Jeremy Loops LIVE in Bloemfontein
“From cult live act status in his hometown Cape Town, to a chart topping album domestically, Jeremy Loops career has been characterized by breaking through glass ceilings”. He had an international breakout year in 2015 when he opened the stage for Twenty One Pilots and headlined a sold out 30,000-ticket tour of his own! When he doesn’t travel to the furthest corners of Africa to battle deforestation through his organization, Greenpop, he feeds some soul food to his music fans across the globe. NOW for the very first time he will be travelling to Bloemfontein on his Home Is Gold Tour! BloemFunTown had the privilege to ask Jeremy a few questions before his show here in Bloemfontein on the 25th of August.
1. This is your very first gig in Bloemfontein. Have you visited Bloem before? When was this and what was the reason for your visit?
To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve been to Bloem before. My father, who used to be an entertainer himself, used to travel a lot for work and I think he might’ve brought us to Bloem during school holidays as kids. Other than that, I’ve never been to Bloem before. Very curious to see what it has to offer.
2. With Trading Change you’ve acquired massive recognition locally and it’s rich with anthemic music while this debut studio album also made it possible for you to start doing headlining tours abroad. Which aspects musically and emotionally do you keep in mind with your first steps in creating a follow-up album to such a successful debut one?
I saw Quincy Jones once and he told this story of how Michael Jackson had the words ‘100 million units’ written above his dressing room mirror. He says Michael was obsessed with topping the numbers he did with Thriller, which was an obscene 50 million units. That number drove Michael crazy, Quincy implied. Quincy’s lesson was going into a new album and caring about commercial success more than actually making better music is fatal for a musician. Trading Change quite literally changed my life, but I was just a young developing musician back then. I know my songwriting today is better than it was yesterday, and I know that growth as an artist is a day by day thing. Remembering this has made me fearless. The only egos in studio are the songs themselves, and as long as the songs keep getting better, one’s career moves in the right direction.
3. In March 2018 Critical As Water was released, and what a follow-up! Waves has witnessed top positions on numerous charts and has contributed to you witnessing global festivals such as Lollapalooza. What would your reaction be 6 years ago if you were told you’d play alongside Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Milky Chance?
6 years ago, I had started envisioning sharing a stage with all these people. I’d have been cautious about assuming it would happen, but I had plans in place to make it possible. I’m happy to be here.
4. What was the name of the very first song you wrote and what was it about?
The very first complete song I ever wrote was Gypsy Opera, believe it or not. That song today is obviously a bit of a cult classic with people who’ve been with me since day one. I don’t really like talking about what a song is about or what a song means. I’d rather you go unearth it and give it a listen.
5. For Critical As Water you composed about almost 30 songs to forego a ‘selection’ process before being added to the final track list for the album. With what type of criteria do you approach this?
Great question. Honestly, I have two very simple tests for how good my songs are. One, how stuck one of of my own songs gets in my head. Two, how long I can live with a song for before it annoys me or I tire of it. So if it’s insanely catchy to the point it gets stuck in my head and it ages beautifully then I know we’re onto something. I also take album sequencing very seriously, so while the temptation to only put bangers on an album is always high, great albums are a journey, and I take that process pretty seriously.
6. Musically as well as generally what is it that South Africa needs more of?
We need more ambitious musicians across the board. I think we have a very good number of musicians dedicated to their craft, but maybe we suffer from a poverty of ambition because we don’t have many high profile global South African musicians. I’m trying to change that. If a South African kid looks at me and goes ‘at least I can get as big as Jeremy’, then I’ve done enough.
7. You graduated from the University of Cape Town in great fashion. When was the pivotal moment when you decided you can do this singer/songwriter career? Especially in South Africa with the majority of music lovers leaning more towards a different type of genre than that of Jeremy Loops.
I’ve never made music with commerce as the end goal. If that was what mattered to me, I’d make super sugary pop and Southern Trap-inspired rap music. Haha! I was just so obsessed with making music that I had to pursue this.
8. What is the first thing you do when you walk through the door of your home after an international tour?
My dog Maya usually beats everyone to the door to give me love. It’s the warmest welcome back.