A Bronx native, Jharrel Jerome recently released his first single, FOR REAL (feat. Kemba), produced by Take A Daytrip. Jerome’s venture into hip hop music has been building for years, as he worked to write songs and lyrics that ultimately brought him to this first mainstream release. Since 2016, Jerome has put his financial success from on-screen acting into studio sessions and recording equipment – with the sole intention of finding “my sound, my voice, my cadence, and my style.” Long before Jerome found success as an Emmy-winning actor, he cites hip hop as his first love – being influenced early on by artists such as Slick Rick and Big Pun. FOR REAL is described by Jerome as “just a glimpse of who I am as an artist,” as he details that “the record explains my fear of social media and allowing people in… I still trap myself inside of a shell.” FOR REAL debuted September 23rd on all DSPs, with the official music video released the following day.
Jerome starred as the lead in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix four-part limited series WHEN THEY SEE US for which he won the 2019 Emmy for Lead Actor in a Miniseries, the 2020 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, and the 2020 NAACP Image Award for
Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. His performance also earned him a nomination for a 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series. He portrayed both the young and adult versions of ‘Korey Wise’, one of the exonerated 5 men who were wrongfully accused in the April 1989 Central Park jogger case.
In film, Jerome can next be seen in CONCRETE COWBOYS, an upcoming film directed by Ricky Staub based on the 2011 novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri which was inspired by the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club. The film also stars Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin. It premiered at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival.
Set to air this Fall 2020, Jerome is part of the all-star cast of HBO’s special performance adaptation based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME. The special is directed by Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes, who also directed the original theatrical production, which is a letter from Coates to his teenage son about experiences growing up in Baltimore and the notions that American society structurally supports white supremacy. Jerome completed filming this while in quarantine at his personal residence, and others in the project are Kendrick Sampson, Janet Mock, Yara Shahidi, Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Oprah Winfrey and Phylicia Rashad.
Jerome made his feature film debut in Barry Jenkins’ film MOONLIGHT, for which he and his cast mates earned countless accolades including the Academy Award for Best Picture, Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Film and an MTV Movie Award.
He can also be seen in the independent films SELAH AND THE SPADES (Sundance 2019) and the short
film ROBU. Additional film credits include MONSTER, based on Walter Dean Myers’ Michael L. Printz
Award Winning novel of the same name, opposite Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Tim Blake Nelson, and Nas; and FIRST MATCH, currently streaming on Netflix.
On television, Jerome was most recently seen in all 3 seasons of AT&T Audience Network’s drama series MR. MERCEDES. He starred opposite Brendan Gleeson, Harry Treadaway, and Holland Taylor. Jerome played ‘Jerome Robinson’, a high school student who inadvertently becomes involved in an off -the- books investigation led by Hodges (Gleeson). He also starred in an episode of BET’s own hip-hop anthology series TALES opposite Bre-Z. In late 2019, Jerome appeared next to Viola Davis, Tiffany Haddish, Jay Pharoah and others in ABC’s second “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” special which featured classic episodes of “All in the Family” and “Good Times.”