Restaurateur and Musician J'Something Puts People And Soul At The Centre Of Everything He Does

He credits working well with and caring for people as the secret to his music and restaurant success


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J'Something is the founder of new restaurant, Something's Cooking by J.

Image Credit: instagram.com/jsomethingmusic

Joao da Fonseca, better known as J'Something, built a lucrative career by entertaining people with his music - with the launch of his new Portuguese-inspired restaurant, Something's Cooking by J, he is looking to do the same with food. 

"Both are forms of entertainment and creative expression," says J'Something, "above those two things, I think what I was born to do was to entertain people." 

Born in Portugal and raised in South Africa, J'Something first rose to fame in 2011 as a vocalist and guitarist for the house band Mi Casa, alongside fellow band members, producer and pianist Dr Duda and Mo-T, a trumpeter.

Their soulful jazz sound made them a fan favourite and their music has continued to dominate the airways and music charts.

Going Beyond Music 

J'Something's food journey first began with him sharing food related posts and recipes with his fans on his social media pages and website. 

In 2014 he solidified his reputation as a foodie when he received an opportunity to host his own cooking show sponsored by Knorr, Something’s CookingThe 13-episode season aired on DSTV's Mzansi Magic channel and was well received, garnering a viewership of over 2 million. 

Because of the show's massive success, J'Something was able to take his food career even further. He was invited to design the business class menu for South African Airways and partnered with some of the country's most popular food festivals - Taste of Cape Town and the Good Food and Wine Show. In 2015 he collaborated with appliance and kitchenware retailer, Boardmans.

The J'Something Experience

The restaurant Something's Cooking by J, pays homage both to his Portuguese and musical roots. It was launched in April this year and is located at the entertainment hub, Times Square Casino in Menlyn, Pretoria. 

Diners at the eatery can expect dishes with a heavy Portuguese influence including fish, chicken and prawns, as well as more contemporary and internationally-inspired fare, like deep-fried mac 'n cheese and steamed buns with chicken. 

The menu is celebrity-inspired with dishes named after popular local musicians. Since the launch he has introduced dishes inspired by award-winning jazz artist, Hugh Masikela, which will be followed by dishes inspired by DJ Black Coffee. 

The Mother City will also soon have an opportunity to enjoy the J'Something experience, the restaurant owner recently announced that he plans to open a second restaurant in Cape Town.

Find out how J'Something runs his business as a 'creative' with these 6 quick fire questions

I've Always Had Big Dreams
Nothing is impossible. I guess like most things in life it really depends [on] how much you want those things. 

What Gives Me The Competitive Edge Is My Passion For People
I think it [my success] stems from genuinely loving what I do. My theory in my life is to treat people with love and care, because we are nothing without people. I guess that helps me to not be a "grumpy old businessman".

You Can Run A Business And Be Kind 
Being a gentleman is cool, being a well-mannered person is fashionable. 


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I Am Solution-Driven
The key to all the obstacles I've encountered in my career is ensuring that who or whatever it is, there [is] clear communication and finding a solution. The only thing that puts fear in me is when I can't find a solution. 

Being A Millennial Businessman Has Opened More Doors
Today's society has placed us at an advantage [with] how small the world has become through the Internet. [We have been] able to use the platforms that we grew up with to find out that our options are unlimited. The privilege of growing up in the era that I have grown up in is that the internet and social media are normal, whereas 'older businessmen' had a lot of limitations - mentally and structurally. 

It All Started With Music
When I started my career all I wanted to do was create music that makes a difference. Six years down the line I think that's what Mi Casa has done. I hope that we can continue making people happy through our music. 

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