Jamela Vuma, aka J Ross, is known for producing hit songs such as ‘Something Simple’ and ‘This Day’ in the past, but behind the fame was a man who was living a dark life.
“Fame came with excess to loads of cash at a young age. This exposed me to a life of alcohol abuse, women abuse, and doing all sorts of wrong things to try look cool,” J Ross, who started singing at age 15 after being discovered by Somizi, said.
“Drug abuse almost ended my life. Because of being a producer, I would work with different kinds of artists and be exposed to the kind of drugs they were doing. I ended up adapting to their lifestyles. The lowest point in my life was when I started taking crack cocaine.”
Ross says the drugs ended up sucking him dry of his creative juices. He found himself in a place where he couldn’t create music anymore and lost his sense of purpose.
“I couldn’t do my music anymore, I couldn’t make music, I couldn’t do anything. I had this void that something was missing and I wasn’t sure what it was, so I would take drugs and alcohol. That was the lowest point of my life where ‘Id lost myself and I didn’t have a reason to wake up in the morning and face the day and do my music'.”
But things took a turn for the better when he met his wife Megan.
“Megan, my wife, helped me change my life. She made me see that I will never change my life unless I stopped hanging around with the wrong crowd. She even encouraged me to find a spiritual home and to record again. After finding a church and reconnecting with God, the void I had began to fill. I found myself making music again.”
However, even though things were improving for J Ross, he still battled with drugs and drinking - and that lead to problems in his marriage. He realised that he needed to change for the sake of his wife and daughter.
“I made a deal with God to change because I needed to take better care of my family and the talent he had given me.”
That deal made J Ross into the better man that he is today.
“My prayers were answered and I saw myself taking better care of my family. We are even blessed with another daughter.”
It’s been two years since he last took drugs and he is currently using his musical talent to help young musicians reach for the top.
“I am currently working as a music leader at my church and not only am I training young singers, but am also working on my first Gospel album, which is due to be released before June.”
The first single from the upcoming album, ‘Jesu o ithemba lam’, is currently being played on radio stations across the globe.
J Ross says he hopes his album will give healing and light to those who are living the kind of life he used to.
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