INfleur is very excited to bring to its readers, for the very first time, a complete interview with a musician! We present Jeremy Loops, one of the biggest Alternative/Indie musician all the way from South Africa!
Born in South Africa in 1984, Jeremy grew up in the small town of Kommetjie in the Cape Town Metropolis. Fast forward to 2014, Jeremy conquered the South African music scene with his debut album “Trading Change” and ended up with all three singles a radio hit and debuted at number 1 on iTunes South Africa.
The album reached gold status in South Africa and was named iTunes SA album of the year followed by other awards, including Best Alternative Album 2015 at the MTV Africa Music Awards. In countries like Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, Trading Change charted; breaking on to the international scene.
The icon has been on several tours after that. Notable of these is his tour in Europe which sold out over 30,000 tickets! Furthermore, Loops joined Twenty One Pilots in opening their Blurry Face Tour in 2016.
In early 2017 Loops entered studio with co-writer Jake Gosling who has worked with James Bay and Lady Gaga and later with producer Will Hicks who also worked with high profile acts like Ed Sheeran, Lilly Allen and Bastille to record his follow up album.
Waves, the 1st single off the upcoming album, is a summer song, with Loops’ signature guitar licks, vocal turns, and ear for melody featuring heavily in it over world class contemporary production.
But before we talk more about”Waves”, let’s delve into the Life of Jeremy Loops.
So on Instagram, Jeremy Loops has over 132K followers, making him an influencer in the South African music space. As you all already know, no influencer goes past INfleur. We caught up with the star for an interview. So as to share with readers and fans much more than we see on the surface.
As earlier stated, Jeremy grew up in the small town of Kommetjie and according to him, it was a great childhood, “I had a great childhood. My father was entrepreneurial. He worked a few professions- from a resistance journalist during Apartheid South Africa, to a touring puppeteer, to becoming a web developer later in life to his new stint in tourism accommodation.“
Speaking of his mother, Jeremy disclosed that she dedicated herself to staying home to raise himself and his three siblings, “Her ‘motherliness‘ is legendary in our family and friend circles”, he adds.
Music wasn’t something Jeremy thought he would do as a child, “Music made me really happy. But being a performer never really stuck in my mind when I was young”.
Rather he considered music when he got older. “I remember in university, just playing guitar as a way to avoid doing my work, and then I quickly became obsessed with it. So, from a ‘becoming a musician’ standpoint, I had a really late start, but I’ve loved music all my life”.
Jeremy’s main inspiration came from top acts such as Bob Marley, Dylan, Rodriguez, Woody Guthrie and Fleetwood Mac, “They’re legends. I loved their anti-establishment messaging and simple folky hooks and melodies”, he says.
Away from music, Jeremy holds a degree in Finance and Property Development from the University of Cape Town and his hobbies are quite interesting.
One of these is surfing. In a country like South Africa, surfing is quite a peculiar hobby however his hometown of Kommetjie is popular for the sport so it’s not surprising he attributes his love for it to his surroundings, “We grew up in this small little coastal town. I realize now, the older I get, that it’s pretty strange to many people. People often think of surfing as something you choose to do but we all loved surfing…from young, it’s who we were”.
Jeremy also travels very often. He has been to at least 50 countries but is particularly drawn to the Caribbean. To him ‘they’re one of the only people in the world who take the concept of relaxed island living very seriously‘. He happily says he’d love to go live there later in life, “I’ve been ambitious to go and live there at some stage. Island life can be so idyllic and so simple that it makes our daily big city hustle-bustle grind seems stupid”.
His love for traveling, he says, stems from his jobs. “I’ve been lucky that my work, first working on a superyacht and then music, meant I have to travel professionally”.
Aside the guitar, Loops is also in love with the harmonica. He became obsessed with these instruments due to his frustrations in college. “I really disliked the maths component of my university degree in property development. So I’d get home, set my book on the table to study, and then procrastinate by playing guitar”. Jeremy knows his way around banjos as well.
It hasn’t been an easy path for Jeremy as he recounts his struggles.
According to him, he wasn’t even sure of what he wanted to do in the beginning, “I really struggled in my school years, often resenting the rigidity of the schooling systems, and found myself in and out of trouble as a result”.
His teenage life, he says, was “tumultuous” and frustrating. After high school, 17 year old Jeremy found a job on a yacht headed for the Caribbean. “We sailed for 56 days to reach those sunny shores, and it was a full two years before I returned home to try my hand at a business degree”.
After 4 years of studies, he graduated with a BSc Hons, yet he was still clueless career-wise. “I went sailing again, for another 2 long years. Anyway, somewhere during these 8 years of often painful and tiresome uncertainty, I picked up a guitar, learnt some harmonica, and found my voice”.
Finally, by 26, Jeremy felt sure about something; and that was music.
Fortunately, Jeremy had a lot of support from family and friends when he started.
“My friends and family just really supported what I wanted to try, even if they were secretly fearful of whether I’d fail or not”, he said.
As practical as he is, Jeremy did not instantly branch into music. To him, it’d only make sense if he was completely sure of his career. “I don’t know. I see the romance in the the idea of giving up college or a career for your art before your art is even a success, but entertainment is a tough industry. Very few people make it. It’s romantic, but I don’t think it’s practical”.
Time to get into the music…
The response to Jeremy’s debut album, “Trading Change”, as stated earlier, was massive. So much work was put into it; hence when it was time to reap the benefits, it came as no surprise to Jeremy, “I poured my whole heart into that first album, and I was really proud of what we achieved with it. That people received it so warmly just made the feeling even better…I wouldn’t say my first award came as a surprise”.
Interestingly, Jeremy has diverse views about awards in general. ‘Like they’re great because they open doors for you when you can say I won xyz award, but they’re also strange because how can we objectively measure that this person’s art is better than that person’s?‘
As stated earlier, Jeremy Loops was among the opening acts for TwentyOne Pilot‘s Blurryface Tour in 2016. “That Twenty One Pilots tour was great!” he exclaimed. It was all put together by Jeremy’s booking agent, Jon Ollier. Jon happened to be working for both Jeremy and The Pilots at their booking agency. So he suggested it and it happened!
“Jon sent us through as a suggestion, alongside other acts the agency represents. Tyler and Josh came back saying they liked my music and wanted us to open for them, and that’s that!” he explains.
His highly anticipated 2nd album is set to be released in 2018. Yet, there is still no news on what it’d be called.
INfleur asked him for a clue but he can’t say, “Can’t give a clue on the name just yet as I’m still trying to decide myself! What I can tell you is that water is a big theme in the album, and could sneak into the title, but we’ll see.”
Also, it took about 2 years for the new album to be spoken of. Jeremy explains that he wanted to focus on touring first- to spread the music. He makes a point about how difficult it is as a South African icon to make waves internationally. Several opportunities presented themselves and so he had to decide. “It was either pursue that and focus on that, or pursue that and make a poor, unfocused album in that process. I decided I’d be better served just focusing on one thing at a time. Finish the touring, build a platform, and then make this album”.
Toward the end of 2016, work on the album started and he finished it off December 2017.
We now get into his new single; Waves
Waves is the 1st single off the upcoming album. Beautiful song, beautiful concept! The video for it too is extra amazing. Jeremy explained to INfleur the idea behind both.
“Waves was written in a time where I would run to the ocean daily to escape the pressure of making my follow on album. I think the pressure mixed with fatigue weighed in on me, instead of writing songs as I should, I would just surf. The surfing helped me relax, and the unexpected result was it made writing songs even easier.” he says.
“Waves, in many ways, speaks to that healing power of water. The ‘waves washing over you’, cleansing you of whatever is stressing or binding you. And that theme carries through the whole album” he adds.
“The concept for the video hinged on this idea of shooting underwater in crystal clear blue water. That idea grew and grew, and I needed a break so bad from this super demanding year I had, I just decided to roll the music video budget into a team surf getaway”, he says about the video.
Infleur goes a little more personal and Jeremy speaks on his love life and how he balances his music and personal life.
“Yes, I’m seeing someone. We’re not married, but I’ve been with her for a few years now, and she’s wonderful. She’s a medical doctor, so her professional demands are as crazy as mine…In terms of time and unpredictable schedules. That makes it easier for her to understand why I work so hard, and similarly for me to understand her. I think being a musician dating someone who works a regular 9-5 is a difficult prospect. Still, it’s tricky balancing relationships. Relationships take work. But that’s where the magic lies.”
I know I haven't posted much lately but it's for good reason. Trust me! 🎶☺️And as much as I try to keep my personal life off social media, I wanted to take time to shower some love on the one and only fox @mathildamennen.🐺 Because everyone needs someone to inspire them. And that's what she does for me. Constantly. Right at this minute she is working a 24hr shift at one of South Africa's biggest and wildest hospitals. Saving lives and living on the frontline. Seeing people at their most fragile, and having to absorb their pain and suffering while putting her own aside. Sweet fox, we are behind you. Like the wind. With you, and all the healthcare professionals the world over. Push through. We see you all! 👊🏼 I took this photo of her last month AFTER one of her all-nighter double shifts. I kept asking her to keep her eyes open, and she kept saying she couldn't! Her angelic-ness just mesmerises me. Take a sec to go send this warrior some extra love for me! ❤️️🙌🏼
To end our lengthy interview,lol, we ask Jeremy his final words for his fans
“Stream the crap out of Waves! Seriously! Stream that shit hard! And request radio to play it. Germany really got behind Down South, and it eventually made radio big time. That was because of the community we have who take ownership of this music. And I’m feeling good about what we’ll achieve with Waves and this album in general”.