Jeremih discusses having to prove himself after his first single "Birthday Sex," and what inspired him to create his new mixtape "Late Nights."
Jeremih's new project, Late Nights, is dropping today, so Rap-Up hopped on the phone with the R&B crooner to talk to him about his music career thus far, including his first smash hit "Birthday Sex," how he decides who to work with, and his tape Late Nights.
Although the Chicago singer may have initially been flagged as a one-hit-wonder with "Birthday Sex," Jeremih has proved he's got more to offer than just that single. He's become a staple on a hook, and knows how to make a catchy R&B jam. Read some excerpts from his interview below.
Persistence is very important in this industry. A lot of people said “Birthday Sex” would be your only hit and then you topped yourself with “Down on Me.” Do you feel like you have to keep proving yourself?
At the end of the day, I feel like when I released “Birthday Sex,” I knew what it was when we wrote and recorded it and even performed it, I saw how huge that record was going to be. As long as I keep going harder and harder and coming up with what I feel, then I’m hoping the world can feel that too. And that’s what happened with “Down on Me,” because I didn’t even know 50 Cent was going to get on that but big ups to him, he made that a movie. It sold almost 3 million now as far as singles. So I just want to keep going harder.
In the past year, you’ve appeared on Wale’s “That Way,” Diggy’s “Do It Like You,” and most recently Meek Mill and Drake’s “Amen.” How do you go about deciding who to work with?
Coming from a production side, if I feel the track personally or if I feel the beat, it’s a no-brainer. You just got to do whatever will fit a hot-ass beat. So for all those records, every situation was kind of different, but we all just went in. Big shout out to Meek Mill, Wale, and Diggy because all of those were three different types of situations. I just heard the track originally and it just started from there. You never really know what’s going to be big or not or what people are going to feel at the time, because every song has a season and it’s about the perfect timing. I just go in there with an open mind—just try to have fun with it.
What inspired you to make the mixtape ["Late Nights"] and how far along are you on your third album?
Since I’ve been signed, it’s been three years now and I’ve released two bodies of work through Def Jam and both of them I felt were complete solid bodies of work. This game is so cryptic and crazy now that singles are really what’s popular. Before I even release a third album and have fans purchase something from me, I just felt like I want to give out a free body of work. This is the first mixtape that I’ve ever done in my life. So I treated it like my first two albums as far as the creation and taking my time. I’m tired of hearing a lot of weak songs that I see win and I’m like, ‘Hey, how did that win?’ I’m not even trying to be a hater, I’m just being real. In order for people to hopefully hear me a little bit more, I just had to put more than just my two albums out and why not for free? I put out [Late Nights] knowing it’s a semi-album and I just wanted to put it out because I got other records that I know for sure I want to put on my [third] album that are done, at least over half of it.