Since his time on The Four, singer JeRonelle has marveled audiences with his R&B sound that harkens to the days of late ‘90s R&B. From singing in church to now performing alongside industry stars like Khalid, Common, and Stevie Mackey, JeRonelle’s music is taking R&B back to when male artists poured their hearts out to their lovers, track after track. The unique difference is that JeRonelle is infusing his queer narrative into a genre traditionally ran by heteronormative male bravado, even when sensitive.
After releasing several music projects, JeRonelle is back with a new EP titled Regret & Reflect. Like the title suggests, JeRonelle’s latest work is a collection of pensive lyrics over nostalgic R&B sounds. Inspired by artists like Donny and Lalah Hathaway, Maxwell, John Legend, Jazmine Sullivan, and the Clark Sisters, JeRonelle’s sound is soulful as is it spiritual.
INTO spoke with the R&B artist about the direction of his new EP, how he’s grown since his time on The Four, and what he hopes listeners will take away from Regret & Reflect.
How would you describe your new EP Regret and Reflect?
I’d describe my new EP as ‘reflective’ (no pun intended) and a deeper dive into who I am. For the last 2 projects I took a similar approach of telling the story of a relationship gone sour, but this time around I wanted to broaden things up and talk about a multitude of relationships: the relationship with family, the relationship with my friends and those around me, and just as importantly, the relationship with myself and how that has affected my decision-making in the past. I was inspired by both “Heaux Tales” by Jazmine Sullivan, and “The Velvet Rope” by Janet Jackson – both great albums which are full of insight and introspection.
How would you describe your growth between being on The Four and now releasing your new EP?
Oohwee! I’ve grown in so many ways since my time on that show. I’m a lot more confident and sure of myself as an artist and as a person. I’m a lot more locked in to what I want to say with my music and how I choose to present myself as well. I know now that I am truly a performer and showman in the making and with the right tools and resources, I’ll be able to one day put on bigger and better live shows. As a person, I’ve for sure grown since my time on the show. I’m a bit more self aware now, continuing to identify areas in my life that need attention and strengthening.
What did you learn about yourself while developing this EP?
The process for creating and rolling out this EP taught me the importance of having others on your side who can fight for you in this industry, the importance of having a strong game plan in place well before releasing anything, and the importance of opening up more in order to connect with today’s audience/music fans. I’ve also had to embrace the fact that my journey won’t be the same as everyone else’s and that instant gratification may not always be a thing with my career, but that shouldn’t deter me or cause me to second guess/doubt myself.
What’s your favorite track off the EP?
As of right now, my favorite track off the EP (to listen to as well as to perform) is “Down Bad”. From the moment we started working on the song in January 2021, I knew we had a strong record on our hands and I couldn’t wait to let supporters hear it. The song is so musically satisfying and funky to me and is honestly one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written to date. “Down Bad” is gonna be a staple on my live show setlist for a good long while.
What do you hope listeners of your album takeaway from it?
I hope that Regret & Reflect becomes one of those projects in my discography that (even as I continue to grow and reach higher heights) people still wanna go back to and listen to over and over again because the music resonated with them just that much. This EP allowed me to open up more and the response from all of those who have listened thus far has been overwhelmingly positive and affirming in the best ways. I can only hope that as more and more people discover this project, that they’ll see themselves in these songs and that the music will make them feel something and take them on their own personal journeys.