I am not easily swayed from my intentions or plans, but on a rare occasion even this bloody-minded writer can be put off course by something truly remarkable. Driving through East Greenwich on a bright fall afternoon, a live singing voice floated through the open car window that caused me to cancel my plans, park up and listen. That voice was Jake Kambo, a local crooner who at the tender age of 14, already sounds like the heroes who he emulates. We took a moment between sets to catch up and shine a light on tomorrow’s Chairman of the Board.
Amadeus Finlay (Motif): What inspired you to get into swing music?
Jake Kambo: I’ve been in love with music ever since I was little. Always tapping my feet to the music so loudly that I get yelled at. But the music that warms my heart, that’s the standards and jazz. I was inspired when I first heard one of the many standards, “Fly Me to the Moon.” I guess you could say I started flying up to the moon.
AF: When I hear you, I hear a young Frank Sinatra mashed with a young Michael Buble. How does that make you feel?
JK: To be thought of as if I sound like two legends is a tremendous compliment, but I have a long road ahead of me before I reach legendary status. These guys are my inspiration and also motivate me every time I grab the microphone. As their legacies are tremendous, I want to establish my legacy in the years to come.
AF: Is it difficult to be a crooner in an era of pop music? Or does it help you stand out?
JK: I’ve always been told that I have an old soul. To be a crooner in the era of pop music separates me from the majority music style, which I feel as though gives me my niche to share with the world. I like being different because I can carry this type of music down to a younger generation, and keeping the spirit of the croon alive for years to come. I respect all kinds of music and the talents that perform it, but only this kind of music seeps into my heart and makes me feel life.
AF: Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
JK: My biggest musical inspiration … that would be my entire family. My family has helped me more than anybody else has. So I inspire to be like my family because they make me feel more love and joy than I could ask for.
AF: Tell us about your vision for the future. Do you want to make this a professional career once the lockdown ends?
JK: I guess you could say I’ve already made this a professional career even with the lockdown going on. I’ve been practicing, working hard and giving my best effort. I’m on Facebook, SoundCloud and YouTube. All social media outlets of which I’ve been keeping up-to-date and sharing the love of music. In the future, I hope to see myself continue singing and spreading the message of love, hope and peace to the rest of the world.
AF: What’s been your favorite experience on stage to date?
JK: Being on a stage is like being at home. I love performing whether it is to a small audience or a big. I am 14 and can take on any challenge that comes my way. I truly hope to see you beautiful people, some time or another.
Find Jake Kambo @jake.kambo or facebook.com/jake.kamborian or soundcloud.com/jake-kambo