Jhameel

On the Rise: The androgynous classical virtuoso uses social media to spread his R&B-tinged pop

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Jhameel: "One life to do this"
PHOTO BY RYAN RUBIN

Jhameel (www.jhameel.com) once said to me, "I only have one life to do this." As cliché as it might seem, it feels like the Oakland-based classical pop virtuoso is living his dream. Near the end of last year he began releasing a new song a week on his site in a series dubbed Waves (available now on Spotify). In the next couple of months, he'll release another wave, this time of collaborations, and there is a super-secret major release coming in the spring.

He's creating his own innovative world of modern, synthy R&B pop, often with the assist of the Web. The multi-instrumentalist routinely turns to his Twitter and Facebook fans to crowdsource ideas (like his Halloween costume last year — they suggested "Rufio" from Hook) and gives back to all those who "like" as well. Whenever he reaches a new high goal of followers, he records a drunken video for fans — taking shots on camera then attempting to play. It's frankly adorable and just another way to connect. Another reason 2012 is the year for Jhameel? His Waves song "Collision" was just featured in a Droid Razr commercial. His next local show is Feb. 20 at Bottom of the Hill (9 p.m., $10. 1233 17th St., SF. www.bottomofthehill.com).

Description of sound: A minimalist combination of Prince, Michael Jackson, and whatever I feel on that day.

What do you like most about the Bay Area music scene: Bottom of the Hill.

What piece of music means the most to you and why: The piece of music that means the most to me changes almost on a daily basis, it depends on what is meaningful to me at that point in time. "Over My Dead Body" by Drake emanates an emotion that's really hitting home for me right now.

Favorite local eatery and dish: Cheeseboard Pizza in Berkeley. Perfect vegetarian pizzas.

Who would you most like tour with: Janelle Monae. I have a crush on her.

Comments

We had a blast in Frisco last night watching you perform! How awesome you were!Thank you for making my 2 daughters dreams come true to meet and take photos with you! You are very sweet! W e will come to all your performances in the frisco/oakland area! We live in San Jose, and you coming here would be soooo awesome! lol

Posted by Guest AnnA Marie Elizaga on Apr. 16, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

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