Behind the glitz and glam: An Interview with Jeremy Zucker

With over 12 million monthly listeners on Spotify and 2 million subscribers on Youtube, Jeremy Zucker is one of the most recognised artists around. And most recently, he finished his second Tour, “MORE NOISE !!!!” as well as released his new single, “I’m So Happy (With BENEE)”. It’s been a whirlwind period for him recently, but how did he get his start?

Jeremy’s story began in 2015. He released his first EP while still in his Colorado College Hall, with “Beach Island ” and “Breathe” gaining a significant following. Both songs helped snag him a deal with Republic Records in 2017. He followed it up with the EP “idle”, which was a huge hit. “talk is overrated”, a single from that EP, earned over 155 million streams on Spotify and 33 million views on Youtube, propelling him into the spotlight.

When 2018 rolled around, a then 22-year-old Jeremy Zucker released two of his biggest hits to date, with “all the kids are depressed” and “comethru” both amassing 400 million and 660 million streams respectively, on Spotify alone. He also had his first world tour, “anything, anywhere”, lasting from 2018 to 2019, where he performed in the USA, Europe, and Southeast Asia to sold-out crowds. 

Riding the wave of his success, he teamed up with Chelsea Cutler to release the EP “brent” in 2019, with the song “you were good to me” receiving much love and having over 460 million streams on Spotify at the time of writing this article. So great was the success of this EP that NBC invited the pair to perform live on the Today Show, one of America’s oldest and most well-known talk shows.

In 2020, he released multiple singles, with “supercuts” being one of the more notable ones, along with his first album – “love is not dying”.

“always, i’ll care” is the most popular song in the album, having recorded over 170 million streams on Spotify. Following the album’s successful release, he was set to go on another tour, only for the global COVID-19 pandemic to halt its plans.

Fast forward to 2021, and Jeremy is back with more hits, with the singles album “brent ii” and his second full-length album “CRUSHER”. They proved popular, with songs like “this is how you fall in love” and “Cry with you” showing high streaming numbers. 2021 was also the year he performed virtually, with “Brent: Live on the Internet” along with Chelsea Cutler.

After all this, he took a break and released “I’m So Happy (with BENEE) ” in September of 2022, the first time he directed and edited his music video. It has also been well-received by the fanbase, having racked up 830,000 views on Youtube and almost 6 million streams on Spotify.

His second world tour – “MORE NOISE !!!!” – has recently wrapped up, having toured the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore from 2021 to 2022. Before he set the stage alight for his concert in Singapore, we were lucky enough to sit down for a chat with him.

How’s Singapore so far?

Singapore’s really great, one of my favourite places to travel to. Honestly, it’s such a beautiful, clean city, and the food is great!

Have they given you time to go around and explore the city?

I got in and then took a shower and went to dinner and went to sleep, but we had Chilli Crab!

Were there any other foods that you managed/ wanted to try?

We did Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab, Drunken Shrimp, Morning Glory, Fried Rice, yeah, the works.

I was really excited about the dim sum here; I’ve heard very good things. The last time I was here, I went to this restaurant called “Swee Choon” and had an amazing experience there. We had Chilli Wontons, Steamed Shrimp Dumplings. One of my favourite things was a Pork La Mian Soup, like a clear broth with hand-pulled noodles in it, which was really great. Yeah. I love food. 

You’ve been touring for about two months now. What has the experience been like?

It’s been really great, really tiring though, and I miss home. So this is my second month touring this summer. Luckily, I had a couple of weeks at home in between my Europe tour and my Australia/ Asia tour. I don’t know, but I felt disconnected from the reception of the music for a really long time, and going on tour really reconnected me with what is special about my music which is really nice. Getting to interact with fans and getting to sing with people is just an amazing experience!

With “MORE NOISE !!!!” being your first tour since 2021, where brent was online, how are they different?

Completely different. I mean the online one, even though it was live, it felt pre-recorded, just talking to a camera being like “Hey Guys!” You can’t get any response back at all. But because it was online and we only did one (show), we practised so much and were really well-rehearsed and really well-prepared. But yeah, when you’re doing it in person, it’s kind of just like, “Okay! Let’s do it!” and you’re feeding off the crowd’s energy, and you’re trying new things every night. I mean, they’re very different, almost incomparable.

Talk me through the process of your latest single, “I’m So Happy (With BENEE)”!

I had the song pretty much written, except for a 40-second hole in the middle, where I was like, “I need someone whose gonna do something really cool here”, and BENEE was the first person I thought of, and I just messaged her on Instagram, where I was like “Do you want to record something?” and she was like “Yeah!” and sent me something back in a week even though she was on tour. 

And then, a couple of weeks later, she was in LA, which is where I live; she lives in New Zealand. But she was like, “I’m around; let’s finish the song”, I was like, “Cool! Let’s do it.” We finished it, and the next week, I directed the video for it, shot it and took a bunch of photos, and that was it. It was super smooth and super fun.

What inspired you to write “I’m So Happy?”

It was a really specific experience where I was on vacation with a bunch of friends, and there was somebody there who was making the trip very stressful, so I was fantasising about, “Okay, what if this person wasn’t there?” Yeah, that’s how I came up with the song.

How would you describe your experience working with BENEE?

She’s amazing. She’s so lovable and so cool on camera and such a natural. On set, everyone loved her. She’s really, really great, really goofy, really funny, really cute—the easiest to work with, just perfect.

I have a question off the top of my head for you – Why won’t you play “Hell or Flying?”

It’s so difficult to choose what songs to play on tour. The next time I tour, I’m going to prepare, like, because right now we have like seventeen songs prepared to play, but I think next tour I’m going to prepare thirty, and then just choose every night which ones we’re going to perform, and have it be different every night because now, fans are just looking up the setlist so they know exactly what to expect so I want to sort of surprise people. As for Hell or Flying, I have so many slow songs, and I can’t play them all, or else it’ll be really sleepy, you know?

Your second full album, “CRUSHER”, was released in 2021. How did you feel when it first went live?

It felt really great to let it go and get it off my shoulders, but it was weird releasing another album before having toured the first one. Because I feel like I didn’t get the full closure with the first album (love is not dying), so yeah, it was strange, but it felt really good to get it out there, and I felt like after it came out, I didn’t really know what kind of music to make, so it took me quite a while to get back in the groove of writing stuff.

How would you describe your own fashion sense?

I would say, I don’t know, I kind of like to dress in a lot of different ways; I need to think about that one. I need to come up with a good term for it. 

What’s next for you?

After this tour, I’m going to go home, relax and then finish all the music that I’m working on and get it ready for release!

Do you have any plans for collaborations in the future?

Good question. There’s none that I’ve been thinking about; I really don’t think about collaborations, like it really just happens sometimes. I want to write a song for my next project with Alexander (Alexander 23), and I want to have him co-produce it, because we have written a song together that we both featured on – “Nothing’s the Same”. We’ve written the song and produced the song for his album, called “Cosplay”, and so to make our whole thing even, we have to work on a song together for my project.

Is there anything you want to say to your fans in Singapore?

To my fans in Singapore, I hope you were super excited for the show. I don’t know when you’ll see this, but it was sick and thank you for all of your support and for listening to my music; I can’t wait to come back already.

You can listen to Jeremy Zucker’s latest release, “I’m So Happy (With BENEE)”, or listen to his songs below, and check out his Instagram account!

Visual courtesy of Universal Music Singapore.

Glenton Weng

Plays FPS Games, but prefers JRPGS

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