American ‘enka’ singer has big debut

Kyodo News

Jero, quite likely Japan’s first black American “enka” (ballad) singer, is set to enter the singles chart at No. 4 based on sales figures compiled by Oricon Co. to be released Monday.

Such a showing would mark the highest-ever chart entry among debut singles released by enka singers.

Jero, whose real name is Jerome White, Jr., came to Japan in 2003 to become a singer after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh. He is drawing popularity by singing the ballads dressed in hip-hop clothes.

Born in Pittsburgh, the 26-year-old made his debut earlier this year, releasing the single “Umiyuki” (“Marine Snow”).