Jerome Charles White Jr. is Japan’s first black Enka singer.
The Pennsylvania native traveled to his grandmother’s homeland after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in computer engineering in 2003 and has been successfully co-opting Japanese culture ever since.
He first entered an amateur singing competition on the long running TV show NHK Nodo Jiman and is now a rising Enka singer. Using the moniker Jero and clad in American Urban clothing, he climbed the charts to the Top 5 in Japan with the single “UmiYuki”.
Enka music is the melodramatic fusion of the Japanese five pitch per octave scale with Western harmonies and it’s singers usually appear in some type of formal or traditional dress.