The seeds for Jeangu Macrooy’s (Paramaribo,1993) musical journey are planted when he receives a guitar as a thirteenth birthday gift from his parents. Shortly after, a musical duo is formed with twin brother Xillan. However, Jeangu’s musical ambition turns out to be bigger than the music scene in his native Suriname, leading to his move to The Netherlands in 2014. There a musical collaboration with producer/composer Perquisite takes off, who signs him to his label Unexpected Records. His debut EP Brave Enough is released in April 2016 and from that moment on, Jeangu’s career finds itself on the fast track. He’s named 3FM Talent, supports Blaudzun and Selah Sue, is a recurring guest on Dutch national television talk show De Wereld Draait Door, plays at Eurosonic Noorderslag and is nominated for an Edison Pop Award (Dutch Grammy) in the category ‘Best New Artist’.
Jeangu’s soulful debut album High On You (2017), that is released the next year, consists of highly personal songs – a collection of honest stories of struggle, gratitude, hope and leaps of faith that come with navigating young adulthood in different contexts. The record is nominated for the Edison Pop Award ‘Best Album’, and brings Jeangu and his band to major live slots at Lowlands Festival and North Sea Jazz. A homecoming show in Jeangu’s native Suriname follows, after his single High On You has held the no. 1 position in the Surinamese music charts for seven weeks straight. Upon returning to The Netherlands, Jeangu personifies the character of Judas in major TV production The Passion, viewed by 3.5 million people, and does support shows for Curtis Harding and Ayo on their German tours.
On his second album Horizon (2019), Jeangu presents himself with his head held high. The searching youngster has evolved into a confident artist, exploring the world, driven by curiosity and a lust for life, unafraid to dream big. ‘I want to avoid repetition’, he says. ‘As soon as I recognized certain pre-existing patterns in my song writing, I stopped and tried to figure out whether there were alternative ways of going about it.’ A few years into his career, now a household name in The Netherlands, Jeangu Macrooy is on a journey that allows him to grow closer to his true musical form. He has improved his ability to realize his musical ideas, and explores the possibilities for his music together with his long-term producer Perquisite.
Even if Jeangu’s story is one of rare success, he is not one to deny the negative side of the pressure that comes with such a rollercoaster. He realized that a focus on that next dot on the horizon was taking up space needed to listen to the voice within. The song ‘Grow’ – which would eventually be selected as the song with which Macrooy is going to represent The Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, is about growing up and realizing that there’s no such thing as a clear cut path to happiness. But it’s also about accepting the fact that life is a series of highs and lows, which ultimately makes us grow as humans. Jeangu on Grow: ‘Emotions, good and bad, are a universal language. I hope this song makes people feel a little less lonely in their search for happiness. I believe in the power music has to bring people together. It’s the reason I do what I do.’
Besides taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam on May 16th, Jeangu will embark on a theatre tour with his band throughout The Netherlands from March 19th until May 31st 2020.