Ro James (born Ronnie James Tucker in Stuttgart, Germany) grew up in a military family, living in Hawaii, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana and New York. His father was also a preacher, and compelled his children to sing in church. At age 19 (or XIX as he styles it), he wanted to leave Indianapolis, Indiana, and move back to New York City, where he spent most of his childhood living with his grandmother, to teach or do social work. He wound up in music again. He co-wrote two songs for Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream album and recorded his own EP series in three parts; the final portion, Cadillacs, features a track with Snoop Dogg and becomes available on September 13.
All the featured singers at the BET Music Matters showcase at S.O.B.’s tonight were given short sets. All were talented singers, but James may have been the most memorable. In his 15 minutes or so, he showed himself to be a young, contemporary rhythm and blues crooner, singing all slow jams. While his recorded music is soft, live he was backed by a loud, driving rock band that accentuated the passion in his tenor. His tattoos, pierced ears, gold-capped tooth and cigarette indicated bravado, but his singing revealed his vulnerability. The performance balanced gentility and aggressiveness. It was a riveting mix.
Visit Ro James at http://rojamesxix.com.