Guyanese born, Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Juke Ross has been a fast growing fixture of the folky, singer-songwriter scene in recent years, drawing acclaim for his debut EP, Grey, in 2017, as well as a stellar array of subsequent singles, leading up to the imminent release of his first full-length. Soulful, worldly, pop accessible, and genre-bending, Ross is an earnest and approachable artist with an immense talent for penning personal and commanding material, and we have no doubt he’s primed to break out in a major way within the next few years. Before then, you can catch him headlining Mercy Lounge tonight, Nov. 13, joined by buzzy local hip hop and r&b transplant Houston Kendrick, an eclectic and complimentary pairing that makes this show extra cool. Surely one of our top picks for November, you can still get tickets here while they last, then read on for more about the show!
A singer-songwriter with a dusky warm voice and an infectious spirit of affirmation, Juke Ross hails from the small country of Guyana on South America’s northern coast. The youngest child of 14 siblings, Ross initially sought to follow his mother, a nurse, into a career in medicine before the desire to become a songwriter took hold. Picking up the guitar during his med school days, Ross began writing heartfelt, thoughtful folk-pop songs, one of which, the breezy “Colour Me,” quietly began to pick up steam on digital platforms, amassing millions of streams thanks to his effortless take on pop soul, organically emanating Caribbean flavor. Not long after, he signed a deal with Republic Records in the U.S. and, relocating to New York, began recording new material, including the 2017 single “Shadows in the Dark.” That song, along with “Colour Me,” was included on Ross’ debut EP, Grey, later that year. By 2018, he enjoyed a series of firsts in North America, selling out cool venues like Arlene’s, and composing further tunes in the states, delivering the one-offs “Hey Lil’ Mama” and “Fresh Roses,” the latter racking up almost 20 million Spotify streams in under six months. At the end of the year, he landed a deal with Palm Tree Records as Kygo’s second signing to the label, and dove back into writing, inviting collaborators and co-producers into his artistic process for the first time, embracing a more pop driven approach. Teaming up with Petey Martin in the studio, Ross crafted his 2019 single “Burned By The Love,” a breakout tune thanks to his soulful delivery and sweeping, cinematic hooks, setting the stage of his imminent full-length debut, and has been on a buzzy trajectory ever since, primed to the next genre-bending, soulful, singer-songwriter breakout! Whether you’re familiar with his work thus far or not, we strongly encourage you to check out this stellar rising star in person.
Born and raised in Hoover, AL and now based in Music City, buzzy up and comer Houston Kendrick started making music as a means of finding an identity. As a black, homosexual teenager growing up in the fringe of an urban metropolis, Kendrick developed a homespun fluency in hip hop and r&b, honing a unique sound and artistic identity perfected on last year’s excellent debut LP Pink. In recent years, Kendrick has appeared at Nashville Pride and headlined The High Watt and other spots around town (and notably also guested on local artist Dreamer Boy’s 2018 effort Love, Nostalgia), each time landing as a phenomenal under the radar talent we feel is destined to break out in a major way. A cool and distinct compliment to Juke Ross, we’d recommend this show for Kendrick alone, and wholeheartedly encourage you to arrive extra early!
Juke Ross and Houston Kendrick will perform tonight, Nov. 13 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $18.