Jashi Bands is just your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican rapper from the Bronx. His music mostly touches on mental health including his own and those around him. He failed out of college senior year and moved back home to find what he wanted to do with his life.
Welcome to Mollie’s World (The Breezy Says Hot Seat), Jashi Bands
BS: What’s your name and tell us a little bit about yourself.
JB: My name is Joshua Toledo. Just your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican from Bronx, NY born and raised. I’m a big big nerd when it comes to anime, comics and other cartoons. Raised by my mom, grandmother and step dad. I have two little sisters.
BS: Where are you from? And what affect does that have on your music?
JB: I’m from NYC which is a huge influence on my writing style, my motivation for the music, the type of sound my music has and the experiences I choose write about.
BS: What was highest and lowest point in your career?
JB: I don’t have either of those yet since I’m still building the foundation for everything. The journey feels like climbing a mountain at this point. Every new accomplishment, such as a music video, new merch product, and song everyone loves is another ledge for me to grab onto to climb.
BS: How do you separate your personal life from your music life and how does how does the music industry affect your personal life?
JB: Right now in my career the two go hand in hand. I’m a newer act so it’s my responsibility to create content to engage with fans and make them feel like they’re a part of the process. So they will want to see me in the studio, at the concert, and/or giving my opinion on something. Since I’m an independent and building my fanbase, the only thing I can say about the music industry is that it’s definitely weird for someone like me, whose a private person around strangers, to be sharing all this personal content that isn’t the music. I find trouble crossing the line between keeping things private and putting on IG live for all to see. These are weird times.
BS: What project/track means the most to and which project/track are you proudest of?
JB: I think it changes with every song I make. Some tracks I really love but I know the public won’t ever hear. So I may love it but it’s not something I can put out and say “Yeah I put my all into that track. I’m proud of the way it came out.” A lot of people like “Smile” off my first mixtape and I have some tracks in the truck for my upcoming album.
BS: Let’s talk about your latest record/visual ” If You Disagree” BLM…what made you take a stand and show your support?
JB: The answer is simple, I have empathy for my people. Anyone with any resemblance of empathy and a brain can see the racial tension and injustice built up over YEARS.
I was in 2nd grade when Sean Bell was shot 51 one times. The newspaper was taped up to our closets and I remember thinking, “that’s a lot of bullets for someone on his way to his wedding.” I was six.
A big problem with today is the numbness we as a collective in this country choose to take part when racial or socioeconomic injustice occurs. Most of us continue with our day with “thoughts and prayers”. We go to work, take care of our kids, hang out with friends etc. We talk about these incidents, debate even, but until recently, not much radical action was being taken and this isn’t to put blame on anyone (except capitalism.)
I decided to write “If You Disagree” because an anger would build inside of me when I would debate with an ignorant individual about the BLM matters. Because anger built inside of me from seeing the actions of policemen/women against my people. Tear gas, beating people senseless on camera and even the saboteurs who loot to give the protestors a bad name. It also inspired me to see
BS: There is a general consensus that Latinos don’t support the Black struggle, where do you think that comes from?
JB: To be honest, I think it goes both ways. Both the Latino and Black communities seek support from each other because we all have Black blood in our veins and racists see us the same anyway. The disconnect happens when ignorant Latino’s, for lack of a better term, act up. Some Latino’s believe they aren’t black and then carry that ignorance with pride. In my opinion those ignorant Latino’s are few and far between. Every Hispanic friend or family member I know supports the movement and acknowledges the black struggle.
However, there Latino’s that feel the Black community doesn’t reciprocate support we give them in times like these. There was no rioting or protestors for the Hispanic kids ICE detention. There’s no protests for the kids that went missing under ICE custody. I’ve had Latino friends and family members express that when something like a George Floyd or Trayvon Martin happens, the Latino community is right there to back them up; however when something tragic is happening/happens to us there’s mass tweets about it, but there’s no protests etc.
You also have to take into account that the Hispanics who aren’t born here or didn’t go to school in America aren’t taught about the Black plight in their schools, so they might be ignorant to it when they move over here.
LET’S PAUSE AND CHECKOUT “If You Disagree” [BLM]
BACK TO THE HOT SEAT
BS: What type of feedback have you been getting since the release of this project?
JB: A lot of people loved it. They loved the message and the visuals from the protests. Several of my friends who went to the protests and dealt with being maced and tear gassed all loved the song.
BS: How do you plan to keep supporting the movement?
JB: Keep signing petitions and donating to bail out those who’ve been arrested at protests. I would go to the protests myself but if I catch covid and bring it home, my family might NOT be able to fight it and I can’t take that risk.
BS: What is the hardest part of the music industry?
JB: Getting into it. It’s definitely a grind as an unsigned talent who’s trying to make their own way in the game. You have to find your sound, build your fan base, learn new flows, pay for studio time, pay for videos, and pay for promotion etc. All while trying to live your normal life. As a creative in general it always feels like you’re balancing plates on sticks, like in the cartoons.
BS: What are your thoughts on how the rap game has changed?
JB: A lot of it has changed for the good because now there’s more money in it, it’s easier to put music out, and a lot easier to build your fan base thanks to social media etc. Unfortunately, those same reasons changed the game for the worse. Since it’s so easy to start a music career, there is a plethora of artists who sound the same, and don’t really do it for the love of the process or the game. Since there is more money involved it brings anyone and everyone with a mic and auto tune. The Music Industry is just one of those situations where you have to take the good with the bad.
BS: Who or what has the biggest impact on your career?
JB: I would say my best friend who I grew up with since Kindergarten and my late grandmother. He’s my biggest supporter and critic. If my music doesn’t impress him then I have to go back to the lab. My grandmother was a such pillar of support, love and strength and when she passed my heart broke in 100 ways. All that pain is channeled into my lyrics.
BS: What can we look forward to seeing in the future from you?
JB: I am working on an album with no title as of right now. I’m also working on new merchandise ideas and clothing to put out. To stay tuned follow me on all my socials.
Connect with Jashi Bands