When called to professional music ministry, Jasmine Guerrero was apprehensive.
“I am a pretty anxious person,” she admitted. She was plagued with “so many questions and doubts, seasons of trust and HUGE steps of faith.”
First it was simply wrapping her head around the idea of making a living doing what she loves. Then it was sitting down with music execs that would tell her she’s not good enough. She needed to find herself and confidently pursue her niche, regardless of others’ predictions.
Two years after releasing her kick-starter funded EP “Rough Cut,” Jasmine is one the most exciting emerging Christian artists, trailblazing pop synthesizer music mixed with worship lyrics. She’s hopscotching the globe on the basis of those five songs, all of them catchy, to performing in concerts anywhere and everywhere
While living in Santa Barbara, Jasmine was birthed musically out of the prolific Isla Vista worship group connected with Isla Vista Church, which started in 2002 with Jesus-loving college students reaching out to fellow students at Friday night beachfront parties.
“I think the biggest difficulty to breaking into the music industry is YOURSELF,” she wrote in an email. “You really need to know yourself and what you have to offer and what your non-negotiables are. You do not want to find yourself in a meeting with a bunch of industry people who are telling you who you need to be. You need to come in with strong vision and a strong “why”. For some people that is really easy but some people it takes a while and it takes a journey either way to know yourself and what you have to offer.”
Jasmine started attending church with her family in Torrance, CA, when she was six or seven. The family got saved, and she went along for the ride. Immediately, she was drawn to music and dancing.
“Family was always a fun loving place,” she says. “A place I was always welcome to express myself in the arts. My family encouraged my singing and dancing around the house and I was majorly involved in musical productions and I came alive in those plays!”
A curious tyke, she listened intently to talk about Jesus.
“My Sunday school teacher asked if anyone would like to know more about Jesus and I shot my hand up,” she says. “Even at a young age I was drawn to having a connection with God and his friendship and protection. So I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart and asked him to forgive me and asked him to be the Lord of my life and he did and he still is.”
It wasn’t until she enrolled in Westmont College, a Christian institution of higher learning in Santa Barbara, that she began to thrive in academics, she says. She loved the communications major.
Ironically, a dark time brought her greatest growth.
“I went through a really tough year my sophomore year of college and that was a year I really learned about the Holy Spirit. Before that year I always knew the Holy Spirit was a part of God and part of the Holy Trinity but I didn’t really understand the role.” Jasmine says. “God did a work on my heart that year and I had an amazing friend and counselor walk me through who God could be for me in trouble and trial.
“I learned I was believing terrible lies about myself. The enemy was feeding me these lies my whole life and I was living like they were true. God came in and rescued me with his incredible beautiful truth that I am a child of God, that I am good enough, that I am not perfect but I am perfected in Christ. When I started to realize who truly God was for me and how the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit among us comforting us, teaching us, filling us, working through us, and guiding us through our days, I became empowered and from that moment on I was never the same and my life has never been the same.”
Her earthy alto voice is a refreshing break from the Cherry Coke sweet female voices that predominate the Christian music industry. Her music is experimental, but never so much so as to lose the alluring melody in some modernist mush.
To venture into music ministry is to live a dangerous dream. You MAY make it big. Or you may languish living on canned foods for years and years.
“It is extremely terrifying putting yourself out there for the world to hear you and possibly judge you harshly.” Jasmine says. “It is difficult to make music for a music market that doesn’t really exist yet. My music is like pop, electronic, worship music. There are not a lot of people doing that successfully. But I continue to create this music because I have a strong vision to where it doesn’t matter if I make millions of dollars. It is all about being obedient to what I believe God has asked me to do.”
It’s when you don’t get a platinum album that you seek God to find the true reason for living within the music ministry.
“I have such a PASSION for people to encounter God in music. I just want them to feel comforted and known and seen in my music,” Jasmine says. “I want them to experience what I so beautifully experienced with God years ago when I first prayed and KNEW that he was listening and answering my prayers. My WHY for music is to simply glorify God and his greatness and beauty on the earth and to free people to believe and glorify Him too.”
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
Michael Ashcraft pastors the Lighthouse Church in Van Nuys. Most of the pictures come from her Instagram page.