I was born in Algarve in Portugal 27 years ago as Joao Da Fonseca now known as J’Something. My family immigrated to the Eastern Cape and later moved to Johannesburg in South Africa, where I worked at Soul Candi as the studio manager. I opted for J’Something as a stage name because most of my friends couldn’t pronounce my name. My love for soul and house music began when I was 13 years old, and was influenced by my idol Michael Jackson.
It might sound far-fetched, but it took myself, Mo-T and Dr. Duda a moment to click and Mi Casa was born. Looking back, it all happened by chance. The trio started performing at an event where Dr. Duda was deejaying, and for some fate, Mo-T decided to join in. I was at the same event as well and we all started free styling. The next thing we knew, Soul Candi approached us and asked if we wanted to form a group and record a debut album.
Our albums, Mi Casa Music and Mi Casa Su Casa thrived on the music charts all over the world and were well received; we reached triple-platinum selling status. As the lead vocalist and songwriter I find the success of the band a humbling experience and a true definition of what is meant to be, will always be.
If you were to browse through my social media pages, you would realise that I love to cook and really enjoy good food!
In 2014, Something’s Cool (My creative agency I own) and I announced a much-anticipated cooking show titled Something’s Cooking on Mzansi Magic headlined by international Unilever brand, Knorr. The 13-episode season was a success and reached over 2 million viewers. In 2015 I was asked to be Knorr’s celebrity chef and hosted my second cooking show; a 13-part format called What’s For Dinner on SABC 3; over 10 million people tuned in. The What’s For Dinner partnership also extended into radio, print, cooking classes and a digital strategy.
Between working on my music, shooting cooking shows, I also managed to partner with the likes of Mc Cain, Leopard’s Leap Vineyard, Menlyn Shopping Centre, Distelle, SMEG, Standard Bank, Taste of Cape Town and the Good Food and Wine Show to name a few.
Having designed South African Airways business class menu and a regular feature in South African media for my soulful recipes, it is exciting for me to be working on my first cook book and a third long format cooking show for international distribution.
My food philosophy is simple; begin with love, and this is something I emphasize a lot whenever when I prepare meals and do food appearances. It’s not necessarily about the cost, the intricacy or how trendy the dish is, but what’s in your heart when you are making it. Simplicity and healthy options are always top of mind.
I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve managed to bring music, food, television, lifestyle and entrepreneurship all together, I guess the inner creative in me needs various outlets.
In 2015 the South African Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Awarded me for young entrepreneur of the year for starting Something’s Cool and 34 Music, as well as the GQ’s Best Dressed Man which was an incredible moment for me.
I was appointed as Huawei Africa’s Creative Director in the same year and this current position allows me to come up with super cool and innovative campaigns for the brand. I have also recently collaborated with retail brand, Boardmans to showcase how much fun cooking and entertaining can be with the right equipment and food knowledge.
With just under 1 million active online followers across all major sites and thousands of fans who I am so grateful; my influence is growing at an organic and impressive rate which allows me to make the difference I believe I’m here for.