US recording artist and producer Jeremih broke into the music industry with a sensual voice that got women all around the world thinking about ‘Birthday Sex’… And now his latest smash hit ‘Down On Me’ is on the tip of our tongues.
Oozing with swagger, Jeremih knows what looks good and tells Flavour why he admires 50 Cent, what his favourite Starburst colour is and just what those eyes, hidden behind those shades, seek in a woman.
You have a brand new hit ‘Down on Me’ with 50 Cent – what’s it all about?
It’s just about dancing in the club, having a good time with a woman, you know, dancing very well on me! Putting it down on me! That was the motive for that song. I love the track and I felt it was a club banger alike to my album and it’s doing very well.
What was it like working with controversial rap icon 50 Cent?
Dope! I been a fan of his since the whole G-Unit movement, so just to be able to be a fan and get my music respected by the entrepreneur that 50 is feels amazing. From his Vitamin Water to headphones to everything else, 50 Cent is a marketing guru. I didn’t know how big the record was going to be and I didn’t write it for him, but 50’s jumped on it and it’s big!
How does it feel to get such a positive response to ‘Down On Me’, especially on YouTube?
It’s a great feeling. It’s given me the ‘Birthday Sex’ feeling again! I’ve only been signed for two years, dropped my first album in 2009, then took a year finding myself and recording this album, and here we are now in 2011 and I plan on doing it again.
When did you discover you had a passion for music?
As a young child I’ve always been into music, but I never really thought I would be a singer. I thought I’d be recognised for production or being a musician, but I’m not complaining at all. Right now I feel that as I am a musician also, it allows me to teach myself how to sing. You know, I don’t really want to be known as the best singer in the world, that’s not what I go for. I want people to see talent and to say that my voice is one of a kind, which I can use to do anything.
What inspires your music?
You, the fans. My competition and my life. I started off making beats at home in my granddaddy’s basement, and now I’m going places I thought I’d never see.
Out of all the places you’ve travelled to, which is the most memorable?
Australia, without a doubt. It was a 17-hour flight to another territory and it was amazing. Two years ago I never thought I’d be in an Australian city with people singing my songs. Before I got signed I was performing, but I wasn’t always singing my own songs, it was the John Legend’s and the Stevie Wonder’s. People could like the performance back then, but now it’s truly my songs and I feel in a much better position.
What do you request backstage?
Ha ha! I do like pink Starburst, Moët and a bottle of rosé!
The theme of this Flavour issue is ‘Swagger Like Us’. How would you define your swagger?
Shout out to Flavour! Swagger ain’t really about clothes to me. It’s about how you carry yourself. It’s about your confidence. I feel like people should come up with another word for ‘swagger’, because it goes beyond your appearance on the outside.
Can women have swagger?
Oh yeah, women can have swagg. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous a woman is, she can turn off the whole vibe for a fella if she don’t know how to present herself. Some look good but don’t know how to walk right!
So describe how a woman is with sexy swagger.
Oh, she has to have good shoes! Shoes tell me a lot about a woman. Just look at her shoes and you’ll know. I like high-heeled boots, those knee-highs or a nice pair of high heels. You can notice a woman, then look down and see if she walks with swagg – it’s all in the shoes and the walk.
Are you feeling the London ladies?
Definitely liking the way you all dress and how you talk. I was out and about last night clubbing and every woman was singing Nicki Minaj songs – and wow, I was attracted to the accents I have to admit. There are minor differences to women from the UK to the US. Last night it was hard to find an ugly girl in the club. I was thinking how do guys make it out here!
Do you have a woman in your life?
I don’t, I’m single. Right now I’m just busy. I wouldn’t want to be a heartbreaker, and right now my career is my only priority. To give your heart to someone and share their love, it requires your time. Everyone needs to invest their time when it comes to relationships and there’s a lot I have to do before I reach that goal in the future.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ha ha! I don’t usually say! I know where I want to be, but it’s hard to say. In two years so much has happened for me that it’s surreal; I can’t imagine what would happen in 10 years! I hope I’d have more hit records under my belt. I would not always like to work on me, I’d like to break new artists. After that, sit in my crib, chilling with a family. My next plan is to brand myself more as a talent than an artist.
What can your fans look out for?
I’m doing shows with 50 Cent, I’ll be on TV shows like the Jay Leno show. That’s my first time ever on air and I’m really looking forward to it. I used to watch BET and MTV and now I’m amongst these people, popping bottles with them! There’s so much more to come. I’m glad I’m in this position and wouldn’t change it for anything else.
Interview by Melissa Lewars