Jenelle “NelleRose” Dunkley, 25, born in Mount Vernon, NY, and raised in Freehold, NJ, comes from a family of Jamaican musicians who migrated to The Bronx in the 1980s. At the tender age of five, under the direction of her mother, she began her musical journey by singing in the church choir. At the age of 14, she began to explore her talents deeper by recording original materials and joining an indie gospel group known as J. Michael & W2 (Without Walls). After leaving the group in 2007, she began to perform under the moniker NelleRose, a mix between her first name and middle name that has been passed down in her family from generation to generation.
Influenced by the likes of Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, Jill Scott, Kierra Sheard, and Brandy, she set out to add her name to a group of artists who march to the beat of their own drums. Exemplifying simplicity in her vocal talents provides texture to what has become an unarguably ambiguous genre. With no plans to conform to the pressures of popular opinion, she integrates mystique and raw emotions into her music and stage performances. When asked what type of sound does she consider herself to have, the songstress responded saying “My sound is feel good music, not just neo-soul and R&B, but I sometimes will incorporate different genres into new sound.”
She has been working the underground circuit for several years while earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Africana Studies from Rutgers University, but is now ready to step into the spotlight. With an appearance on The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night in 2012, performing at numerous showcases in the tri-state area, and singing background vocals for Lil’ Mo on her resume, she is focused on continuing to master her craft. As an artist, she enjoys captivating audiences with simple yet authoritative vocals; leaving many spectators in shock because of her petite stature. The rush of performing live leaves her in a state of euphoria. The reaction she receives from the audience reminds her to continue to live in the moment—a lesson she learned from her great-grandmother and mentor.
NelleRose will be dropping her first EP early 2016. When asked what can fans expect from this upcoming project, she responded “Fans should expect it to be really personal.”
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