It’s been close to two years since Chi-Town’s Jeremih took over the charts with his unprecedented smash single “Birthday Sex.” Two albums deep now, the 23 year-old crooner/producer has been collaborating with everyone from 50 Cent for his current single “Down On Me”, Sheek Louch, and Ludacris. Phoning in one Saturday evening, after a show on the Las Vegas Strip, Jeremih opened up about being known as the “Birthday Sex” guy, his first mixtape, the advice he gets from 50 Cent, and his female R&B counterparts.—Storm
VIBE: Were you ever worried with “Birthday Sex” being such a huge success, that you may never be able to duplicate the magic?
Jeremih: Well, in no way did could I have ever guessed that it was going to be as big and huge a hit that it’s become. “Birthday Sex” is not a song—it’s a movement. I feel like when someone mentions a birthday, you definitely will think of the song. Music is my passion and that’s what I will continue to make and in no way do I want to re-create history. No matter what though, I think I will go down in history as Mr. “Birthday Sex”, until I’m dead. Even if I come out with ten more albums and ten more hit records, but I’m cool with it.
I know you’re already working on your third album, but will you be releasing anything before hand?
I do plan on releasing a mixtape. I want to try and release it by Valentine’s Day. I definitely feel like there are a lot of records I think people want to hear from me. I really sang a lot on my second album, which I didn’t do on my first. I was doing more of a combination of singing and rapping. I didn’t really know what my voice was capable of doing with my first project. This mixtape is definitely going to showcase my range.
You’ve been doing a lot of collaborations recently with the likes of Ludacris (“I Like”), 50 Cent (“Down on Me”) and Lloyd Banks (“Don’t Deserve You”). Was it a conscience decision to branch out?
My first album had no features, and it wasn’t done on purpose or intentionally, it’s just how things worked out. LA Reid actually allowed me to keep everything that we presented to him for my first album. But it was 50 who actually heard my second album before it got released. The song “5 Senses”, he heard it and he was like ‘no male has ever pulled off a Sade type record on his own.’ He tookt “5 Senses” from an interlude on my album and made it a song. So I guess he helped me expand my sound.
Have you talked to 50 about doing anymore records?
I plan on making more music with him. I never thought in my life as a 50 fan from Get Rich or Die Trying, that I would be able to call him right now if I needed anything… even just advice, which he’s pretty good at [laughs].
Did he drop any gems on you? Stock tips? [laughs]
I feel like every time I’ve talked to him it’s been a lesson learned. One thing he actually told me was to stay away from unfortunate and unhappy people and that was it— he walked out. I had to really think about it, but it’s the truth. In this industry, when you surround yourself with people that are very unfortunate, it could possibly lead to you being unfortunate and unhappy. Because when people are always having bad stuff happen to them, why would you surround yourself with that? That was this week’s word of advice, every week has been different.