Tahu Jessica Aponte, Deemi, was born in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York. A Puerto Rican American, Deemi started building up her musical drive when at 7, she won a neighborhood talent show singing Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All." Her drive to become a musician became formal at thirteen when she enrolled in Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan.
Despite her desire for a singing career, Deemi had to take a new direction when she became pregnant at seventeen. With her first child, Nathan, Deemi transferred to another high school to finish her studies. However, she became pregnant with her second child, a daughter named Felicity, and Deemi dropped out of high school.
Moving with the father of her children to Richmond, Virginia, Deemi's relationship with the man was strained. Her children's father would abuse Deemi, pushing, choking and hitting her. While living in Virginia, she was made a prisoner in her own home. The man wouldn't let her go out or make friends, and his abuse grew more severe.
Deemi finally could not take it any more and in 2000, she left Virginia to return to New York City. The children's father was arrested for drug dealing shortly after and was imprisoned for two years (after which, he was killed in January 2004 in a drug-related incident). Deemi pushed to rebuild her own life, renting an apartment and working as a Dentist's assistant. With the return to New York, Deemi's love for music soon resurfaced.
Her musical pursuit started with a girl group called DNA that was comprised of Deemi and some friends from her neighborhood. While performing at a gathering at one of the member's homes, Deemi attracted the attention of producer Chris Styles who signed Deemi to his company, Dangerous LLC.
Working with Styles, Deemi teamed up with Bruce Waynne of Midi Mafia and recorded a demo. The demo however was rather generic and so, Deemi tried singing about her own struggles. This more emotionally driven music struck a chord and Deemi was signed to Atlantic Records.
At Atlantic, Deemi recorded Soundtrack of My Life, an album which describes Deemi's struggles up to this point. Examples of the album's personal reflections include "How Do I," in which she describes the suffering of physical abuse and "I Don't Care" where she talked about love with an incarcerated man. The album has yet to see an actual release.