Gift of Song: Jerome Opens Up About His Gospel Music Roots
Tonight on Tia & Tamera, the one and only Jerome Wiggins takes center stage. He hits the studio to record a special song for his upcoming gospel album, Manifest, with cousin Tamera Mowry-Housley. Make sure you tune in to Style at 9/8c to see that. But first, get to know more about the talented man of God...
What role has music played in your life?
I come from a very musical family. My dad was a drummer. He was a jazz man. My mom was an educator for 36 years. Everything I learned, I learned through song. That's how I learned my address—my mom made it into a song. I sang my name, my birthday, everything! I grew up in a house full of jazz, R&B and gospel, so music was around me all my life.
Who are some of your musical influences?
There are so many. My parents were big influences because they always kept me in the church. I love gospel singer Andraé Crouch and Reverend Alyn Waller, who is the pastor of a great church now in Philadelphia. I looked up to people in my local church. My first singing partner was June Ward. I also grew up loving Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross.
How has growing up in the Church affected your style of singing?
I was walking around being a worship leader and being a singer just happened. I couldn't sing any other music except gospel because of my personal love for God. I think growing up in the Church has affected the way I sing because gospel Is soulful. It's very spirited and we're singing about the Good News. If you've gone to church, you know it's soulful and it comes from your heart. I think that dictates the way I sing. Whether a song is uptempo or slow, you can hear the soulfulness in my voice because I am church born and bred.
How did you finally come to record an album?
I've always wanted to do it. For a long time, I didn't know where to start, and was wondering if I was good enough. People would ask me where they could find my music. When I finally got the courage, I did a photo shoot for my CD even before recording a song. When you make up your mind, the resources find you. Once I really started walking in faith and opened my mouth and said, I'm going to have a CD, all of a sudden, all these amazing people started coming into my life. My producer Michael Day came in and, after I expressed my vision to him, he did everything to make my dream a reality. It's been a great brotherhood and a good working relationship. Not only do I have a great producer, but I also have a great friend out of it.
Why did you decide to call your album Manifest?
I came up with that title because for years I had been saying, I want to have a CD. I want to sing on this level. Now, it's ready to come alive. My album is the finished product of the very thing I've been praying for. I'm about halfway done with the album. It will be released early 2013. I'm thinking March or April.
How has the recording process been for you?
The experience has been really special. It's been a great learning experience and just a roller coaster ride of emotions, but all good emotions. I wasn't a studio singer. I'm a venue singer, meaning I can sing live and pull from the emotions of crowds. I was used to pulling from the energy and the atmosphere. When I go into a booth, I have to make my own atmosphere. But the experience thus far has been amazing. It's hard work, but it's amazing when I get to play back the records.
What can fans expect from your debut album?
I want to be out of the box. You're going to get a good mix. I want there to be something for everybody. I want to reach older and younger generations. You're going to get something that's going to make you tap your feet. You're also going to get something that you can listen to while you're working out. You're going to get something for personal quiet time with God and meditation. The album is going to shock you.
What do you hope to accomplish with this CD?
I want people to be encouraged. I want people to be inspired. I want people to be blessed. But most importantly, I want to direct them back to God. There'll be something for everyone. There'll be worship. There'll be handclapping. At the end, I want them to say, "Wow, that was a great project."
You can purchase Jerome's singles on iTunes.
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myStyle Q&A: Jerome Wiggins
Meet Tia & Tamera's Cousin Jerome aka the "Third Twin"
Hear Jerome's beautiful voice for yourself on Tia & Tamera tonight at 9/8c—only on Style!