I am Jazmine Pena. Born and raised in the Bronx by a single mother who didn’t always make the right decisions. Drugs were a large factor in my mother’s life which led to us living in a rehabilitation center in Harlem for about a year so she could get clean. Living there taught me a lot about my mom, from seeing how much she loved music and singing, all the way to her weaknesses. After a few months of being clean, she relapsed, and the system placed me in foster care. I was very young and confused as to why I was always being taken away from her custody and bounced around to different homes, never in a stable place with a legit family. My aunt adopted me at the age of five, and that’s when I can say my life took a turn for the better.
As I grew older living with my aunt made me question a lot, and I missed my mother more. The only strong memory I had of my mother was her singing and dancing so that’s something I would always do and it would put me in a positive space no matter how sad I would be. I was confident and knew in my heart that I had talent, but when I sang to my peers in school and church I would get a lot of positive feedback on how good I was. That was all the reassurance I needed. From that point, I knew singing, and being the voice of those who grew up with similar situations as me, was something I was passionate about. I wanted to be one to uplift people with my voice and be a great influence. As years passed and I got more comfortable with myself and my upbringing I took that as a chance to reinvent myself as Jazzy Amra. Amra means princess in Arabic. I felt that was the perfect name for me because, despite those unfortunate events I lived through, it didn’t take away from the fact that I am royalty, I am special, I am beautiful. That is the kind of confidence I want to exude in others. Your past doesn’t make you. As of right now, I am still pursuing a singing career, and my future never looked so bright.