There are so many talented songwriters and producers out there. They help the big name artists shine while most of the time they stay away from the spotlight, in the back room, or in their studios, behind the scenes.
Big North American names today like Jesse J, Prince, Bruno Mars, Ne-yo, Pharrell Williams and more started their careers writing and producing songs for popular artists.
It’s not different in the rest of the world, and in Brazil a music writer and producer has become popular with “Te ensinei certin” performed by pop funk singer Ludimilla, and more recently emerged from behind the scenes to perform with one of the most popular pop singers in Brazil at the moment: Anitta with single “Essa mina é louca”. The translated title is ” This chick is crazy” and the beat is very addicting, it’s impossible to listen to it only once.
What’s that jam, that voice, that beat? Fans are starting to pop up all of a sudden, and people are noticing his voice and asking who is this guy?
His name is Jhama!
Where has he been all along?!?
Jhama is from Rio de Janeiro, Morro do Vidigal, a popular favela in Rio de Janeiro where he currently lives. He says that Vidigal is where mostly everyone he knows and loves is and also where he’s learned to develop his musical talent in a school of theater named “Nos do morro”. In his opinion, Vidigal is the most beautiful community of Rio de Janeiro, “a princesinha” as he calls it.
The music producer believes that the Internet facilitates the communication among people and he wants his community to mirror him.
In his opinion, Brazilians are not (yet) used to seeing black people in powerful positions or as role models.
As an actor, he sees that people with his skin tone only fit certain roles and he refuses to play criminals or low class parts as he thinks it passes on a negative message and an image that he does not believe in or wants to share with his community.
“Racism is still strong in Brazil and I like to free myself from this environment through my music where I am the star, where I can perform the role I want to. My music truly shows who I am which is not a poor, untalented, second class citizen but a talented, hard working and successful man”, he says.
Jhama has been writing for famous singers for a few years and currently has three hits in Anitta’s new album, Bang, including “essa mina e louca” which is his pride and joy.
He says his musical influence comes from Brazilian singers such as Milton nascimento, Elis Regina but also international artists like Michael Jackson, Barry White and Ray Charles. Jhama also likes Snoopy Dogg and Pharrell Williams and hopes to one day work with one or both of them.
“I admire how the Black Americans are united and how they speak up and show the world how they want things to be seen”, he says. He wants to be that guy who will lead Black Brazilians in the same direction and hopes that at least the Black Brazilian artists will unite and work together to show that they can be more than the Brazilian media shows.
“We are talented and we can be an influence to others as well rather than just what people see on the Brazilian TV screens: blacks are associated to poverty, crime and the actors are most of the time cast for mediocre roles”.
Jhama strongly believes that while things could not be changed in the beginning, the end can still be changed and he’d like to see that change in the next generation. Reason why he wants to be an inspiration to the kids in his community by showing them that they can have good things and a good life without having to be drug dealers.
He believes that everyone deserves respect so he wants to inspire black kids to value themselves rather than follow what is considered their standard from white people. And for that to happen, black Brazilians must be more united.
In his opinion, black artists and celebrities also play an important part in the community and by working together they can make their independent work grow stronger and focus on art rather than purely in the business.
But what’s that Jhama you simply cannot stop hitting replay?!?
Jhama started getting involved with music at the age of 12 and soon after started playing in nightclubs throughout Rio de Janeiro. He tried several music genres and found that funk music while very popular in Rio de Janeiro, is a sexual rhythm. So Jhama opted for a more sensual kind of rhythm which he calls funkeado and where he’s found the inspiration to compose “Essa Mina é louca”.
He tries to write about the day to day of the people around him and with that sensual beat he likes to see himself as the new Brazilian hitmaker.
Jhama enjoys writing songs for others to sing. He didn’t really like his voice but started to work on making himself a better singer by practicing on his Jhama sessions, which led him to join a band named “Grupo Trio Ternura”.
But he insists that what he really enjoys doing is producing songs and music because he can mold them according to how it sounds in his head. He likes to imagine his songs as he starts composing them, so by the time he puts them on paper he’s already imagined the whole musical arrangement being performed.
When asked to point out a Brazilian leader, Jhama mentions Besouro who is someone he considers a Brazilian hero that played an important part in the Brazilian culture and fought for equality of his people. And this is something Jhama also wants to do.
He also considers the soccer player Ronaldinho Gaucho to be a Brazilian idol as he has touched the world with his soccer playing talent while keeping his principles and humility.
“He has taught me to respect my roots. This is why I consider Ronaldinho my reference of an idol. But God is my biggest and only idol”, he says.
Just like every other emerging artist, Jhama hopes to work with many other Brazilian as well as international singers and musicians.
For now he enjoys spending time with those close to him but much as he loves his family and friends, when it comes to creating and producing music, he prefers his loneliness.
“That’s where I find that peace I need to better compose my music”. – Jhama