“They say I used to cry in tune,” laughs ABC networks Duets winner J Rome. From the thousands of followers he has developed over the past few years to the people he holds close to him at home this young man is an inspiration for success. At a very young age J Rome knew that entertainment was his calling, “I could make people cry, laugh and have a good time all while being myself,” he says.
Inspired by the likes of artists such as Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson it is no wonder that J Rome's voice is able to fill the room and send chills up your spine in an instant. However, it was not until J Rome received a comment on his YouTube page from a 14 year old boy who told J Rome his voice was what prevented him from committing suicide that he decided music would lead his journey in entertainment. “I need to do this….I want to inspire people..” he says.
However, just like many of us, J Rome has faced his own hardships. A few years back after a tonsillectomy went wrong J was confronted with the fear of loosing not only his voice but his life. After coughing up insane amounts of blood and praying to God to keep him alive, J Rome was able to recover in a few months time. After that moment, J says, “I promised I would never open my mouth to sing again unless I meant what I was singing.” And today, we have a living-breathing testament of what it means to live a dream and work hard to achieve your goals.
Although he admits that “there are always times just as a person that we doubt ourselves" he knows how to keep moving forward, "...I keep pushing because of so many positive people.” It is fair to say that J Rome has a great support team. His dad being his toughest critic who is always honest with him and never gives him the answer he wants to hear but the one that will push him toward greatness. J's 3 year old nephew who is his biggest fan, saying he wants to be just like his uncle and his management who has struggled with him through the years, have all contributed to making his dream a reality.
In 2012 when ABC network opened its first season of their hit singing competition Duets, J Rome was contacted to give it a shot. The show, where each contestant would sing with a professional mentor and judge every night attracted J Rome because, “you get a chance to be on stage with the celebrity every night…it’s great because they’re on the chopping block too.” On the stage, J Rome sang everything from Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to “You’re the One That I Want” from the blockbuster Grease alongside his mentor Jennifer Nettles. Humble as ever, J Rome admits he never thought he would win, “The first thing I thought was, ‘really? Me?’” he laughs and expressed sincere gratitude for all of those who supported him through the process and continue to do so.
After so much time in the spotlight and the prize in his hands one would think that J Rome is used to the attention but he admits he is far from outgoing. He even admits that no matter what he is always intimidated when getting on stage saying, "I don't want to mess up." However he says this fear keeps him humble, "it makes me want to keep being better and working harder, and if it does go away I pray that God always keeps me humble and grounded."
For those who are just starting out in the music industry, J Rome had much to say. “Keep your circle small,” he advises, “people will come in and out and know who is there to ride or die. Outside of that circle you can have as many people as you want and even another circle outside of that, but just know who to keep close to you.” He also recalled something Jennifer Nettles told him while he was on the show, “…don’t be afraid to take a risk…because when you take a risk you run the risk of getting a big reward,” and he says he couldn’t agree with her more. Finally, he says, “keep going no matter what always keep going."
In the future, we can expect more appearances and new music from J Rome with one being his acting debut next month at the Newark Symphony Hall in Newark, NJ. If you want to attend you can visit his Facebook page for more. Check out J Rome’s latest music and let him know what you think below!
Contact J Rome:
Official Site: http://officialjrome.com/