Our vlogger Joshua Hewitt brimmed with excitement when he found out that he would be interviewing one of his idols South Africian singer/songwriter Jeremy Loops, when he travelled to the Limelight in Belfast on 9th October.
Juxtaposing booming city rhythms with lilting folk, Jeremy Loops perfectly captures the duality of his South African life. The extremes aren’t new to the singer, who by day travels to the furthest corners of Africa to battle deforestation through his organization, Greenpop, and by night resumes as raconteur for raucous fans around the world.
In a whirlwind 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.
Joshua Hewitt: Is this your first time in Northern Ireland Jeremy, and are you excited?
Jeremy: “It is, it’s my first time here, and my family name Hewitt is actually an Irish name. This is my first time in Ireland and Northern Ireland, on this side of the World.”
It’s a busy tour schedule, I’m assuming there’s a lot of band practice to get prepared for it?
“Absolutely, always. There has to be.”
And can you explain who your influences are in music, and in life?
“I mean musically I’m inspired by a lot of the old folk Legends, like Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie. That’s where it really started for me.
“As far as in my life I’m inspired by people in the World doing good things, you know. I think it’s so easy to get corrupted in this World, and lose your sight on what you want to do. It’s not neccesarily famous people who are inspiring me, just people who are doing good things man.”
I was one of the lucky one’s who preordered ‘Trading Change’ in the UK and got a signed copy, I’d just like to tell you personally that it’s an amazing album, and you should be very proud. How does it feel when fans from around the World interact with you?
“It’s been awesome, it’s been a really beautiful experience to meet so many people as well on the road, who maybe often times never seen a show before and they’ve been listening to the record for a year or two.
“That’s been a nice thing about travelling in South Africa, you don’t really get that feeling, because audiences get to see me more often, and it’s been nice, it’s been a beautiful thing to meet so many people who tell me such radical stories about their experiences with the music. It’s been a nice interaction.”
What’s next for Jeremy Loops?
“When I get back home to South Africa after this tour, I begin the process of recording album two, and with that comes everything that comes with a whole new album. I’ve still got songs I want to add to the record, I’m still writing and haven’t finished all the songs.
“But it’s just so exciting getting into that creative space again, because when you write an album and you tour it a couple years you sometimes lose sight of the songwriting aspect. It’ll be nice to get back into that creative zone of writing another album, and gearing up for a whole different phase of my career in a sense.”