Identify: FromJerome is embracing the present of being a new, growing artist

The London-raised, Nigerian-Grenadian singer discusses Bryson Tiller's influence & perfecting his craft.

FromJerome would rather not classify himself as an R&B artist. Part of that is because he thinks of the genre in pure terms, from the Boyz II Men and Usher that his siblings played in the house, to the formative influence of Bryson Tiller and PARTYNEXTDOOR on his craft. Across his several songs, mostly released via SoundCloud, the R&B elements in his music are vivid, but there are other components, including the bounce of dancehall and Afro-swing.

“I think of other people that are making real R&B music, and it’s not that there’s anything wrong with being called an R&B artist, but I personally wouldn’t say that about myself,” the London-raised artist tells The NATIVE over a Zoom call, while gearing up for a studio session. “I’ve made R&B songs and I love R&B, but I’ve never envisioned being labelled as that.” On “Granted,” the earliest song on his SoundCloud, FromJerome portrays the exhaustion of seeking reciprocity from a love interest, his soft tenor gliding over ambient keys and a sultry afro-Caribbean drum groove.


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Growing up in a part-Nigerian, part-Grenadian home, the 21-year old singer was surrounded by a diverse range of music. “I listened to the Afrobeats from dad, then dancehall, reggae, soca from my mum,” he says. In addition, his older siblings played a lot of R&B music. Interestingly, it was the wildfire success of Canadian superstar Justin Bieber, during his teen years especially, that lit the idea of someday becoming an artist. A decade after teens and tweens raved to “Baby,” FromJerome started recording his own songs during the Covid-19 lockdown, with Bryson Tiller as a template and primary inspiration.

“I remember my first time making music, I literally just typed in ‘How to Sound like Bryson Tiller’,” Jerome recalls. “I just kinda copied and built from that foundation.” It’s evident in the music, Tiller’s influence, from a preference from darkly lit music choices to his exploration of romance across the spectrum of lovelorn and lovestruck. Oh, and he has bars too: In the middle of his SoundCloud page, there’s a freestyle to the beat of Drake’s “Lose You,” where he proudly proclaims his worth with declarative quips like: “Tired of these A&Rs showering me with compliments, I’m good on my own/Don’t need no studio, I’m good in my home.”

To start 2024, FromJerome has dropped “Next Day Delivery,” his official debut single, where he sings devotional words over a silky groove. It’s an ear-holding introductory song that will stay with listeners immediately they hear it, and it sets the singer up for a potentially remarkable breakout year, as he preps his first project to be a timestamp of being a young, growing artist.

Our extended conversation with FromJerome has been lightly edited and continues below.


What’s your background like?

I’m half-Nigerian and half-Grenadian. My dad’s from Nigeria and my mum’s Grenadian, and I grew up in a musical household. I listened to the Afrobeats from dad, then dancehall, reggae, soca from my mum. I just had a mixture of genres that was brought to me, and I’ve got two older siblings, who I got a lot of influences from as well, just the type of music they were listening to as well. They listened to R&B from Usher, Chris Brown, Boyz II Men, that type of music. So, in my house, there was that mixture of culture and music, from my parents and my siblings.

What artist would you say pushed you to want to sing?

Honestly, the first person, it had to be Justin Bieber. For real. He was the first person that made me listen to the music and made me want to sing as well, it was when he came out with “Baby” and people were going crazy. I was like, “If he can do it, I can do it as well.” So, yeah, definitely Justin Bieber.

As you grew older, which artists became a blueprint for the kind of artist you want to be?

I’d say the likes of Bryson Tiller, PARTYNEXTDOOR, majorly those two artists. I started recording in lockdown, that’s when I was a big fan of the R&B scene. I remember my first time making music, I literally just typed in “How to Sound like Bryson Tiller.” I just kinda copied and built from that foundation. It’s basically those two artists that showed me who I want to be as an artist.

What was recording for the first time in lockdown like?

I got introduced to music by my brother, he used to make music as well and he had a little MacBook that he made music on in his bedroom. I just sat and watched him make music, and it was really interesting to me. One day during lockdown, he let me use his laptop to record music, and that was literally my start. It was the first week of lockdown, he was busy doing some stuff and the laptop was free, so I just decided to try and see if I could make my own song. I got a YouTube beat, put it into the computer and recorded. The song was terrible but it was fun to make, and I realised that I really like how this feels.

FromJerome · Kosi

What was the first not-terrible song that you made?

It was called “Insecure.” I can’t remember what it sounds like right now, but for someone who was just making his first songs, it sounded good to me. All my friends were surprised that I made it. That was the song that made me think that, if I keep going, this could be something.

I don’t think “Insecure” is on your SoundCloud.

Nah, it’s not. I only started releasing stuff on SoundCloud in 2022 and I recorded that way earlier. It’s on my laptop with some of my old stuff that I never released, maybe I’ll put them out eventually, but that’s when I really perfect my craft, so I’ll just be going down memory lane if I drop them.

What do you think you need to perfect your craft?

I’d say lyricism. I’ve definitely gotten better and I’ve taken more time with my songwriting, but I feel like, as time goes on and I get old, I can go through life more, get more experiences and my writing will get better. Obviously, singing too, you can always get better. I don’t produce yet, but I definitely want to learn how to produce and make my own beats, I think that would help my music a lot. But improving my songwriting and singing ability is really important now.

Where do the romance-themed stories in your music currently come from?

Some of it is from what has happened to me and my friends, stuff that we’ve gone through, or just stuff I see. Also, I have a broad imagination. I’d say 40% of the time, I have a made-up story, a made-up character in my head. I’ve even made songs based off movies and TV shows, I just try to flip it in a way that it sounds like it’s coming from me. It’s a mixture of everything.

What was the confident push for you to leap from dropping songs on SoundCloud to now debuting officially?

When I’d record, all my friends would be telling me they want to hear the full song. I was trying to figure out how to put my stuff out because I couldn’t pay for beats or the mastering and all of that, so I just started dropping on SoundCloud. I didn’t expect anything but the songs got around quickly, a lot of people in my Uni heard them, and that helped my confidence.


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Why did you go with “Next Day Delivery” as your official debut song?

When I showed my team, everyone loved it. I remember when I put it on TikTok, it just went off—that’s my biggest TikTok till date. I had other songs that could have been the first single but with the reception it got before it dropped, it just made sense to put this one out as the lead single. You can ask anyone, too, I always felt this song was the one and I’m happy that I stuck to my gut. I remember when I was making it in the summer, around June, I just looked for a beat and recorded spontaneously, all freestyled, and I got to the end of the song and I thought, “This is a banger.” When I make songs, I usually leave them and go back after a while with a fresh mind. I went back after a week and I still felt really good about it.

Do You Create off Spontaneity a lot?

Yeah, 100%. I truly believe that the best music is made off of a whim. Obviously you’ll plan some stuff, but you get an idea and I don’t think you should sit too long on it. I have this belief that the first idea is the best idea, it’s in your head for a reason. It might take some time to execute and fine-tune but it’s already there.

There’ll be more drops from you this year, including a project. Do you have any expectations?

I have expectations of what I want things to be. I’m still in the process of making the project, but I want it to be the perfect embodiment of where I am in life now. I feel like music is a perfect timestamp of an artist’s time and journey, and that’s what I want my first project to be, just away from the past and the future and just being in the present. I want it to be something I listen to in 10 years’ time and think, “Okay, cool. This is what I was going through as a 21-year old just starting to navigate the music scene, learning more about himself and the people around him.”