The joyful and beautiful Haitian-American Starlet Jennaske, aka Ske, is a hip-hop emcee, television personality, and choreographer from Queens, New York. Known for her brash lyrical freestyles and humorous banter on social media, Jennaske amassed a fanbase that spans over millions of adoring fans throughout the world.
Raven Paris: I seen the interview and freestyle that you did on shade 45 in 2017, and you killed it! We see people on social media and instantly think their success came over night, which clearly is not true because that was in 2017 and now we’re in 2021. How long have you actually been doing this rap thing?
Jennaske: Going on four or five years now. I can honestly say that I didn’t start to take it serious until the last two years. When COVID came around, it was so much going on which caused a major shift because, you know, I am independent. Like, if you think success comes overnight, think again. If you’re lucky to make it overnight, God bless you, but it’s honestly not overnight. It’s trials and tribulations and you have to go crazy for like a long period of time.
Raven Paris: I feel like a lot of us had to learn how to pivot. What were some ways you had to learn how to pivot during this quarantine being an independent artist, still trying to maneuver through the industry?
Jennaske: Well, um, COVID kinda had me depressed because I was dealing with a lot of deaths. COVID was a setback for me. When my birthday came in December, I was like, no, I gotta get back to Ske, I owed it to myself to go crazy hard. You know what I’m saying? I needed to start dressing the part and start acting the part. In my mind, I’m like so humble, like I knock myself down, and it keeps me in tune. But then again, it’s like, I’m in my head, doubting myself, you know? Cause I’m knocking myself down all the time. So now I’m on some, like, no, you’re going to be a star so I’m more focused and so into everything now.
Raven Paris: Speaking of being a star, You went from being a star behind the scenes, to now getting so much media attention. How does it feel to now be getting attention, as the star you been knew you were throughout these years?
Jennaske: You know, what’s crazy? I don’t see myself as a star yet. I feel like, I have so much things I need to do. I won’t feel that I’m a star-star until I get a Grammy or I’m like number one on Billboard. I have crazy, high expectations of myself. People will see me like, Oh my gosh, you was on television, meanwhile, I’m just like, I could do so much better. I’m so hard on myself and that’s what I’m trying to work on. It’s kinda weird because I don’t really look at my accomplishments, as accomplishments. I’m so focused on reaching something so far ahead, like it’s crazy. So technically, I don’t even see myself as a star. I still see myself up and coming. I still need more exposure and I still need a hit record.
Jennaske: Last year, my plan was to drop three songs, keep pushing those and see how that goes. That tactic didn’t work. So, um, this year, I’m just dropping singles until something hits; until every song hits a hundred K within a month. I think, Grind Don’t Stop is so dope but it’s taking longer to hit that hundred K mark; so now I’m going to drop sway. My plan is to keep the consistency and the momentum going. I feel like I’m so dope and the content that I put out is quality but it’s kind of hard because on the back end you do need a crazy marketing budget. The marketing budget is what people don’t explain to you guys. It’s not just social media. So what I’m going to do is just keep flooding with the music and work on my marketing as I go, you know?
Raven Paris: If I got a magic wand and whatever you wished for, I could make it happen tomorrow, how would you see yourself music wise? Do you have any Grammys? Are you on the billboard chart? Is your music being played in movies? Like what are those music goals?
Jennaske: Um, so, okay… here’s the thing, I want music to be my stepping stone. I act, I’m also a choreographer and I’m a dancer. I could get into acting right now as we speak. I know I can get casted on these Netflix shows, but I don’t want to be deep into the acting world, just yet. I personally feel like it’s so hard for me to do this music. I gotta get Music done first and everything else is going to follow, easily. Then, that’s when a Grammy comes in. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a Grammy for music. It could be a Grammy for all around entertainment. Receiving a Grammy will make me feel amazing, like the hard work was worth it, you know what I’m saying?
Raven Paris: Before the music, you were known for dancing for artists such as: Remy Ma, 50 cent and some other big names. With your new visuals that are coming out, will we see more of that Ske?
Jennaske: So when I was in my bag with dancing, I was into Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and artists like that. We’re in a whole different music era now. The vibrations are completely different. Dancing is different. I was so in love with crumping, freestyling and just going crazy. I loved the rawness in that era. Things are kind of different now so I’m just working on creating music that fits the wave. I’m doing what I need to do, to get my foot in the door. Once I get my foot in the door, trust me, I promise you, I’m going to be bringing all that back. I want to make more music like that, that I can choreograph to but that’s not the wave right now. So it’s like, you gotta bite the bullet and do what you need to do, to make sure you’re being heard and once you get that platform to be heard, then you can do whatever you want to do.
Raven Paris: I felt that, that kind of flows into my next question. Do you ever feel pressured to be something that you’re not, in order to fit a certain stereotype? or feel pressured by the men in the industry who always have a say on what a woman in the industry should be or how she should represent herself?
Jennaske: You know, it’s like a never ending thing with that. It comes with being apart of the entertainment industry. You’re always going to be under pressure on your looks, on how you move, and how you portray yourself. It’s just always something that comes with this industry. I’ve just learned to shut it off. Last year, I was barely posting on Instagram and then I was just like, this is my job, what am I doing? I was just so annoyed, by it all. Everything has pros and cons but I feel like this is the biggest con in the industry. These girls out here have these big fake booties meanwhile, I’m just a natural girl. I’m slim thick, period but I got a little belly. As soon as I pop out, they asking am I pregnant and I be like, what the hell? Like, no, this is just how a natural female would look if she got a little meat on her. As an artist, I’m portrayed to be perfect; and as much as I don’t want to do that, it’s like, it makes sense to because every single artist you see that has made it has this perfect appearance. Feeling pressured as a woman in the industry, it’s like a never ending thing with that.
Raven Paris: Your Haitian heritage is no secret… can you briefly educate us on the beauty of your culture and ways that you plan on basically expanding that to the mainstream?
Jennaske: I want to be one of the first Haitian artists to really break through so I can give these Haitian parents, like leeway with their kids. When I started rapping, it was really hard on my mother because all she knew was school. In our culture, you can only be successful with school. Once I break through the industry, coming from a strict household, I feel like it’s gonna give my heritage and every kid, who’s Haitian American or mostly Caribbean, extra hope. I want them to feel like if Ske could do it, I can do it too, you know what I’m saying? I feel like if I break through, it is going to mean so much to a lot of people. People don’t understand how crazy it is being raised in strict, Caribbean households, where they want to control the narrative of their kids’ lives forever. It sucks because, kids are forced into being doctors, and they’re not really happy, you know what I’m saying? I came from an upbringing where if it’s not school, then you’re not going to make it. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I talk so negatively about myself, all the time. I keep myself so humble, but it’s like, not cool. They scare you from being different and thinking outside the box, you know? And that sucks. I don’t want no one to go through what I had to go through, you know? it held me back. I just hope that when I make it, it opens a lot of doors for every Caribbean kid with a parent who is strict and feel like school is the only way out.
Raven Paris: Last question, What is something about Jenneske that people may not know about you?
Jenneske: Something that people don’t know about me is that i’m really low key. I want to get married before I have a kid. When a woman walk in a room with a ring on her finger, It’s a whole different vibration. Everyone is becoming baby mamas; there’s nothing wrong with it but I want to be different. So that’s one thing that people don’t know about me; I actually want to get married first before I have a kid. Like that’s the only traditional thing about me.
Raven Paris: I love that 110%. Tell us, how can we support you?
Jenneske: So to support me, I would really appreciate if you guys go and buy all of my songs, they only a dollar. It’s about 10 or 11 records on there, which would be $10- $11 spent from you to support me. That would mean a lot. I ain’t got no onlyfans, know what I’m saying? I ain’t got no sugar daddy, you know what I’m saying? I’m barely dating anybody, I’ve been talking to myself lately, so period. Go check those out!