When I think of the DMV, I think of opportunity. The opportunity to play open mic’s, the opportunity to make connections and the opportunity to collaborate. But unlike some other cities/areas, I think this sense of opportunity brings a bit more responsibility to it. When I was living in Philadelphia, I was playing a show every week without too much effort. But in the DMV, responsibility falls on the artist to actually do even more work to find shows to play and communities to join. However, I also find it difficult to expand on my understanding of the DMV scene because I spent so much of my formative music years in Philadelphia. Because of that, I sometimes find myself at odds with folks who have put in the work here in the DMV. In one sense, I understand it is my responsibility to work to make connections and build communities, but I also don’t want to step on territory that I didn’t help build. All in all, I am very optimistic about what the DMV has to offer in terms of music and the arts.
Hailing from Maryland, Jahn Rome defines himself as a rapper and songwriter with a passion for vulnerability and skepticism. He grew up in Maryland, but moved to Philadelphia to attend college. It was in Philly that he built a background in philosophy and gender studies, which he incorporates into his music at its foundation. With this background, he engages with topics and problems that many artists refuse to tackle. This willingness to engage with unknowns and uncertainties is central to his material.
After finishing school, Jahn moved back to the DMV to pursue music seriously. And instead of an aggressive, hyper masculine personality, he connects with listeners with honesty and sincerity. He understands that his privileged position as a white and cisgender man already gives him a platform that many people do not have. This year, he has released music on a consistent bi-weekly basis, building buzz with quality content that never fails to show different parts of his perspective. With these releases so far, he has no plan of slowing down.
Photos by Magdalena Papaioannou