The Bomb Factory

2713 Canton Street


August 25

with Teyana Taylor, Dani Leigh I can make a great sex song anytime I want, without even saying a body part, without saying anything that would be omitted on the radio. Somehow Ive just been given that ability, Jeremih remarks matter-of-factly, not even the hint of a mischievous grin on his face. The man knows his talent, and his calling card. And as enviable as that talent is, no man of Jeremihs intelligence and versatility would be satisfied in a pigeonhole: In no way do I feel that Birthday Sex defines me as an artist, or defined my first album. People are quick to make comparisons: hes the next R. Kelly, hes the next Dream. Thats flattering talk but were all different, as people and as artists.Indeed, 23-year-old Jeremih Felton has planted his own flag among the glittering banner acts at Def Jam: I feel like Im on the best label I could be on; Im not intimidated by anyone musically, and Im honored and inspired by the artists around me. There were a lot to choose from, a lot of labels were interested in a short period of time, but I didnt get this far by making bad decisions. And to be blessed with L.A. Reids thoughts and even his critiques, I couldnt ask for anything more.So the stage is set for Jeremihs sophomore album, All About You, dropping September 28th. The singer/ rapper/producer/multi-instrumentalist has again aligned with producer Mick Schultz to deliver eleven songs long on sophistication, sex appeal, and even some old soul. Mick and I have a great chemistry; we entered the game together, and we have albums worth of music, Jeremih imparts. I want him to get known too; Im not selfish like this has to be the Jeremih show. This album is a great showcase for his ability as well as my own. Once people hear this album, others will recognize what I recognized in him and reach out for more of what we create.What they create is a sonic palate ranging from subtle savoir-faire to unapologetic, house-shaking climax. First single I Like, featuring labelmate Ludacris and co-written by Keith James, is pure babymaking bliss. Jeremihs uncanny falsetto wends into Ludacris irresistible, irrepressible flow, bobbing and weaving with Schultzs bubbly, scaled-back rhythm. Elsewhere, the titular track is a languid 4/4 offset by sawing high-octave synth riffs. But Jeremihs vocals, smacking of a young Michael, steal the show. Rare is a falsetto this controlled, this textured, this evocative. Listen for it also on Take Off, what Jeremih terms a relationship record told from the lesser-heard male point of view: Guys have feelings too, guys get hurt, and this record expresses that. Theres a point when we feel like weve done enough in trying to work this out, and now its best if I take off for the both of us. I can say I been there, but I also hear this from a lot of peers. Women can relate to it too, even if its not from their perspective.Down on Me featuring 50 Cent is a supersmash in the waiting. 50 unleashes an insistent, machine-gun flow, while Jeremih contorts himself through some outrageous vocal acrobatics. His voice, spiced with an island cadence, bends and stretches about one of the nastiest hooks R&B has seen in quite some time. Down on Me is definitely a song to be up on. Ive always respected 50 and always wanted to work with him, Jeremih notes. I wanted to reach out to a couple artists who could bring to the table what I know I do.Jeremih doesnt lack for confidence. Nor should he. A native of the unforgiving Southside Chicago a city full of talent streets, Jeremih kept to a positive path, honing his prodigious musical chops on saxophone, drums, and piano. He graduated high school a year early and enrolled at the University of Illinois as a prospective engineering major. Bookworm by day, beatmaker by night. I write off beats, Jeremih reveals. Im a producer myself, thats how I thought Id initially get into the game. After a while, I just got to writing to the beats. And at the time, I was rapping, not singing. Indeed, the U of I campus couldnt hold Jeremih; he transferred to Columbia College, one of Chicagos preeminent creative schools. Thats where I met Mick Schultz and started vibing with him, he continues, And began singing over his beats, because thats what a lot of his stuff called for at the time. But singing and rapping both came natural; that stemmed from playing instruments growing up. Playing the piano taught me how to sing, or at least how to sound out, reach, and hold notes.Jeremih holds notes, and court, on All About You. The album has a depth, a sense of growth, an exploratory side. The Five Senses is a slow, sultry firestarter featuring Jeremihs peerless tone. Then theres Broken Down, full of ominous piano chords and cadenced like a frozen moment in jazz or soul lore. And Holding On, the subsequent track: After being broken down, you gotta keep holding on, Jeremih affirms. Its about trying to see the future when youre going through something in the moment thats getting you down. I played this for my Grandpops and a lot of older listeners and they really responded to it. Im proud of this song and how far Ive come as an artist.Jeremih has other reasons to be proud. Concurrent with his album release, hell be appearing on the second season of BETs popular series, Rising Icons. Icons, presented by Grey Goose vodka, pulls back the curtains and chronicles the lives of rising stars, both at home and on tour. Jeremih will share the spotlight with fast risers such as J. Cole, Estelle, Laura Izibor, and B.O.B. Elsewhere, hes been honing his pen game for other ballyhooed newcomers, including Jenna Andrews, for whom he and Mick wrote Tumblin Down, her debut single on Island Records. I write what I feel, and with the pitch of my voice, I can write for a man or a woman, he states. My voice just has the ability to do a lot of different things.Speaking of different things, fans yearning for even more Jeremih can cop the Deluxe version of All About You, available via iTunes and featuring several tracks not on the physical CD. Expect also a Jeremih mixtape, on which the young star does as much spitting as singing: I rapped a little on my last album with Raindrops, and people asked Who was that? Now, I have some new stuff that I went hard on that just didnt fit with the theme of this album. So Im looking forward to the mixtape to let people see that side of me. A lot of singers try to do it, and it can either A) turn all your fans away like You need to stick to singing, fam or B) get you respect as being able to do both. I can put rhyme to a melody and have it accepted.Its been a whirlwind couple years for Jeremih, first setting the Midwest ablaze with his indy anthem My Ride, following that up with the RIAA-certified platinum Birthday Sex, a nomination for an American Music Award, and now, an imminent sophomore album. Ive almost traveled the world in a year, and thats an amazing experience. I now know what to expect this time around. When I do shows, I perform every song off the last album. People still want to hear those songs live, and those are from a year ago. So Im excited to see the response to this material. Jeremih recognizes that without his dedicated fans, none of these amazing experiences would be possible. That is why, on September 28th, he would like to tell each and every one of them its All About You.


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