Introducing the artist

As a little kid in Albania, Jon Tarifa wanted one thing: to be a professional football player. He had no teddy bears in his bed, but a soccer ball instead. Fortunately, he had a Plan B: to become a singer. He looked admiringly at his cousin, namely Eneda, who was serenading the entire family with her mini performances when she was six years old. Jon also wanted to do that…

Due to an injury, his football career ended quickly. So he switched to that other plan. His father was a diplomat and the family first moved from Albania to the United States of America, and later to the Netherlands. Jon Tarifa arrived in The Hague with a head full of music.

He was quick to join a band; Nuclear Family. Jon Tarifa loved that old-fashioned boombap ‘hip hop sound; DJ, samples and rap in Dutch and English. After a few good years, in 2006, they separated on good terms. Jon joined the band L4 which was formed by two rappers of the former R.O.O.O.M., and Nuclear Family continued as Kern Koppen.

In 2011, Jon Tarifa decided to go solo. He met a trumpet player and led his band in becoming a kind of swinging United Nations; The band members come from Germany, Suriname, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and of course Albania.

An international band requires an international approach: Jon Tarifa launched his debut single in four countries simultaneously. He was on the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival in 2011, played at Eurosonic Noorderslag in 2014 and 2015 and rocked the stage five years in a row on Parkpop Festival.

Along with Stargate Music producers Holger Schwedt (Bløf, Miss Montreal, Go Back To The Zoo) & Sander Rozeboom (I.O.S., Van Velzen, Caro Emerald), Jon Tarifa developed a new sound with more singing and less rap. And that sounds yummy!

In October 2016, Jon Tarifa became world news with his latest single “Don’t Go”. The song was used in a tribute video for Barack Obama which went viral on internet and even reached the likes of CNN India and The New York Times, to only name a few. The video was also shared by both of President Obama’s daughters on social media. As a result, Jon was invited to perform on various TV programs in the Netherlands, such as the popular RTL Late Night and Hart van Nederland, among others. In the meantime, the video has reached over 55 million views and 1.4 million Spotify streams. Soon, there will be an official release of the song in the United States by Interscope Records.


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