Jehro

Jehro
New York, New York, February 1st 2006 - As a child Jehro’s imagination was fuelled by the dreams of his Greek-Italian-Corsican mother, and the songs of his Georges Brassens-inspired singer of a father. So it’s no surprise that he grew out of an eventful, if not quite misspent, adolescence in the Panier area of Marseille by putting his voice to the songs of the great French artists. Aged twenty he left his native Mediterranean shores and crossed the Channel to pursue fame and fortune in London. There, in a Hammersmith artists’ squat to be precise, he happily immersed himself in pop, rock and reggae, surrounded by Spanish and Jamaican musicians. Perfecting his skills as a guitarist by tirelessly covering all his favorite pop standards, he broke free from his native French by lending his voice to the songs of his new-found idols - he literally fell in love with Bob Marley’s music, its roots and its spirituality, when busking to it in the tube. Having been put through his paces in a rich and colorful array of bands and venues, Jehro decided it was time to move on he and made Paris his next port of call, settling in a small hotel on the rue Marcadet in the 18th district. A new city meant new haunts : Pigalle, Montmartre, Belleville, Saint-Germain…

Long sleepless nights, smoke-filled bars and whispered secrets from woozy girls provided the backdrop, as well as the human and emotional inspiration, to which, a few years later, he would pen the lyrics and the tunes of his first solo album. “L’arbre et le fruit” was released by Chrysalis / EMI under his real name Jérôme Cotta, earning him well-deserved praise from the French critics. That was in 1999 - Jérôme’s songs were to be heard on the radio, whilst the man himself cultivated a fondness for the exotic cuisine of Paris’s 10th district, evenings amongst friends, and good bottles of Bordeaux. In his spare time he took to jamming in the studio of a couple of new acquaintances he met in the courtyard of his block of flats: Christian Brun and Richard Minier. By giving him the opportunity to explore new musical avenues, the Marathonians ­ Superfruit crew for a time turned Jehro away from his solo career and sparked a profitable artistic collaboration. From indo-electro theme tunes for the advertising industry through calypso-pop songs co-written and sung for the Marathonians’ “A Tropical Soul Adventure” LP (Superfruit, 2003), Jehro was gradually finding his own distinctive voice. Somewhere in the South of France, in a little village full of sing-song accents and surrounded by ochre-red hills and olive groves, he came up with the first tune of an album almost entirely written in English, “Shantytown Carnival,” produced by the Marathonians duo and signed to their Superfruit record label. Jehro’s self titled debut is an album inspired by Caribbean and American grassroots music (reggae, folk, latin etc.), full of snapshots and tales from the lives of ordinary people.