By Emily Gabriele | @EmilyGabriele
His name is simple, Jerry. But don’t let the simplicity of his name fool you into thinking he’s elementary. At a young age, Jerry was drawn to music, mainly through the vein of his “music father” Kevin “Kyze” Ravenell. Kyze was a well-known Hip-Hop head working most notably with N.O.R.E. in the late 90s. He served as a strong mentor for Jerry, giving him all of the right tools – both literally and figuratively – to succeed in honing his musical craft. Unfortunately, Ravenell passed away in 2011 from a tumultuous battle with cancer. His passing will forever weigh heavy on Jerry yet has served as fuel and influence for his musical career.
Okay back to the happy bits—Jerry’s music. What’s his main appeal? He is ridiculously diverse. In 2011 he released his first complete project titled, Reflections. The mixtape showcased his abilities to rap, sing and produce, but that was just the beginning for him.
Roughly two years later, Jerry released his second effort, Reflections 2. This time, his project gained more traction from critics and fans alike. Again, Jerry incorporated all of his musical abilities yet highlighted his talent to story-tell through the realm of his rap lyrics.
Now Jerry has focused in on his R&B skills. His appropriately named recent release, Transitions EP, contains five tracks that can be wholeheartedly classified as R&B. In fact, the project is slightly reminiscent of Drake’s music when he channels into R&B mode. But don’t get confused, Jerry doesn’t listen to Drake for musical influence. He commented, “Drake makes great music. I wouldn’t say I use him as inspiration though. I have a lot of artists I listen to, especially 90s R&B. But I wouldn’t say Drake is in that top list of mine.”
Transitions EP is a definite transition from Jerry’s former projects. Most of the subject matter on the tracks is heavy-handedly geared towards females. To date, the most well received track off the EP is “Say Yeah.” The song is produced by Kev Rav Jr. and has a smooth, emotional appeal.
Straying away from songs about females, Jerry’s “Utopia” is the change of pace on Transitions. “Utopia” brings another layer of reliability to the project. “I was talking to a 50-year-old about this track the other day,” Jerry commented with a light laugh. He went on to say, “I think – and I’m gonna be wrong for saying this – but I think success is somewhat of a utopia in my mind. Just to be successful and not have to worry as much as what I’m worrying about right now. I feel like a lot of problems that I’m having right now come from the fact that I’m not where I want to be. So I think utopia is just being successful and not having to worry about, you know, if I’m ever going to make it to a certain level or, you know, stuff like that. I can’t really name a perfect place…heaven?”
Where can you find Jerry now? This Jersey-native artist will be touring up and down the east coast showcasing his talent and continuing to build a fan base. Recently playing at The Delancey in NYC, Jerry will stray away for a moment to play a show in North Carolina the first week in August. But don’t worry; he’ll be back in NYC playing another show in August at an undisclosed venue with a well-established, undisclosed artist from the west coast. Stay tuned.