Published on May 12th, 2020 | by Percy Crawford0
Born in Germany, Bred in Miami, Jerome Melo Wants to Deliver Rap with a Message!
Jerome Melo has seen the entire world and he’s bringing those experiences to the studio with him.
As the son of a mother who served in the military for over 20-years, Jerome Melo was born and raised in Germany. At the age of 15, his mom was stationed in Miami where he currently resides and makes dope music. Melo has seen the world, literally. An experience he wouldn’t trade for the world. Miami served as a culture shock for, Jerome being that the differences from Nurnberg, Germany where he was raised were apparent. He adjusted on the fly, chased his dream and is now an artist that commands your attention. His most recent album, “Rome,” shows off his lyrical side as well as his upbeat delivery. His single, “Breakfast” is a for sure South Beach party anthem.
I had the opportunity to catch up with, J Melo who explains his journey into the rap game, why it almost didn’t happen and much more.
How are you doing, man?
Jerome Melo: I’m very grateful to still be alive. My family, everybody is good. The people that I know, some have been effected and I’m praying for everyone. But for the most part, I’m just trying to adapt. We are built for these moments. It had to get bad in order for us to see the light, but we’re here and all we can do is adapt to it. It’s just another opportunity to show what you’re worth.
What has the creative process been like for you out there in Miami?
Jerome Melo: It’s definitely been a negative side to it because most of what we do in this industry involves interaction and groups. But for the most part it’s been a great time for me to build. I just started recording. I never done that before. I knew the basics, but now I’m recording my own stuff. I’m sending it off to engineers and producers and just collaborating with people from the house. Things I wasn’t really thinking about before, but it’s definitely time to be as self-sufficient as possible. It’s definitely been a growth period for me. I’m not going to lie. It’s been amazing.
It’s always good when you can turn a bad situation into a positive or teachable tool like you seem to be doing.
Jerome Melo: Yeah for sure. My thought process then definitely wasn’t the way it is now.
You were born in Germany. What was that like for you and was it a major culture shock when you got to Florida? Also, what landed you in Miami?
Jerome Melo: I’m a military brat. My mom was in the army for 24-years. I was born in Nurnberg, which is the city I actually named my first album after. I was over there for 15-years. I moved to Miami when I was 15. It was my mom’s next duty station. Being raised overseas in general is just different. It’s an experience I feel like everyone should experience and encounter. For the most part, overseas, everybody is a lot nicer surprisingly. It’s just different. A whole different vibe, a whole different thought process and a whole different wavelength. I moved to Miami and not to get too deep or anything, but you can feel all the chaos and all the adversity in the air over here (laughing). It’s a whole different ballgame, but both sides is a good lesson good and bad.
Is it easier or better over here musically than overseas or no?
Jerome Melo: I feel like any place other than us having an advantage because if you think about it, all of the radio stations target certain songs and artists. They only target certain vibes. In other places they have a more broad selection, so you’re getting a lot of different flavors. You’re not going to like everything, but a lot of it is raw too. I definitely think it’s more complex over there. It’s just like with sports, international sports is not the NBA, but I think it’s probably harder to score internationally. They pay attention to defense over there still. The players over here are valued off of scoring. The difference is why you doing it. If you know why you’re doing something.
How did you get involved in music?
Jerome Melo: I kept seeing or hearing people recite lyrics. I kept seeing how hip-hop especially changed people’s mood. I don’t know, it’s just one of those things that goes beyond my comprehension. It’s beyond the human comprehension of just how music impacts people. It just kept coming to me. Even when I tried to ignore it. I didn’t really want to be a rapper for real. I really didn’t. Not because of lack of talent or confidence, it’s just because in this world, a lot of changes are happening, even before this quarantine that I don’t think is essential for another rapper… I don’t know. I think deep like that. In our culture, when other things don’t work out, we go to sports or turn to music. I just was overthinking everything. I feel like I’m obligated to do music in a way, regardless of what plateau I reach.
It’s all in the delivery. LeBron James isn’t just a basketball player, he chose to use his platform in other ways on top of being an amazing basketball player, so you can do the same with rap.
Jerome Melo: For sure. I had to think about those things and see it in a different perspective. I’m my hardest critic. Not to sound cocky or anything, but when I put things out, I know it’s not going to be the best in the world, but I know every time I put something out, each time it’s going to get better to the point where it’s going to be undeniable. That’s what I reach for. It’s not even about being the best. And that’s another thing that got me into music, especially now, the type of artists that we have now… anybody can do it. If you have a plan, everything is cohesive, everything makes sense and how you present yourself matches your music. If all that makes sense, you can do it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s trash. You just gotta have a good work ethic and a good team.
As I listened to your work, as I got to the, “Rome” album, I could gradually hear you getting better. I love the high energy that you bring. It’s not the pilled-out vibe.
Jerome Melo: Honestly, most of my favorite artists are like animated people, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Ludacris, and DMX. I think that’s why people like, Da Baby is winning now. In a time where it wasn’t fun. Everything was very raw. People will turn up at a party, but it wasn’t fun as far as an artist aspect. Da Baby brought fun back into it.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
Jerome Melo: Definitely expect something very impactful. Not only for me, but I plan to, everything that I put my hands on, I plan to incorporate a message behind it. Definitely collaborations with other artists; not only musicians. A lot of content with messages in it. Not only myself, but South Florida, we on to something down here, bro and sooner or later everyone is going to know.
How did you link up with Luke Cervino?
Jerome Melo: I actually met Luke through a mutual friend, Jose. He does music, he’s into business and I felt like him and Luke definitely connected off of energy and off the simple fact that, we’re all out here trying to connect the dots. He introduced me to Luke because he felt like Luke could help me out in a way. That’s what he presented it as and when I met Luke, I was seeing how I could help him. That’s the best way to really go about things. It’s not all about a benefit of an individual. I could help you out. You would never know until you ask. That’s all it is. Luke is just a great person.
No doubt. Keep me in the loop and stay in touch, brother. Anything else you want to say?
Jerome Melo: I appreciate your time, man. Continue to be safe and I hope you and yours stay out of this chaos.