take it by your bleedin’ he’s been beatin’ strong on ya
tellin’ me this bullshit you can’t live without his arm on ya
i’ve heard this all before
can’t nobody help no more
you need to leave him darlin’ don’t let this go on

I have been listening to this song and other songs by Jhameel non-stop this week. He sounds a bit like Michael Jackson and Prince, which makes him fit right in to my music library. I had no idea about his biography when I stumbled upon his music, but clearly he is an atypical Asian American overachiever:

Still only 20, the son of a master violinist (who apparently appeared in the original Fame movie), he spent his childhood surrounded by instruments. As a consequence, on his recent album The Human Condition, available as a free download from his website, he played every note of the self-penned and self-produced songs himself, using, variously, guitar, piano, bass, drums, violin, cello, trumpet and synths.

In addition to his many instruments, he also speaks many languages, and came to making pop music after a dramatic reconsideration of his career choice:

He majored in Arabic at Berkeley and graduated in two years, paying for schooling through ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). But something happened during that time, a “cliché self-identity crises” — a seismic shift of values, mentality. He won’t shed too much light on the life change, but he says he had to let go of ROTC. He joined a co-op; the contrasts enlivened his lyrics. “I only have one life to do this. I’d like to have a positive effect on the world.”

In case you were wondering, Jhameel is his legal name. Hear more of his music at his website.



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