Every week we’ll be putting a spotlight on the band or artist featured on YorkMix Radio‘s House Band Friday – today it’s 18-year-old singer and song-writer Jeremy Muluka!
Every Friday morning a different local artist is featured on the Breakfast Show with Ben and Laura. Want to know more? Check out the House Band Friday page here.
Last Friday (22 January), Jeremy – known musically as Jeremy M – chatted with Ben and Laura, before they played his latest single ‘Sometimes’.
His debut single ‘Freedom’ was released in August 2019. Since then he has released two more singles: ‘Even If’ and ‘Sometimes’. Check out ‘Sometimes’ below – it’s a beautiful song.
And here’s more about the man and his music.
Q&A: Jeremy M
Describe your music style
Overall I would categorise my music in the singer-songwriter genre because of the heavy reliance of on piano and acoustic guitar in my instrumentation. But after having recently made a conscious effort to extend my listening habits to new genres, I feel like my new stuff draws from too many different styles to be easily described, especially since it differs from song to song. However, I will say that there are some country, jazz and pop-rock influences in some of the new music I’ve been working on.
When did you first start writing music?
As a young child, I would invent little jingles and stuff with my younger brother and we would record them onto a Nintendo DS that we shared so we could play them for our family. It wasn’t until I was 13 years old that I first started to write full length songs. It was around this time that I started to teach myself to play guitar and I had just taken up piano lessons, which came in handy when trying to get my musical ideas out of my head and turning them into actual music.
What inspired you to start writing your own music?
In 2015, I discovered the music of singer-songwriter Jamie Grace. Being able to connect with her discography and finding out that she wrote every song in it inspired me to try my hand at writing songs of my own and portraying emotions through music. I want people to be able to relate to my songs and feel almost as if the lyrics are words out of their own mouths. I find that it’s much easier for me to say what I want to say in a song than it is to try and form paragraphs of cohesive sentences, and one day I hope that someone can listen to one of my songs and think, “Wow, this is exactly how I feel, I just couldn’t find the words to express it.”
Who are your musical inspirations?
I am very interested in finding out about other artists’ creative processes. I recently discovered dodie‘s discography and upon researching a bit more about her, I was completely amazed by her creative use of her hands and other everyday things as percussion instruments. I also watched the Taylor Swift Miss Americana and folklore documentaries, and getting to see into her song-writing process, especially how she takes writings and recordings and puts them together, was eye-opening. Honestly, I feel inspired by any music that I hear. Whenever I listen to a song, I love to listen out for any innovative production effects or intriguing features and think about how I can learn from them and broaden my musical horizons.
What’s your song-writing process like?
It definitely varies from song to song. Sometimes I start with a melody idea and I build the chords and structure around it, and sometimes I start with chords and then I put a melody on top of them and use that to flesh out the structure of the song. What always stays the same is that I write melody before lyrics, often writing the lyrics to be in keeping with the mood of the rest of the song.
What song are you most proud of?
Out of my current releases, I think ‘Even If’ is my favourite. I love the piano riff and the harmonies in the last chorus, but my favourite parts of the song are the bridge and the short section that comes after it. I just think they capture the essence of the song as a whole, and it was nice to experiment with my singing range on this song.
What are you working on?
I am writing a bunch of songs that I hope will form my debut project which I’m thrilled about. I’m not sure what form it will take, whether it be an EP or an album or just a series of singles, but I have written ten songs already and I have six that are still to be finished before I can then hopefully move on to getting them recorded. I can’t wait for people to hear them; I’ve been experimenting and trying out different things, and I think these are some of the best songs I have ever written!
How supportive is the city and community to upcoming artists?
Personally, I haven’t had a lot of experience with the community in terms of music, at least not outside of secondary school performances, but judging from those, I’d say that York is very supportive of new talents in music and I think it’s one of the reasons why there’s a lot of busking in the city centre. Also York is a great city for new bands due to the great culture of live music that we have here.
What has it been like to make music during a pandemic?
For me, the biggest challenge brought on by the pandemic was having to learn how to record good quality audio in my bedroom instead of in a studio. After trying many different mic placements, I was able to make do with something that worked, but I still think there is room for improvement. Perhaps I need to look into investing in some home studio equipment or something for the future!
What song have you currently got on repeat?
I can’t stop listening to ‘Hate Myself’ by dodie! I adore all of her music, and this latest single from her upcoming debut album feels so fresh for her, but still holds the familiar signature style that I love. I keep blasting it through my headphones and dancing around the house!