In a biweekly series of features, we’re inviting Minnesota artists to introduce themselves to our audience. Today: Jex Nwalor, a Bemidji college student blowing up on TikTok with a signature ukulele and an incredible voice.
My name is Jesse “Jex” Nwalor. I go by Jex. I grew up in Brampton, Ontario near Toronto. Canada, moved to Arizona for high school. Now I’m in Bemidji, Minnesota studying business management, playing basketball, and making music. I also help around the community as well.
My cousins got a ukulele for Christmas about three or four years ago. I didn’t get one, but I thought it was really cool because I I’ve played a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar – nothing mastered, though. Then, I went on Amazon [and] purchased my first ukulele. I learned everything I could on that, so that when I bought a real, authentic, cool ukulele, I’d already know how to play everything, and it’d already sound really good.
Then [in October 2019], I bought my real ukulele, and that’s when I started posting on TikTok, after my cousins told me to. My cousins and brothers told me, “Your comedy videos on TikTok are blowing up as much as your voice would if you put it on there.” So I put my voice on TikTok, and that’s when it kicked off.
I signed a short term deal with this company called UKU Ukuleles and we came out with the “Jex” ukulele, and I started to send those out. We just made it based on what I like: low G tenor ukuleles. I’ve been talking to record labels and management since summer 2020. I can’t say anything much about [my upcoming] originals, [except that they’re] coming soon. A lot of people want full covers, so that’ll be coming soon as well, so it’s not just little snippets on TikTok.
I was actually very afraid at first of what people would think, but people need to realize that God gives them talents, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to express it. You should express yourself and feel no shame about it. If it’s something you love to do, do it, and just step outside the box.