Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson – Editor
Growing up in Louisiana, New Orleans wasn’t always an easy task for the young and talented singer Jamar Rogers, as he faced various adversities in his life. At the age of 6 Jamar showed a great ability to sing; however, to fulfill the emotional void in his life, he would later fall victim to being addicted to drugs while growing up in a fatherless home. Unfortunately, while being addicted to crystal meth, he was diagnosed HIV positive; moreover, the troubles and reality wouldn’t defeat the creative and outgoing future star.
Withstanding the challenge to overcome his darkest moments, Jamar eventually beat the drug habit and has been clean from drugs for 6 years, recognized as a champion in his own rights. He proves this by being a competitor on the hit NBC show, The Voice, believing in his dream and following his passion, singing and overcoming many harsh challenges in his life.
Today, the Bronx singer has appeared on tons of popular shows and in numerous publications. He leads by example, sharing his inspirational and heart-felt testimony, volunteering, public speaking and partaking in life changing events, such as the 11th Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, alongside Wanda Sykes, Michael Feinstein and Adam Emil, just to name a few. With over 25,000 people living in Chicago with HIV, the star shows his support and concern for the cause.
I (Consciousness Magazine) had the opportunity to speak to such a humble and charismatic individual. Here is what Jamar Rogers had to share with the readers.
Aaron Robinson: You recently participated in the AIDS Run & Walk in Chicago. How was that for you?
Jamar Rogers: It was actually my very first time participating in an AIDS walk. It seems like there were so many people out there. It was just so much support – black, white, brown, old, young, gay, straight – it was just great to see everyone unite under a common purpose. And on top of that, people were just really receptive to the show that I had. It was my first time doing a really good show in Chicago, and people were just really really kind. So, in a nut shell, it was an amazing experience!
Aaron: What was that moment like for you when you became a finalist on The Voice?
Jamar: Well, I actually didn’t become a finalist. I was eliminated right before I could become a finalist. But, once I made it on the show I was washed-away of every doubt I ever had about myself about being an HIV positive male. Every preconceived notion that I had about myself was false. It was really good to have that foundation, to be on a national scale and to have America – not just America, because there were so many other countries watching. To have these people send out so much love and support shows me kind of where we are consciously as a society.
Aaron: What kept you determined to not give up on your singing career?
Jamar: Well, I didn’t have anything else to fall back on. I was just walking dogs in New York and singing and trying to make it. I just knew that I had something special. I really just wanted to make sure that as many heard it as possible, not just my neighbors when I sang in the Bronx. I wanted to touch people on a mass level. You have to understand that me singing is just a vehicle to the broader message, and the broader message is the message of acceptance, hope, second chances and redemption. So, any way that I can get that message across, I’m all for it. It just so happens that music seems to be a great unifier for that.
Aaron: You spoke about you being HIV positive. How has that changed your life?
Jamar: Well it changed my life because it got me to stop using crystal meth once and for all. It also made me a much more empathetic and compassionate individual. Basically, I was pretty ignorant for a while and had my own prejudices and stigmas. I began to work in New York and I began to lower those walls and understand that people living with HIV are not leopards. We have dreams and hopes and aspirations. It would have really helped me in the beginning of my HIV journey, to see somebody else out there with HIV letting me know it was okay. Since there was nobody out there letting the young people know its okay, I figure I would be that guy.
Aaron: With all the challenges and obstacles you’ve been through in life, what would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in your life or career thus far?
Jamar: GETTING OFF OF CRYSTAL METH.
Aaron: What advice would you share with individuals who think that reaching their goal to fulfill their dream is too far out of reach?
Jamar: Well, I would say don’t believe the lie. And what is the lie? The lie is that you’re useless; the lie is that you have no purpose. What I would tell my young brothers and sisters, whether they’re entrepreneurs or artists, I would say to them ‘live your passion’. Whatever that thing is that you can’t stop thinking about, whatever that thing is that keeps you motivated and keeps you running, that’s what you should be getting up and pursuing every day. And not just pursuing it, but doing it with passion, with vigor and with excitement. So, I would say the road is long; the road is tough. You’re going to get a million No’s, but all it takes is one Yes!
Aaron: You were raised in a single parent household that took you down an unfortunate path of doing drugs. What words of encouragement would you share with individuals affected by living in a single family home?
Jamar: I would basically say that we were put on this planet to love and to receive love. If you are feeling love starved or alone, then go and show some love. Go volunteer at a charity, become a big brother or big sister. If you go show love you will reap love.
Aaron: What can fans expect from Mr. Jamar Rogers in the future?
Jamar: I’m in the process of writing a book. I’m actually right now at the United States Conference of AIDS in Las Vegas where I’m about to perform. For Christmas, I will be doing a big Christmas special on NBC. I’m also writing a blog for the Insider.com. So, I’m staying very very busy. And of course making lots of more music.
Aaron: Would you like to add anything before we close the interview?
Jamar: I would just say never ever ever ever give up! Giving up should never be an option. Take that option off of the table and watch how many doors open for you.
Aaron: I want to thank you for considering doing this interview with us! I really appreciate it.
Jamar: Aw man…Thank you! I love to talk. (Laugh) It was my pleasure!
Last modified: April 17, 2023