Jeremy Loops
Jeremy Loops

JeremyLoops isriding the wave

By Helen Herimbi Time of article published Sep 13, 2018

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Jeremy Loops swaggers in with a guitar case in hand, the folk singer, is fresh off a European tour that included him selling out and headlining a night at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, the spot where he was the opening act a year ago.

When we meet, he takes me through his time between the release of his acclaimed debut album, Trading Change and his new, second album, Critical As Water.

“There was this honeymoon stage that I felt, where you’re not really concerned about your second album, even though you know it has to happen,” he says.

While he was on the road, Loops wrote 70 songs - some of which were sketches, but some of which were finished but still which he felt were incomplete. He was worried.

Then he came home after a year of touring and went surfing for the first time in a long time.

“I took six months and went back to the little town that I grew up in, Kommetjie, and reconnected with all my old friends,” he said.

“Waves was the first song that came to me about a week after I’d arrived. It happened after I’d been surfing and had this big wave.

“I went out on a day that was much too big for my level of ability, but I made it. I delivered!”

He took those new ones, along with the 70 he’d written before and played them for super producer Will Hicks, who works with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Bastille.

Hicks, who produced Critical As Water, confirmed to Loops the best songs in that batch were the ones he wrote at home.

Critical As Water has catapulted Loops to Spotify super stardom as he is the most streamed South African artist by local audiences.

What is he doing differently to others artists?

“I think what I’ve done is that I built an international audience early,” he confesses.

“I have done six tours in America and way more than that in Europe.

“I’ve also done two tours in Australia and the Asia side of the world. I started small - just me and my loop pedal - and that was five-and-a-half years ago.

“We play the Roundhouse (in London) next year, and it looks like we’re on track to selling it out.

“A lot of my online success comes from the fact that only about half of my audience is South African.”

In a few months Loops will be back on the road again.

In February next year, he’ll be the first South African to headline Roundhouse since it reopened 12 years ago.

* Catch Jeremy Loops in the Garden in Pretoria today. If you’re in Durban, catch him at the Botanic Gardens on October 8.

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