NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The 58th annual Grammy Awards are right around the corner and pleased to showcase artists from far and wide, including New Brunswick’s own Christopher Jermaine Holmes.

The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony that gives recognition to the outstanding accomplishments in the music industry. This New Brunswick native is a backup vocalist for prominent R&B and Neo soul singer D’Angelo, who is nominated for Record of the Year for his song “Really Love.”

Holmes explains how “this is the first time that D’Angelo actually allowed any singers to be on the album.”

“Really Love” is one of the featured songs on D’Angelo’s most recent album Black Messiah. Holmes is featured on two tracks, “Ain’t That Easy” and “Another Life.”

This local’s unfailing talent and devotion to music is not by chance. At a young age, Holmes began playing the piano and sang in the choir at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church located at 150 Throop Ave in New Brunswick.

Holmes explains, “My mother is a background singer for a gospel group called the Lumzy Sisters and my father was a lead singer for a gospel group called The Mighty Blazing Stars.” For Holmes it seems as though following in his parent’s musical footsteps was inevitable.

In regards to his relationship with D’Angelo, Holmes’ explains “His family has a gospel group. Myself and a couple other family members ended up singing at his family’s gospel event and that’s where we got introduced to his family and eventually got introduced to him.”

This unexpected friendship has lead to a collection of experiences. Holmes has performed “in front of thousands of people” at venues such as the Staples Center, United Center and the Apollo Theater. He has also performed as a backup vocalist on the BET Awards and Saturday Night Live.

For Holmes the hard work seems to have paid off.

“To get the call from the Grammy people, to have them call and the opening statement is ‘Congratulations on your nominee’ that means everything,” Holmes reminisces.

The New Brunswick resident further explains how he then received an email providing details on the Grammys. The email clarified information regarding tickets to the actual event and what were to happen if they won “Record of the Year.”

Although the Grammys are quickly approaching, Holmes’ focus continues to be on his art form.His future plans consist of maintaining his work with D’Angelo, as well as pursuing projects with a few others that he has been collaborating with.

Holmes shares a sincere message with his community, hoping to “let kids and people from the same city I grew up in, let them know it’s possible that you can make it in this business.”