Kontrol Magazine was given the opportunity to get inside the mind of singer, songwriter, entertainer and winner of ABC’s Duets, J Rome. Picking J Rome’s brain about topics of one night stands down to what his favorite healthy food is, the interview helps to learn a great deal about the talented musical artist–not to mention, he’s hot!
Recently, J Rome was included in the number of musical artists who were asked to join Partnership for a Healthier America, supported by First Lady Michelle Obama, in preparing an album to promote healthy eating. J Rome sings a duet with TV One’s R&B Diva, Monifah, on a song called “Veggie Luv”. As a vegetarian, I’m a firm supporter of building a healthier America. It’s great to see such a talented group of artists spreading the word in such a unique way. J Rome shared that the album is catered towards children and their song “Veggie Luv” is about children falling in love with their vegetables. “It was a really fun song,” he shared. He also shared that he just got word that they will be performing the duet at the White House soon.
After giving some information on how great of an idea he feels promoting a healthier America is, we asked J Rome is he had any particular dietary regimens he commits to. J Rome shared that often, accompanied by his manager and other industry members they take on a paleo diet or a ‘caveman diet’, as he referred to it. They refrain from eating any processed foods. He also shared that he doesn’t eat red meats because he isn’t too fond of the taste, but that he loves chicken, lean meats, spinach, and anything wrapped in bacon. He admitted that [like any other diet] the paleo diet does take discipline, but after a while you ultimately get used to it.
What many may not know about the talented Duets winner is that he faced a battle of life and death during a tonsillectomy. When we asked him about this experience, J Rome shared:
“I almost died from that operation. I remember being in the emergency room and praying that God would keep me awake and that I wouldn’t drown in my own blood. From that whole experience, it took me about 2 months to even be able to sing one note. With time, I began to sing. I would sing higher.. and higher.. and higher! I was shocked, like I couldn’t do that before! Not only did God give me my speaking voice and life, but he also gave me my gift back but he gave it to me times ten. And since then, I promised God that I would never open my mouth to sing and not mean every word that was coming out of my mouth.”
As many of us have heard from his YouTube videos, J Rome has performed some incredible covers. J Rome told us that there are three musical artists that he has looked up to since he was a little boy that inspire his music–Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston. He credits Whitney Houston with teaching him how to sing power notes and where to sing them from as he often mimicked her singing voice at a young age.
J Rome describes his experience on ABC’s Duets as the most significant and influential experience of his life. “I literally wrote a song with John Legend and not very many people can say that. He actually requested to be in my session, which was amazing, and then we came up with this song and I’m very excited about everything. God is really good.” I asked if he had any words of encouragement to others who are contemplating following their dreams as he did and he encouraged everyone with a dream to never give up. “To all those with a dream in life, just keep going because you have that dream for a reason and it’s not to be quiet. If you have a voice and a passion keep going because it’s only for you to understand where you are going.” He also gave us a true example of that very promise he made to God. In reflecting on a performance he did recently for our troops, he shared that this particular performance was his favorite to date because “..you could see the love that they had for just being away from the war. We were sitting there holding instruments and they had weapons on their hips. We’re performing and dancing with them and it really put life in perspective that tomorrow is not promised so whatever it is that you have going on in your world that is negative, separate yourself from that activity and let the people that you love know that you love them because this could be the last time you skype them or say hey–this could be the last Christmas. You could see the tears in their eyes, the smiles on their faces, the joy in there hearts from us coming out and performing for them.”
Even if we didn’t necessarily have a one night stand with them, I’m sure more than a few of us have met someone we shouldn’t have let walk away. In J Rome’s hit ‘One Night Stand’ the artist is singing about just that, which left us wondering if the song was inspired from a real life experience. He laughed as soon as I asked and then hesitated to say “You know what, I’ll be honest, it was a real life experience. She was American, but we were in Germany and I wish I had never let her go. It was definitely one of those moments where you meet somebody and it was only a one night stand because I had to leave, but we had a great day. It wasn’t just a “one night stand” we laughed, we talked, we joked, but I had to leave. I wish I would have spoke up for myself and got her number so we could have talked later.” Unfortunately he never got back in touch with her, but said that maybe she’d grab a copy of Kontrol Magazine someday and see how much he enjoyed what they shared.
Furthering the love life discussion, I asked if he considered himself the romantic type among that ladies and he laughed again. He shared that despite his charm and charisma on stage, he finds himself to be very shy outside of music. “Unless I really know you, I’m not a big talker. I’m an introvert by nature.” He said he finds it funny that he can look at himself one way and people perceive him completely different than he would. In the video for his latest single ‘Whatever U Like’, J Rome definitely hits the role of a ladies’ man on the head. After learning that he views himself differently than what’s depicted in what we see of him performance-wise he said, “in the [‘Whatever U Like’] video I’m just having a good time because I knew the girls and they were cool. They would laugh and kept telling me to be sexy and I kept saying ‘I don’t know how to be sexy’. I don’t consider myself to be–let me put it this way… any vision I have in my head, I do it. I can be charismatic, but I don’t really think of myself as a ladies’ man. I don’t know,” he laughed. Be sure to check out the official video for his new hit single ‘Whatever U Like’, The Official J Rome Website and to follow J Rome on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.