Local Salisbury Artist Spreads Love and LGBTQ Acceptance With Music
SALISBURY, MD- Jerome Kelly of Jerome and the Band crafts his blend of Hip-Hop and R&B in his home studio in Salisbury.
In the wake of homophobic comments made by popular rapper DaBaby at the Rolling Loud Festival in Flordia, Kelly’s music serves as a sharp contrast, preaching acceptance and love for everyone with Kelly’s gospel-inspired vocals.
“It’s about being a safe space for everyone, not just the LGBTQ community I invite everyone,” Kelly said.
For him, music is a way of bringing joy.
He believes artists like the DaBaby should be using their platform to do the same, rather than repeating harmful stereotypes about gay men, aids, and the LGBTQ community.
“I believe that at no time should we ever show hate or scorn for another person’s lifestyle, who they are who they chose to be who they chose to love, and no time is that okay,” Kelly said.
Kelly says he finds his inspiration for his work with his closeness to god, which he says comes through in the love and joy he spreads with his music, and his work.
Kelly works with PFLAG of Salisbury, participating in the fun run, and is slated to perform with his band at Salisbury’s first pride festival next year.
He believes the work brought him closer to the community, giving him exposure and inspiration for his work.
“Most of my inspiration comes from the community itself, a lot of the times we see people that are in need of help and need of guidance, and part of my music is raising awareness and spreading love, not hate,” he said.
PFLAG’s Executive Director Mark Delancey says he appreciates the cooperation with Kelly and the positive message that his music brings.
Delancy believes a message of acceptance in music can help LGBTQ youth feel belonging, just as a message of hate can do just the opposite
“When they see these things they can actually shape and mold their impression of what can be done, positive or negative these comments can hurts and form the bases of who they are in individuals,” Delancey said.
For Kelly, someone who’s hurting and unsure of their place in the world is exactly who he wants to reach.
“I would want them to take away the idea that they are okay, it’s okay to be who you are, it’s okay to love the way that you want, it’s okay to love who you want, it’s never okay for someone to tell you anything different,” he said.
Kelly believes his music can have that restorative quality for those listening because when he’s writing, he feels it himself.
“That’s what my music does for me when I’m writing, I may be having a horrible day but when I start to write and get all those emotions out on paper things get easier,” he said.
He said it happens so often, he wrote a song about it.
“I’ve written a song called ‘Over Anything” and it’s a song that says I choose to be happy regardless of what goes on in my life,” he said.
Delancey says that’s the message he wants to put out and promote about LGBTQ people, and he hopes everyone can appreciate Kelly’s work.
“Anything that someone finds joy in is able to perceive and lift themselves for whatever reason and if it’s in the music that Jerome puts out there that’s great,” he said.