The 'Inspiration' To Succeed: A Q+A with Jeron Bro
After weeks and weeks (and more weeks) of trying to figure out when to get this Q&A done, it finally happened via email.
Jeron Bro's patience with me with my constantly changing schedule speaks volumes about him. His music does the same. The emcee and producer's music is nothing less than 'inspiring.' With the various things that have happened to him in the past and the current state of the world we live in, his energy and faith shine brightly in the powerful words that he shares in his music. Get motivated and learn more about him by checking out the Q&A below:
What encouraged you to start rapping?
Well, I grew up in a home full of soul music and was so drawn to the early Motown Records, I wanted to sing like them. (Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and the Jacksons, etc.…) So I started writing songs in elementary school. But all my peers dressed, talked and looked like me so I gravitated to them. Eventually, I found my cousin’s notebook and asked him about the big words in it. I had never seen someone from our background write so much…he told me they were raps, started giving me opportunities to rap and a sort of melodic aggressive lyricism became my style.
I noticed that a lot of your energy is positive, from your single, "Inspiration," to your tweets. How do you remain positive? What fuels you?
I’m both an emotional person and people person, so faith, friendships, and family really inspire me. When I think of my life having meaning, someone needing my help, or just how interesting life is…I tend to become really inspired to live life to the fullest.
Speaking of "Inspiration," it is such an upbeat and positive song, especially for black people in the second verse. How have the current events affected your music and how you live your life?
The current events have been really traumatic for me…that wasn’t expected. I’ve participated in some marches and been trying to raise awareness of life for minorities. I think talks of unity, diversity, and prayer are great…but, I don’t want our communities to avoid conflict resolution through talking out our differences.
Sometimes I find that a lot of songs with positive messages lack in production (particularly trendy production), while songs with good/trendy production have "empty" lyrics. Is bridging that gap important to you?
What’s interesting is that some of the most innovative ideas derive from disadvantaged peoples, i.e. hip hop culture. But, they go on to receive commercial success and gain resources. So, many artists who may be closest to the culture may lack resources and have less attractive sound…especially when mainstream media is the standard. It’s really important to me, especially when planning a project or helping other artists. I don’t want comparison or disadvantage to be a depressant. Overall, I tell under-resourced artists to not let disadvantage stop them from working hard at being innovative or being themselves. Instead, work hard at innovation and being you. Resources should highlight what’s already there.
What's the best music (or music industry) advice you've received thus far?
I read a lot of books, so I could go in here…but, I’ll keep it slight. I recently heard a former football player say he was selected to become a starting player simply because the others weren’t available. Then, he said, “Your job is to prepare as best you can and show up. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to show up.”
What's your favorite song or verse from yourself? From another artist?
From a new song on my album called “Samson,” there’s just this heartfelt verse that says:
"I’m still here
Breathing because of you bro.
Leaning on you bro.
We rise and we fall
Ain't it true bro.
But if this is my last ride
My last war
I’ll die with you bro."
I recorded that verse after receiving some life-threatening news from a doctor. I asked myself, "if this was my last message to those who’ve been there for me, what would I say?" [EXCLUSIVE: Read the story behind the song here.]
Is there anything we should look forward to in the future from you?
I’m really excited to release my first album project in digital stores called Jeron Bro 1.0. It’s like a collection of underdog stories and it represents my background, so I hope people feel it. And I plan to release more, so stay tuned!