You have probably heard of the child star curse, where successful young artists throw it all away in a haze of several social ills and fall victim to the perils of young fame.
This scenario does not apply to Jeffrey Rukoro, a gem of a singer whose vocal deliveries can even give the most established musicians a run for their money. Now 31, Jeffrey belongs to that class of young stars who have successfully continued to find success in different occupations altogether, before returning to the stage to tear through the masses with immense talent. To prove it, earlier this year he finished in the top sixteen of the internationally acclaimed television talent search programme, X-Factor in Helsinki, Finland. This, after friends and acquaintances urged him to enter the competition. Currently he is studying for his Master’s degree in Social Psychology at a university in that country. And now the music bug has seemingly got to him again, and the world should brace itself for the return of Jeffrey.
From his Helsinki base, the singer reveals that music has always been a part of his life. “Music has always been there but for the longest time it was something that I only did as a hobby, like at birthday parties or small functions at the Unam (University of Namibia) where I did my first degree in clinical psychology. In fact, I don’t remember how old I was when I first started doing covers, maybe ten or eleven but I always performed for guests at our home and a friend and I had dreams of becoming stars and going on tours,” Jeffrey reminisces nostalgically.
Be that as it may, pursuing music was not his ultimate goal at the time. Getting an education was. “As I was growing older I lost my confidence in singing and it’s only in recent years that I’m growing back into it. Now I know what kind of music I want to do, the type of sound I want to put out there and which producers I have to work with. It’s evolving and I’m excited about the happenings,” Jeffrey enthuses. And it was this desire to figure out what kind of artist he wanted to be that made him agree to give the X-Factor show a shot. And the experience was nothing short of valuable. “It was quite an interesting journey for me. I learned what the industry is like and what it take s to be a performer in this day and age. I did not emerge as a winner but all things considered, I had so much fun and took so much pride in how far I went in the competition,” Jeffrey says. After the auditions, he went through four more rounds up to the stage they refer to as the judges’ house. This is the round reserved for live shows. “I got through to the top four in my group, which was the over 25s and I finished in the top sixteen overall in the entire competition,” he says, citing challenges such as language barriers but given all circumstances it was an adventure worth repeating. “I’ll do more music,” he reveals adding that he is already sitting on recorded material, some of which are pretty old but not released due to complications pertaining to the business side of things.
“My team and I have been going through them to see if they can be reworked and remixed for a soon to be released project. I’m also co-writing and co-producing some new material, which I can’t wait to share with my people.” The psychologist turned musician moved to Finland some five years ago because of studies and work and commitments but home is where the heart is. “I’m still very much Namibian and still connected to my country of birth. My entire family and friends are there and I come down for visits as often as I can,” he signs off.