Jermaine Wells
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Jermaine Wells

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band R&B Hip Hop




"Live in the Clubs"

“Live in the Clubs: Wells to introduce music with CD For the past six years, singer and rapper Jermaine Wells has built his reputation in the Capital Region as the frontman for hip-hop and R&B band The Ill Funk Ensemble. But that’s only one side of Wells’ artistic personality. Now, with his debut solo EP, “For Dancing Girls & Admirers,” Wells is looking to introduce fans to some of these other artistic endeavors. The five songs on the EP showcase his abilities as a producer. Just the beginning The EP is only the beginning for Wells’ solo ventures. Next year, he’s planning two more EPs — an online release on his website,, inspired by the photography of some of his friends, and another R&B and dance inspired collection. He’s also hoping to get back into acting, inspired by the recent productions that have taken up residence in the area. ”
-Brian McElhiney
- Daily Gazette

"Solo Ready"

“Jermaine Wells is the real deal. He is a singer of soul, a follower of James and rapper with a flow because fake funk just ain’t in him. This brown-eyed handsome man is best known as the Ill Funk Ensemble frontman.Mr. Wells is stepping out in support of his solo five-track EP, “For Dancing Girls and Admirers,” with a CD release. But wait, there’s more… a world premiere of the music video for the new disc’s “Your Up Down,” produced in conjunction with Latham’s Best Bytes Media. Oh and yes, Ill Funk Ensemble will be in the house and performing – sure to both raise the roof and turn this mother out. Bronx transplant Jermaine Wells first started kicking it on the campus of the College of St. Rose and has been steadily building a following in the Nippertown area for the last six-plus years with hard work and a hard-to-deny stage presence. His new solo EP is a strong mix of hip-hop and club tracks – sure to send you to the dance floor outright, all night! ”
-Matt Mac Haffie

"HipHop in The Park"

Local Producer/singer Jermaine Wells rocked Washington Park on saturday as one of the few R&B singers to perform at the HipHop meets the Labor Movement festial. - Times Union

"Jermaine Brings it to St. Joes"

Jermaine and The Pain finished to standing ovations after there opening set at the Annual St. Rose Hiphop and R&B show. Although, the band was an opener they were truly a hard act to follow. - The Chronicle

"Lark Street ready to rock"

Opening up on the groove stage this year is Jermaine Wells and backing band The Pain. They are known for the effortless blend of soul, R&B,hiphop and Reggae. The band is fueled by great lyrics and smooth vocals. - Metroland

"Independent Music"

Jemriane Wells is the clear star of the CI Productions "Cop That Compilation." He has smooth pipes and his crooning reminds me of a more relevant Boys to Men. Although, he can rap like Tupac Shakur. I prefer his R&B songs. - The Independent

"Road Rules for Jermaine Wells"

... Jermaine Wells's song "Troble Man" has been picked up for an episode of the series"Road Rules" airing on PBS. This should be just the beginning for the up and coming musician.... - THe Concordius

"Ill Funk ensemble straddle club scene and hiphop"

For roughly five years now, the Ill Funk Ensemble has straddled the line between two worlds on the Capital Region’s music scene.

The Albany-based five piece band, fronted by singer and rapper Jermaine Wells, is a live hip-hop band in the vein of The Roots. As such, the group often finds itself playing shows with local MCs who are backed by prerecorded music or a DJ. But the band is just as comfortable on the rock club scene, and has the chops to keep up with the four-hour, three-set night that are the norm in many of the region’s bars and clubs.

“The hip-hop community and the live band community in this area are very separate,” said guitarist BJ FitzGerald, during a band interview in Schenectady. “We’ve done some functions with hip-hop guys, and it’s a totally different world. I come from that world of hustling for gigs and playing full nights, three-set nights, and stuff like that, and I don’t know of a single other hip-hop band in the area that does a full three-set night like we do. I can’t think of one.”

With a covers set that features songs from artists including Biggie Smalls and The Jackson 5, the band- also featuring keyboardist Joe Stoner, drummer Dennis Brooks and bassist Duane Etienne- has the material to perform in either situation.

The group is up to roughly four or five shows a month in the region, and just completed a tour of the Cape Cod, Mass., area this past summer.

Toy Drive Show
The band’s next show is at one of its favorite haunts, Red Square. Friday nights, “Gift Wrapped in Sound,” a toy drive and benefit show for The Langan School and the Albany Center for Disability Services, will also feature performances from a bevy of artists, including fellow Albany hip-hop inflected band Mirk and the New Familiars, Flakjacket, Atomic Tom, The Red Lions, Ninepin, Rawthentic, Wyte Boy & B-Way and Milly Warbucks. The Ill Funk Ensemble takes the stage at 10 p.m.

This is the kind of show that allows the group to focus more on its original material. Usually, the band will slip in its originals during the cover sets- and often times, the audience is none the wiser.

“All of us are willing to do the covers so that we can push some of the original stuff,” FitzGerald said. “A lot of times we don’t even mention that we’re playing original stuff, and the audience members, they end up going, ‘Really? That was an original tune?’ Yeah, man. And they end up looking at it and to realizing that’s what it is, and they get more interested in it.”

While the cover sets are what makes the band money, the group doesn’t approach its versions the way most cover groups do. FitzGerald, who started his musical career and still plays with The Alan Payette Band, first conceived of the Ill Funk Ensemble in 2005, trying to move away from the “party band” scene.

“At first the idea kind of came about that there was something a little more funky, a little bit more groove-oriented,” FitzGerald said. “The idea kind of came, when Jermaine came into the picture, to add a lot of hip-hop to it, and from there it went.”

Wells, a Bronx native who relocated to Albany to attend the College of Saint Rose in 1996, had experience performing as a solo rapper prior to joining the Ill Funk Ensemble, making numerous appearances at The Apollo.

The rest of the band’s members have been playing on the local scene for years- in Brooks’ case, over 25. All this experience jelled together pretty quickly into the group’s mix of hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock.

“We all came from doing different things,” Brooks said. “It was a growth of, I guess, what each of us were doing. It’s a unique sound to the genre, I think, because there’s some bands out there playing hip-hop, but our sound is unique to us.”

“Bj and I both have jazz backgrounds, too, so we wanted to – hip-hop was kind of a double benefit there,” Stoner added. “We can actually explore that and get paid to do it, and also it’s an under-served market in the area, live hip-hop.”

Building a Base
Although the group has recorded a full-length album, titled, “Get Down,” it has yet to be released. The band’s primary focus at the moment is, naturally, gigging and building a fan base.

“Some people do the exact opposite: they release an album and then they try to build a fan base around it,” FitzGerald said. “None of us, I think, feel comfortable with nobody knowing who the band is, and then investing a lot of money into a CD, and then hoping and praying that we sell those CDs. It doesn’t really work. Above all, we’re an artistic outlet, but we’re also a business outlet- we need to be professional, make money.”
- Schenectady Gazette


The EP "For Dancing Girls & Admirers" was just released December 2011 and is now available on itunes!
Previous projects include an album called “The Pain” which was recorded for the Capitol District African American Coalition on AIDS. This received radio play .Currently, he has a music recorded in Nashville that has received airplay on WCDB 90.9 fm and WEOS 89.7 fm, Jamz 96.3 and 104.9 love fm. Currently, Jermaine is recording an EP to be released within the next few months. September or October 2011. The first single will be making the rounds shortly! It is called Here We Go (Thicky)



Jermaine Wells is a native of the Bronx, New York City. He has been influenced by many cultures and experiences which he draws from for inspiration in his music. He feels that his diverse cultural background and experience with both positive and negative aspects of urban/metropolitan life have enabled him to express his feelings on certain situations that many people experience.
Jermaine is, what many would consider a modern day Renaissance man and self-proclaimed “triple threat” by most industry standards, specializing in singing, dancing, playwriting, and acting. He projects an image of mystery with an urban sex appeal.
Jermaine’s unique “cinematic” approach to songwriting enables him to paint a picture in the listener’s mind. He is quoted as saying, “I’m writing down a story.”

Other accomplishments in his career include an appearance on the MTV’s Say What Karaoke, Apollo Showtime, the feature film “Random Hearts” starring Harrison Ford, a TV Commercial for Claritin and many more cinematic and television appearances. Recently, Jermaine won an honorable mention from The John Lennon Songwriting contest. He has played for the City of Albany at The Lark Festival (1000 people) and First Night(New Years Eve).
In a time where the hip-hop/soul and R&B genres seem to dominating popular music sales and radio/TV airplay, Jermaine is determined to accomplish his goals of stardom with the amount of shear talent he has, these goals are perfectly attainable. Most recently he has scored a placement on the series "Road Trip Nation."
Jermaine is currently performing with his newly formed band the "Ill Funk Ensemble." This live soul, R&B, hiphop and funk band has already started to create a buzz. Check out
On December 2, 20ll he released a solo EP "For Dancing Girls & Admirers" available worldwide on itunes!