R&B crooner Jeremih straddles an interesting lane in the music industry as an underrated fixture in the popular genre-colliding wave of Rap/R&B.
It’s been nearly five years since the release of his second studio album, All About You, and the Chicago native has managed to effortlessly remain a relevant recording artist amidst the buzz of new stars, lending his vocals to some of today’s hottest hits (see French Montana’s “Bad Bitch.” Lil Durk’s “Like Me” and DJ Khaled’s “Hold You Down“). And the best part of it all? The 27-year-old doesn’t compromise his prized possession of honeyed vocals that leaves the ladies hot and bothered, for anyone. Don’t expect Jeremih to spit a 16 on the track; that’s not his lane. While other R&B artists are shedding their soulful roots, he’s the exact opposite, delivering all his smooth demeanor and lustful lyrics that crown him the key component to taking a rap record from 0 to 100 real quick.
Basically, if you’ve got a hot track, Jeremih is the guy you want holding down the vocals. But after impacting the career of others, the media buzzing of the Def Jam artists’ third album finally being on the way, and after dropping three album singles (“Don’t Tell ‘Em,” “Planes”and “Tonight Belongs to U”), there’s one question everyone is wondering: Where is the album?
After a show-stopping surprise guest performance at Pepsi’s Summer Kickoff event aboard the Hornblower Infinity yacht, VIBE caught up with Jeremih to discuss his forthcoming album Late Nights: The Album and how he’s dealing with the pressure of its pending release. – Ashley Monaé
VIBE: Last week there was a lot of talk of an official release date of your long-awaited third studio album. Is there any truth to that July 17 release date?
Jeremih: I woke up one day and saw people saying that there was a release date. It looked pretty realistic, you know to the average person, but that date is my birthday (laughs). I haven’t announced anything just yet, but I definitely want to drop it in the summertime before I hop on J. Cole’s Forest Hills Drive Tour with Big Sean and YG.
So, it’s been five years since All About You (2010). Why the wait?
I’m a firm believer in time. I know a lot of people don’t believe in time like I do, but I think time heals and kind of reveals all for me. It’s been a journey since I’ve released my last album which was five years ago. In the midst I’ve kind of had my own plan in my own head of how I wanted to come back out. In the meantime, I’ve been able to impact others careers and help out by hopping on songs, but it’s about time for people to hear a body of work from me. There’s really no excuse as to why it’s taken so long, but for me it’s a matter of timing and energy. I think right now is a good time to drop exactly what I’ve been stirring up and doing for the last couple of years.
Do you feel like there’s any pressure on you to drop it sooner than later?
I work well under pressure. Actually, I love pressure. It’s not even that it’s pressure really. You know what, it’s kind of crazy because while creating my mixtape Late Nights [with Jeremih] a lot of the records that ended up being on that mixtape actually ended up being recorded weeks prior. I just feel like it’s coming to a point in time that I have to release something.
Being the go-to guy for features, are there any special features you want/have on the album?
I just did a record with Future two days ago and I think it’s strong enough to be on the album. More than likely it’ll be on there.
Most recently, you lent your vocals for Donnie Trumpet, Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment’s Surf. How did that come about?
Yeah, you know Chance is from the hometown so that’s the home team. I heard about his music through a friend and really liked his music. We’ve done a handful of collaborating, “Planes (SoX Remix)” being the first and then a few others. The most recent song we did that’s on Surf, “Wanna Be Cool,” was the most recent of our collaborations. I really wasn’t on there as much as I would have liked, but I didn’t know Big Sean and everyone else was going to be on it but it’s such a dope record. I knew it was a risky record when he played it for me because people aren’t necessarily expecting that kind of vibe from me but it’s all about growth. At the end of the day, I’m down with Chance. I think he’s an incredibly talented artist and definitely reps for the city so anything we do together, expect greatness.
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