”In 8 years I’ve written and recorded almost 1,500 songs, worked with some of the best writers and producers, and every day has been a journey and a learning experience.” - Jeremy
Give us the skinny on your background. Where did you grow up? When did you move to Los Angeles? Spill!
Hey, first of all, thanks so much for the opportunity to tell my story. I’ll get the basics out of the way now and hit some of the important milestones so we can jump into the good stuff. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I lived there until about the age of 13 when my mom moved me to Mukilteo, Washington. I went to High School at Kamiak. Around that time I developed a strong passion for dancing. I spent lots of time learning, training and performing. I was lucky to have opportunities early on to work with and learn from some of the best dancers and choreographers ― Wade Robson, Marty Kedulka, Daniel Cruz, and Bryan Tanaka.
Like a lot of kids that age, I went through a period of pretty strong rebellion. It was all the usual stuff, but I also ended up abusing drugs for a while, which landed me back in San Diego with my Dad. At that time I started to dabble with music and writing. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but I loved it. I remember never doing any homework, but instead watching TRL every day. I recorded, played and rewound every video, the learned lyrics, melody and dance moves, and to me, that was my schooling.
I started going up to Los Angeles pretty frequently to see my cousin Grant Harvey. He was modeling and acting (still is) which gave me the bug. I started making and releasing music online when YouTube first came out.
Meanwhile, back in San Diego I was dealing with some legal issues due to some prior trouble I had gotten into. My Dad was driving me to court and I remember him saying “You’re most likely going to spend some time in jail.” I went in scared as ever and the judge dropped the biggest bombshell of my life. He said, “My daughter is a big fan, and I hear you’re pursuing a music career.” Long story short, I told him about my passion and dreams of doing music and he told me if I got up and sang to the D.A. he would clear my record as long as he never saw me again, except if it was on TV. I’m a huge believer in fate and a higher power; that was the first sign I was on the right path. So a week later I packed my bags and moved to LA. I lived above a Korean family’s house in North Hollywood and started the journey that I’m on now. In 8 years I’ve written and recorded almost 1,500 songs, worked with some of the best writers and producers, and every day has been a journey and a learning experience.
Umm, WOW! That’s incredible. That was definitely a sign... a HUGE sign!
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a singer?
There are a few moments that come to mind. When I was 11 years old I got an NSYNC karaoke CD and I BEGGED my Dad to let me go to a studio and record for Christmas. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Second, was definitely my run in with the law. Third, in the middle of a budding acting career, I was actually almost a member of Big Time Rush. I started recording demo songs with about 7 other guys, including the current members of the band. We went to another screen test and the director said “You’re an amazing actor, but your voice is not up to par.” That’s when I dropped the scripts and knew music was my real passion. I decided then it was time I worked day and night until I got my voice, my writing and my craft where it needed to be. What I’ve learned is that your craft is never where you want it to be. All of us creatives are always striving to continuously get better. It’s a great quality and great attribute but it’s also a burden sometimes. We’re very hard on ourselves, but I’m now used to it and respect the process and love it.
Are there any profound singers that you would liken yourself to or look up to?
Justin Timberlake was my Michael Jackson. People hate me when I say that, but it just happens to be whom I grew up with. Other than that I’m a huge 80s buff ― Sting, Johnny Hates Jazz, George Michael, Annie Lennox. I feel like vocally I’d like to push toward a Sting, Chris Brown, and Justin Timberlake hybrid.
You recently released a new EP, “Deliverance”. What was your inspiration behind this song?
Honestly, I needed salvation from all the noise and rejection this industry brings. Earlier I said I’ve created this massive catalogue of work. The percentage of what we create that gets sold, released and heard is slim to none. Creating Deliverance was about me and no one else. The content is about a self-discovery of love and knowledge within myself. It’s about my craft and really believing and getting behind my work. No one can take that away from me now and I’m so happy about that. However, even though the process of creating Deliverance was for myself, I certainly hope these songs will help others going through a struggle or light up one person’s heart. That makes it even more worth it.
Tell us about Hollywood and the music biz. Is it what you expected it would be like?
Well, for one, I love Hollywood. It’s great to come home to. I’ve been able to travel around the world writing and playing internationally and I love coming home to LA. The music biz is... just what it is. I think with anything you find your groove and you make your own place. It’s all about learning and adapting. The creative stuff is easy if you work hard enough at it and find the right chemistries to make the best material. The industry is just so crazy with politics and what not. But it’s there for a reason and you just find your place, and then find a great team to help you find your way even more. You find people along the way who make it so much easier. These people champion you, like my first publisher Bill Silva or my friend Buffy Hubelbank who has shown me unconditional love and support even though she never had too. She actually introduced me to my now manager, Chris Beaven, who is UH-MAZE and honestly that all came at the right time. You can’t force those pieces you just have to focus and believe until others do the same.
What advice would you give some of your younger fans that want to pursue a career in music?
I get asked that a lot actually. First, do your homework. Listen to anything and everything because you never know what will inspire you, and you should know who is involved in what and where. Second, you can never work enough. When you’re first starting, go write a song, any song, and rewrite it and re-record it over and over and really get to know your craft. Third, get some perspective. Live life. Know every song you write can’t and won’t be a hit. Know that you’re only one “yes” away from your life changing. If you aren’t prepared you may miss out on an opportunity that you may not get again.
What causes and charities are most important to you?
I have a few causes that are near to my heart. First support anything to do with equality, as I believe as humans we’re all entitled to our own lives and how we choose to live them out. Homeless teens also really tug at my heart. I couldn’t imagine what that would be like to have to discover yourself and grow up while trying to survive at the same time. Every few months I like to donate anything I can to LGBT centers and HOMELESS teen shelters. I think it’s really important and a big issue that people can’t afford to take care of themselves right now and we should all be looking out and accepting one another. We all have things we don’t use that are brand new or brand new to someone else. There are a ton of centers in your city you can take a few items down to really make someone’s day.
I’ve always said that if I could wish for one talent, it would be the ability to sing (sing well that is)… But, you already have that! So, what would you wish for?
Oh my god! If I could wish for one talent it would probably be to build things from nothing. I’m not the best with stuff like IKEA furniture and that’s supposed to be super easy.
What are your dreams? What’s the be-all and end-all for Jeremy?
My dream for music is to take it to the next level and get back on the road. I love touring. I love performing and seeing everyone sing a long. I’d love to have something on KISS FM. Other than that I really love making money, so I’ll invest and I’d like to end it all with a family and a legacy. Other than that I’m just kind of open to life, focused and excited to share this new music, and I’m excited to get started on this next album with some people I look up to very soon. I think next year is going to be very interesting so follow me and just keep watching. We’ve got some pretty cool cards up our sleeve!