def Jam? Or how do they find you?
Jastin Martin: I posted a singing video. Funny story, I’ma try to make it quick. I’ve been building all of my social media platforms since I was in middle school, grade school. I was posting covers and remixes of me singing and I built my Instagram. One day, my Instagram got deleted. I was heartbroken because that’s where the labels and everybody was discovering me and reaching out. Because they were following on Instagram. So when it deleted, I was like oh my God. I made a new Instagram and I only had a thousand followers. I thought I’m never going to get seen, and that’s how I was found. Somebody that posted me off the smaller Instagram was followed by my A&R that first found me. That was crazy too. Alignment is crazy.
AllHipHop: Why did your Instagram get deleted?
Jastin Martin: Somebody reported it. It was one of those scams where it was “send me this much money or I’m reporting your Instagram.” I guess they reported it so many times, it deleted. It was crazy.
AllHipHop: God got your back though!
Jastin Martin: Right, exactly. [laughs] I was heartbroken girl.
AllHipHop: Is Jastin Martin your real name?
Jastin Martin: Yeah, mmhmm. It is. I wish I would’ve went by Jas. Jas is my childhood nickname. Everybody calls me Jas. I’m like, why did I go by my whole name? [laughs]
AllHipHop: Congrats on the release of your debut album, Miss Me Yet? How are you feeling?
Jastin Martin: Yes, it’s my first debut album. I feel so good about it. It’s getting so much love and so much great feedback. I’m really happy. I also got to get that off mentally too. Now when I write these days, I don’t even write heartbreak songs and sad songs. I’m in a whole nother space, I think it’s because I finally got that off. Just going with the wind.
AllHipHop: What was the creative process behind the project?
Jastin Martin: The creative process was my usual process. I have a couple of different processes. Three things I would do in the creation of Miss Me Yet?, I’d either go to the park with my guitar, start from scratch and write. That’s why quite a few of the songs on the album are just guitar. It’s acoustic because that’s how I made it. I fell in love with it just like that, super simple with no drums added. Also I’d write some songs in the bathroom. The remainder of the songs, I’d write on a rooftop, looking at my city downtown.
AllHipHop: Why’d you name is Miss me Yet?
Jastin Martin: Basically the title, there’s two sides. There’s the side where you see now, I’m doing good. I’m signed, I’m getting discovered. I’m moving up. I’m chasing my dreams, gaining my success. Do you miss me now? You wish you was here, you wish you could been a part. Then it’s the other side that’s do you miss me? I might miss you, depending on if you say you miss me. It’s two sides: the emotional side and the ego.
AllHipHop: The title track is “Miss Me Yet?” Did a certain someone inspire that?
Jastin Martin: Definitely. The whole album mostly was about one specific relationship and experience.
AllHipHop: Does he know about him?
Jastin Martin: I’m pretty sure. [laughs] I’m almost positive that they do.
AllHipHop: Do you have a favorite song off the project?
Jastin Martin: Yeah, my favorite song is “Up.” It was the last song that I made. I always like to throw out there that I made it on my Instagram Live, so it’s still up on my page when I first made that in my house from scratch. It’s my favorite one. It hits the hardest. It hits the most for me.
AllHipHop: Three things you need in the studio at all times?
Jastin Martin: Girl my red wine. Sweet red wine. Hot chips are my thing. Every studio I go to, they know I have red wine in the back and Hot Cheetos. [laughs] And my phone, because that’s where my Notes are. My lyrics.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Jastin Martin: I really want people to be able to relate and feel it how their spirit wants to receive it. Feel it because I know how I feel and how other people’s music makes me feel. For example, Jhene’s music. I want it to be received however their spirit receives it.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you’re not doing music?
Jastin Martin: I love to workout. I’m a full workout head. I also box, that’s super fun for me. I like to go to the park. I live by the park, so I walk to the park. Play the guitar. I know that’s still music, but my guitar. That’s it.
AllHipHop: Talking about linking with Maleek Berry on “Replacement.”
Jastin Martin: That was so crazy. Malik is one of my favorite Afro artists. I’ve been listening to him for years. Never once would I have thought that I’d have a song with him, so that’s crazy. I want to step into Afro because I’m super influenced by and love Afro. I made the song, now who could I get? What Afro artists would even want to get on the song? Because I’m a little American artist that just signed. Nobody really… and he jumped on. I’m super grateful for that, because he didn’t have to do that.
AllHipHop: How’d you guys get in touch?
Jastin Martin: See, my label. They’re good friends, so it worked out.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Jastin Martin: I do have some goals. I’m vlogging behind-the-scenes and stepping into a new era of myself. That’s something that I love. I’m obsessed with growing and changing and transforming, constantly changing. One of our goals is to really start incorporating dance, because I made the soul ballads and the sad songs and heartbreak songs. But behind-the-scenes, I’m stepping out of that and stepping into more feel-good music and more sexy music. Just incorporate dance and yes, some some fun, exciting things. So be looking forward to
AllHipHop: Anything else you’re excited for?
Jastin Martin: I’m also excited, there is a deluxe version of my album that’s coming out very soon. It’s going to be pretty fun. Got some surprises coming for that too.
AllHipHop: Give us a feature!
Jastin Martin: [laughs] So we gon’ do a remix. We gotta do a remix. I’m also going to extend some of the favorites that are super short, because I’m the queen of doing one minute songs. One of the favorite ones, we’re going to extend and make it longer.