With a voice of gold and a heart of platinum, Jerk has been heating up the music scene and is due to release her first Mixtape titled “Changing Faces” in 2013. This talented singer/rapper formally named Verlencia “Jerk/Lenci” Whitfield, was born on March 14th 1989 in Riviera Beach, FL and is the eldest of two siblings. Lenci grew up listening to everything from hip hop to old school/soul and R&B. Being born under a talented mother has played a huge role in forming the diversity of this artist. Her mother sang in the choir as a child and also played the piano for Lenci when she was young. This caused Lenci to also become fascinated with the instrument and she began playing her grandmother’s up-right piano as a toddler alongside her mother. This wasn’t the first time that she showed her interest in music. In 1992, when Whitney Houston released her popular hit single “I will always love you”, Lenci was greatly moved by the voice coming from Ms. Houston and that’s when she decided that she would be a singer. Lenci lists Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, Brandy and Beyonce as a few of her vocal influences.
At the young age of seven, she began taking piano lessons at ASM music school while still developing her voice in the meantime on her own. Once she enrolled in U.B Kinsey Palm View Elementary School of the Arts, she began to open up her heart not only to music but to drama as well. While there, she excelled in academics and also learned 3 new instruments (Violin, viola and the recorder) which only increased her love and devotion for music. Once she graduated from U.B Kinsey, she continued on to Watson B. Duncan Middle School to further her skills in Band. After playing in the various band classes from sixth through tenth grade and learning 10 more instruments, Lenci was ready to start focusing on her dream of becoming a successful singer/rapper.
In her teens, Lenci began creating her own songs and lyrics while playing piano alone in her room. She also started creating her own beats through Fruity Loops and started recording her songs as often as possible in her friend’s garage studio. She didn’t waste her time in the studio either. Along the way, she picked up various techniques from watching different engineers and she developed keen “musician’s ears” which lead her to record her own tracks in the privacy of her bedroom. After producing her first track she realized that she could do most of the work herself and still allow her talent to blossom throughout the hours of the day and night with minimal to no interruptions. During this time she produced songs like “I’ll ride” and “Purest of pain”. When she transferred from Palm Beach Gardens to William T Dwyer High School, she decided to change her elective from Band to Chorus. In the eleventh grade at Dwyer, she performed for the first time in front of all of her peers in the school auditorium for a talent show case. She sang Alicia Keys’ “If I ain’t got you” while also playing the piano along with one of her dear chorus friends. They didn’t win the school talent show but, it was a great performance and performing on stage alone gave Lenci great joy which was better than winning to her.
In 2006, Lenci’s family relocated to Port Saint Lucie, FL where she attended Saint Lucie West Centennial High and continued to follow her musical dream. There she showed outstanding advancement in class and was rewarded the honor of being the chorus leader. Her duties included managing the choir’s funds, maintaining the choir’s music and fund raisers and even directing the choir’s songs. In 2007, Lenci graduated from Centennial and began taking classes at Keiser University for Massage therapy. This was simply a plan B for what she calls 'a calling from God'. “This is my calling to do music. For me, it’s music or death; simple as that. I don’t see myself doing anything else.” With that thought embedded in her head, she continued to pursue her first love of music and decided an alter ego was needed to represent that rough, hood girl inside of her with the rainbow swag.
After a long debate and a thorough list of names, one stood out that she believed represented not only her bisexual side but also that rough boyish side as well. While watching 106 & Park, she came across a two-man boy group named The Newboyz who was performing their 2009 viral hit “You’re a jerk” live on stage. It was then that it hit her and ‘Jerk’ became her chosen name for that edgy, say-what’s-on-your-mind rapper inside of her. “I’m a sweet person and I can be very sweet. People call me Jerk because I can be one. Don’t let my cute face fool you. [Laughs] I’ve embraced the new out spoken me and I’m very glad ‘Jerk’ is here to stay.” The idea was to have ‘Lenci’ (her childhood nickname) represent the soft singer side and ‘Jerk’ to represent the cocky rapper side. Being such a diverse person as she is, it’s no surprise that she would want to display a dual persona when it came to the music she created. Lenci credits Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Lil Kim & Missy Elliott for her rapping influences.
In 2011, She began writing and producing her Mixtape “Changing Faces” which is due to drop later this year followed by her first album in December of 2012. In the near future she plans to release her second Mixtape while also touring the US to reach out to more of her fans. She also plans to get back into the acting scene and one day she would like to own her own entertainment label to help hard working artist like herself. She aspires to have her own clothing line for her thick and sexy fans as well as a fragrance and make up line for her sisters of color. Today, Jerk is still working hard to learn every aspect of the music business. Though her music venture has been long and challenging, she has continued to stay positive and is determined to make her dreams a reality one fan at a time.