Following a series of popular releases in 2020, amassing 15 million streams and over 5.5million hits on YouTube, South-African singer, songwriter, and producer Jeremy Loops is back with a summery new single and music video, ‘Postcards’.
Postcards showcases Jeremy’s distinctive vocals, flowing melodies, and sunshine-soaked hooks. Co-written by Jonathan Quarmby (Tom Walker) and produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra), the single’s inspiration draws from the unique relationship pressures of occupational travel and long distances. The music video co-directed by Anna Telford and Jeremy in his second foray into directing, portrays this inspiration. Shot in a series of big dynamic rooms, in an old manor house in Cape Town, decorated by a team of artists and stylists, it shows the turbulent ups and downs of relationships, you see love, fighting, fun and some amazing choreography and dancing ubiquitous with Jeremy and his music.
Of the new single, Jeremy says:
“Postcards is a song about the ups and downs of relationships, people feel like they are alone when they suffer difficulties in relationships, it’s more common than people admit. This isn’t a sad song, it’s a song about acceptance and accepting that difficulties are often part of the journey to finding that solid connection. It’s a very upside-down world we’re living in right now. It’s hard to see people agreeing on anything, but this is one thing I feel like everyone can agree on. Sometimes we just can’t live with or without each other.”
Raised in a surfing village on the outskirts of Cape Town, Jeremy, a self-taught musician, picked up the guitar for the first time at university, where he practiced Bob Dylan alone in his bedroom. A little over ten years ago, Jeremy, inspired by the waste and excess he saw working as a deckhand on superyachts, co-founded the eco-initiative Greenpop. Performing as an opening act at fundraisers for the initiative, Jeremy was emboldened by the crowd’s response and quickly quickly gained momentum. Over the past decade Jeremy has become a household name in South Africa, obtained a global record deal, headlined several world tours with sold-out performances in iconic venues, including London’s Brixton Academy, and collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Simone Felice (The Lumineers), Jake Gosling (Shawn Mendes), Tobias Kuhn (Milky Chance), and Carey Willets (Dermot Kennedy).
It was an absolute pleasure to catch up with an artist whose two previous albums have been on repeat during the Summer. If anything can lift the storm clouds, and bring a feeling of Summertime it’s Jeremy and his music.
EP: ‘Postcards’ is my new favourite summer song. Its impossibly catchy and has a great vibe….and then there’s the lyrics which are pretty dramatic. It’s almost as if the song is the perfect reflection of the complexity of relationships for an artist on the road. Was that integral dichotomy a plan?
JL: 100%! This song is my life. You know, I’m grateful for my relationships, but I don’t think there’s a touring artist who has this down to a science. If you know of one, please introduce us to each other. I need tips.
EP: We live in a time where everyone’s lives are judged by what they post on social media, outside perceptions and the impression they want to give to the outside world. ‘The brightest smiles are always most uncertain’ is sadly the way I view most of what I see on social media. Is this a song written from personal experiences?
JL: I think there was a time I was putting on for social media, so to speak. You know, that thing you do as maybe a theatre actor where you take a deep breathe and put on a huge smile before walking on stage because that physical action changes your external appearance? Putting on your game face, so to speak.
I no longer care for that. What you see is what you get on my end both in language and energy. Deal with it. And if I don’t want to post, I won’t. And I think in the end, that approach filters the audience for the right people, but it also makes being on socials less onerous. Like, this is supposed to be fun. Not stressful.
EP: The video is brilliant. Was the concept your idea? There always seems to be a well thought out theme to your videos; how involved are you with the storyboards?
JL: Thank you The concept was a hybrid of ideas. I co-directed this with Anna Telford from a production company called Butterfly Films. She seeded a lot of the aesthetic and look and feel ideas, but her and I bashed out the unified vision together. You end up leaving cool ideas on the cutting floor – there was going to be a massive desert scene – but what we came up with in the end felt just right.
EP: You are a latecomer to a musical career. What brought you to the conclusion that your passion lay within writing and recording music? Who were your inspirations in music, but also in the decision to pursue your music?
JL: I just couldn’t stop writing songs. I was working on this super yacht for an obscenely wealthy man who carried himself with equal levels of obscenity, and by day I put in work on the decks, and by night I would just write and write and write. I saved every penny I made working on that boat, and when I came back, I figured even if all my aspirations go up in flames, I had maybe 2 years of thrifty living before I ran out of money and had to get a real job.
So it wasn’t so much a case of inspiration to pursue music. It was all my heart yearned for.
As for inspiration, all roads lead back to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan for me. Guthrie’s the Godfather and Dylan his heir-apparent who became just that little bit more famous.
EP: Growing up in South Africa, you must have experienced many times where communities may have seemed divided but the last few weeks must have been amongst the most difficult. However, there has been a coming together of the nation in defence of community. How much do you blame social media for some of the problems? Do you, like me, believe social media should be more accountable? Here in England we have seen hateful racist abuse targeted at sportsmen recently and social media was hugely to blame for not keeping house better. I get the feeling from ‘Postcards’ that this might be something that resonates with you….
JL: Anonymity has allowed people to be ridiculously vile. And I don’t think it is social media so much the problem, but more that social media has become the mirror of what our societies are really like. People are racists. People are bigots. Many of them. And suddenly, they’ve been emboldened to be openly so. So while the platforms have a lot of work to do, the real crap shovelling has to happen in our communities. Sometimes even in our families.
I’m in agreement platforms have to do more to root out bigotry at the same level they root out stuff like pornography. If you have the means – and boy those billions upon billions of dollars of annual profits are means – then yes, more needs to be done.
Do I advocate for outright censorship? No. But again, like porn, you know bigotry when you see it and it should not be tolerated. Some of these people crying free speech neither understand its applications nor its consequences. So yes, I’d love to see these platforms do more to tackle bigotry. The problem is incentives, isn’t it? Social platforms value engagement above all else, so some platforms – and some especially more than others – give way to this moral dilemma.
EP: Your last album hasn’t been far from my playlist lately; it really could be the soundtrack of my summer. Is there any chance of you coming to the UK to play some of this live?
JL: Yeah, I love touring the UK. It’s the first place I ever really built a base outside of South Africa. Our last tour in that part of the world saw us sell out the O2 Academy Brixton, and it just felt like we were on a huge trajectory in the UK. It’ll be great to pick up where we left off with a nationwide tour, returning to some of the cities we haven’t been to in a while.
EP: I understand Loops is a stage name. Is there a connection between that and your use of a loop machine when you started out or is that just a fun coincidence?
JL: Yes and no. The name fits because in the beginning, looping was kind of the big difference maker. It was a gateway drug of sorts to people who didn’t know me. However, I actually went with Loops because my nickname in university used to be ‘Loopholes’, which some friends later shortened to ‘Loops’. I used to skirt the lines of what was permissible with attendance and examination and assignments and I’d be the one to always find the loopholes in the rules. I’ve always carried myself with that energy – pushing the limits.
EP: ‘Down South’ collaborates with the brilliant Motheo Moleko and features his rapping. Do you think it’s important to blur the lines between genre and also important to collaborate with fellow socially aware countrymen to bring your personal message to a world audience?
JL: Genres are like the old chicken and egg in a way. For listeners, a genre signals what type of music you’re in for, but for the music business, it signals what type of music you’re promoting to the listener. So suddenly, the business wants to make this particular music for their ideal listener, and the listener thinks they like this particular music based on their past tastes as defined by ‘genre’, but the truth is we all have a pretty wide gamut of likes. So it almost feels like, as the musician sitting between these two forces, I’m best served by just doing what I like. So again, you’re pushing the limits and skirting the rules to introduce stuff to people. I think it’s so important to treat music like that.
As to collaboration, yeah, so much of what makes music and art and creativity great is when you have multiple people bring their own perspective to the same problems. Motheo and I have a good connection, have some strong beliefs we both share, and we tend to make great music together, so it’s always fun getting to work with him.
EP: How has the world pandemic affected you. Many musicians I have spoken with appreciated the time to slow down a little and really take a long, hard look at the music they wanted to make. Has the enforced time away changed the way you look at your music and the message you want to send or has it just consolidated your beliefs and goals?
JL: I’m just happy to be alive and to have my family safe. I’m grateful for health. A big change in one’s life seems to bring about emotions of resentment or gratitude, and I try focus on the silver lining. I’ve been grateful for the change of pace and the chance to be home for sure, but I’m also looking forward to getting back on the road. From a personal and a music perspective, being grounded has just made me more thankful for life and I think that comes across sin the music.
EP: Finally with the new music out, what are the plans going forward? What’s the best way for fans in the UK to follow you and what can we expect next? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question, thank you for your brilliant music and good luck.
JL: Best way for folks to reach me is on social media. it’s just @jeremyloops literally everywhere. They can also head to my website to sign up to my mailing list, that way you miss nothing ever. It’s just https://jeremyloops.com. Oh, and stream the music wherever you listen to your music.
And then as to what’s coming next, a lot! We’ve been in album mode for a while, so definitely dropping a full record in 2022, but I still have some surprises up my sleeves for 2021. We’re working, that’s for sure.
Thank you so much for your time!