Jeremy Loops’ eclectic style is a combination of jazz, rock, folk and hip hip sounds incorporating looping and layering numerous instructions including guitars, harmonicas, banjos and beatboxing. Jeremy Loops is a four-piece artist and band from Cape Town, South Africa. The band features vocalist / rapper Motheo Moleko, Jamie Faull on the saxophone and keyboards and drums with Sean Ou Tim on bass and drums. Juxtaposing booming city rhythms with lilting folk, Jeremy Loops captures the duality of his South African life. Jeremy Loops is promoting debut effort, Trading Change. In 2014, Loops debuted at #1 on iTunes in South Africa, headlined major festivals, and maintained #1 on the three most prominent radio stations in Southern Africa with “Down South”, his breakout single. Recently BoC spoke to Jeremy Loops who is on tour to discuss how get got involved with looping, who influenced his sound and songwriting, his vision, and the creation of his environment work at Greenpop.
How did you get involved in looping and why?
Jeremy: I was working on a superyacht for a few years and out at sea, there’s no one to really make music with. I got into looping because I had to figure out how to simulate a band by myself. Hence the whole ‘one-man band’ thing.
Who did you listen to growing up and who influenced your sound and songwriting?
Jeremy: Woody Guthrie is my biggest influence, but I also grew up listening to Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, and a few other old school icons.
Can you tell me how you become a musician and is this band your first attempt at putting a musical unit together?
Jeremy: I was in another band in my last year of university for a little while. I became a musician by playing music. I know that seems a weird answer, but it’s not like I was ever spending too much time thinking about celebrities or how to become famous or any of that stuff. I just wrote songs, and when I was confident enough in my playing and in my songs, I performed my msic live to people hoping they would connect with it. We’ve just taken it a day at a time from there.
Are the songs based on your vision solely? Do the other band members collaborate on the songs with you?
Jeremy: Yeah, the core vision of the songs are mine. Other musicians in the band will flesh out the melodies I write, with Jamie Faull working really closely with me on arrangement and composition. Motheo Moleko writes his own lyrics for songs he’s involved in, and him and I will both bounce our lyrics off of each other for quality control purposes.
How did you choose the band members and what do you think they bring to the group such as their unique musical traits and strengths?
Jeremy: Motheo and I met each other on day one, basically. I guess we kind of started this together. Jamie Faull, believe it or not, sent me a message on Facebook that read ‘need sax?’ and linked to this ridiculous solo I’m sure you can still find online. Mr. Sakitumi has always been in the circles. He’s one of Cape Town’s most respected musicians, and he initially came into the fold to help me troubleshoot digital challenges, but stuck around because he’s a rock solid musician too.
Can you tell me about South African life as you view it and experience it and was it the catalyst for songs? Would you call it in any world music?
Jeremy: I hate the phrase ‘world music’. It’s lazy. It’s the Western World’s way of clumping all music that doesn’t sound like the commonly accepted or understood genres into one thing. It’s so backwards and while I’m sympathetic to why that term is used, we need to move away from it.
Life in South Africa is hectic and wonderful all at once. I think any discussion about how things are at home right now would need to be its own stand alone thing and not a single question in a wider interview, but the state of affairs at home are definitely a catalyst for some of my songs.
Did you create Greenpop and how did your involvement come about? What are your goals with Greenpop and what do you hope to achieve?
Jeremy: I co-founded Greenpop with my friends Lauren O’Donnell and Misha Teasdale. We just wanted a vehicle for environmental activism that was hip and cool to do. We’re a tree-planting organisation that plants trees in under-green communities, and while that has an environmental impact, the positive effects it has on the communities in which we work is a huge component of what motivates us.