Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Born into a family of church musicians and vocalists on July 11, 1984 in Clinton, Mississippi, blues guitarist, songwriter, and singer Jarekus Singleton was raised on gospel music. Taught the bass by his uncle when he was nine years old, he began playing in his grandfather's church band that same year. He switched to guitar, and soon was soaking up any music he could find, from blues to rock, rap to country, and developed an exciting electric lead guitar style, with a vocal style to match. But Singleton also had other interests, including basketball, and he became a top-seeded national basketball prospect in college (he was the starting point guard for the University of Southern Mississippi for three years) before suffering an ankle injury in 2009. He became a rap artist for a time, writing his own lyrics, and when he picked up the guitar again, it all came together in a blues-based, rap-informed, and very personal take on contemporary blues. He formed the Jarekus Singleton Blues Band that same year in 2009, and quickly found a local following in Mississippi. He self-released a debut album, Heartfelt, in 2011. Signing to Alligator Records, his second album, and first national release, Refuse to Lose, appeared in 2014.