How Jastin Martin’s Innovative Songwriting Takes R&B By Storm

The songstress talks about how social media became a safe haven for creation

Jastin Martin’s Southern roots in Houston, Texas, influenced her essence in music. Listening to artists like Brooks & Dunn, Bob Marley and Lenny Kravitz gave her a foundation of quality notes and melodies to emulate. By 16, Martin made her first studio recordings and pursued her passion for music. As she got older, she attended HBCU Grambling State in Louisiana, where she taught herself how to produce. Like any social media-savvy Gen Z’er, she began posting original songs online and started building a following. Within Her sound felt reminiscent of Jhene Aiko and Bryson Tiller, with sprinkles of 1990s neo-soul songwriting. Martin found her voice through her self-sufficiency and realized her viral videos online became a digital diary. 

Through self-realization, she knew the time had arrived for these stories to get off the timeline and released her debut project, Miss Me Yet…Now? The album tells a story about the ups and downs Zillennials encounter when dealing with love. For Martin, she recalled a particular relationship as the backdrop for her stories. “For this album, I wasn’t scared to be vulnerable. I needed to get it out and have that last bit of closure,” Martin tells GU. “It was about a specific person, and since I’ve put the album out, I can’t even write about that relationship because the vulnerability is out, and I’m good now.” 

In her personal experiences, Martin officially cracked the code in her messaging to her listeners so they feel connected to universal stories like heartbreak or encountering your first love. “Miss Me Yet encompasses a lot of meanings,” she says. “I feel like one half is when [my ex] and I were together. I wasn’t where I am now, and now you see me doing well. Do you miss me?” Each song embodies a moment in time. The intro track, “Miss Me Yet?” flows like a freestyle as Martin sings her inner thoughts. “Baby, I been sliding/ I thought you was riding/ You said we were locked in/ Put my pride aside/ And told you I was tied in,” she sings.

As listeners transition into songs like “Wait Up,” “Weird,” and “Celebration,” there’s a sense of relatability growing in each track that helps these stories feel universal. The songstress continues her journey toward being a safe space for those navigating young relationships and the emotions that come with it. Martin caught up with GU to discuss her creative process, the album concept, and being a young producer in the industry.

Girls United: How was the process of curating the concept for this album, and how hands-on were you throughout the process?

Martin: Half of the songs I produced myself, and made them from scratch on live. I think that’s really cool because many of my supporters would say, ‘We were in the live session when you made “Up.” It’s not enough ladies who are producers in the industry, and as a woman being creative, it’s so much better to know what you feel and hear in your head and can bring it to life because you know how.

GU: What was the hardest song you produced on the project?

Martin: The hardest song was on the deluxe, “Running From Love,” because I’m still trying to get to a space where I’m confident in my baselines. Usually, I’ll make a whole beat and be like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna just let somebody else do the baseline,’ but for this song, I was like I wanted to do everything, and I did do my own baseline.

GU: Can you share a memory from the recording of your album that you will never forget?

Martin: The night I wrote “Up,” I was on live and the words flowed out of me. I just started with the guitar, did the drums, and started writing live and singing melodies. It just hit so close to home because it was so personal in that moment, and I cried [laughs].

GU: You speak a lot about how social was the space for you to create. How would you say social media helped you evolve as an artist?

Martin: Social media has played a role for me in every aspect. From me learning and getting inspired to the feedback from what I do. I give all my credit to social media because that’s how I’ve been discovered and seen.

GU: What are you most excited for people to learn about you through your music?

Martin: I’m excited for people to hear my growth. I’m obsessed with transformation and evolution, so I’m excited for my supporters to give me feedback. I read all the comments even when I shouldn’t [laughs], and my supports go so hard and are very expressive.

GU: What’s your favorite song from the project, and what’s the story behind it?

Martin: “Mean Well,” and the story behind it is that I made “Mean Well” not too long ago, and I woke up one morning and I played a piano loop that just spoke to me, and I started writing immediately. It was a song that reflected my present emotions and is one of my favorite songs.

GU: What have you learned about yourself while recording Miss Me Yet…Now?

Martin: I truly don’t know. In all honesty, while recording this album, I’ve seen growth in myself sonically and spiritually. I’m more vulnerable and learning to be very specific about my experience while also saying the right words to where everyone can relate.

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.

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