Philly R&B artist Jake Cromwell’s artistry is raw, soulful, unique and arguably nothing like anything out right now.
A multi-dimensional talent who has caught the attention of executives at Warner Music, Rocnation, YouTube Music, Audiomack and Apple Music, as well as brands like Diageo and Ketel One, Jake is a singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, instrumentalist and dancer.
Originally from Ghana, Cromwell has released his debut EP “Good Intentions.” The song “Good Intentions” was handpicked by the head of R&B programming at Apple Music Alaysia Sierra Briggs-Miles. The song is featured on several editorial playlists on Spotify, YouTube Music, Audiomack and the Alt R&B Editorial Playlist on Apple Music.
He’s also been a featured artist on the R&B new releases section of Apple Music and R&B trending on Audiomack. PW recently caught up with Cromwell to talk his music and career.
Can you talk a little about your journey from Ghana to the U.S.? How did the move to the States impact your music?
I remember being very excited. My father was already in the U.S. at the time making a home for my mom and brother. I was just a young kid who thought life in America was going to be like the movies.
Moving to the U.S. impacted my music in a huge way. My parents had a classic taste, but they were rigid in their taste. Pops was a reggae enthusiast … Marley, Burning Spear … and my mom, she was big into folk and country – the Tracy Chapmans and Dollys of the world. I remember Sisqo on the radio in 2001. I thought “what is this?!” There’s no way I would have heard anything like that in passing back home.
Your music is described as “raw, soulful and unique.” What sets it apart from other music? What sets you apart from other up-and-coming artists?
I try really hard. Music isn’t always an easy process for me, it’s a constant journey of peeling back “the shit,” my shit. I want to give people the purest version of the ideas as they come to me, to do that I have to constantly work at getting out of my own way.
“Good Intentions” has received a lot of media and industry attention since its release. Talk a little about how the EP came together. Did it turn out the way you hoped?
Honestly, the way the EP has traveled through the industry thus far has come as a welcomed surprise. The team and I couldn’t be more thankful.
At the time, the process felt slow. I was fiddling around in the studio day after day with nothing really catching my interest. Then one day I just made “Linger.” The second I heard it the whole project started to form in my head.
People seem to be responding well to it, and that’s all I can ask for.
In the past, artists had to rely on radio and personal appearances to get their music to the masses, but your music is available on numerous streaming and internet services. How has the technology – the internet, streaming, social media – impacted your career and how you interact with fans? What are some of the best outlets for people to follow your career and listen to your music?
“Good Intentions” was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in my one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia. Technology gave me complete ownership and control of my art from the comfort of my home. I am very grateful to be an artist at this time.
I love the fans. That’s all new to me. So far, they have been so kind and encouraging. I feel like we’re really connecting through the music in the ways I intended. People from Korea, South Africa and all over.
I’m available on any streaming platform.
When you’re not writing and recording what do you like to do? Any favorite hobbies? Who are you listening to these days?
I love dancing! Dancing was my first introduction to art before I knew art was art. I’m always going to have a love for it. That and cooking. My wrist game is next level. The artists that have me interested at the moment are Jitwam, Budgie, Dpat, Tame Impala, Knxwledge & Kyle Jackson.
What’s ahead for you? More recordings and performances, once the virus passes? Where do you hope to be in five years?
I definitely want to start getting in front of the fans and feel that energy. I’m currently in the process of putting the next project together. I cannot wait to share when it’s finished.