Jeremiah Jay – Beyond the beats

Foto: Sofie Fatouretchi
Jeremiah Jae is the one of the youngest artists under the wings of Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder label. After a couple of tracks you realize that this cat follows a different track.

The 21 year old beat smith from Chicago stems from a creative family. Music has always surrounded him in his life. The process of creation has been a constant part since his early childhood. Jeremiah Jae is the one of the youngest artists under the wings of Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder label. Listening to his music leaves you looking for some pattern in the production until you start getting into it. After a couple of tracks you realize that this cat follows a different track. Music is not bound to rhythm so much with his production. The use of sound layers often creates something beyond rhythm, which is even more intriguing.

You’re on the Brainfeeder label. How did that happen?
Jeremiah Jae: It was really Myspace that was the platform. I put out a bunch if music, free mixtapes, Samiyam listened to one of them. He liked some tracks of it and passed it on to Flying Lotus I guess and a couple of years later I dropped out of school. I made another free EP called Dxnce and then Lotus heard that and he asked me to come out, chill and see what’s up. So I came out there and it was kind of an instant family environment – it felt really natural making the move to join it.

How far has Fly Lo inspired you as an artist?
Jeremiah Jae: I don’t know I first heard Flying Lotus like right after J. Dilla died. And I had the feeling that he was like J. Dilla 5000, I mean he was not copying him or anything like that, but you could definitely feel that he was influenced by Dilla and by the real beat heads. That he is dedicated to making music and stretching Hip Hop music beyond its limitations. Because as a producer I didn’t know you could really affect people like that. Still after the biggest beatmaker passed away. This dude is carrying the torch in a major way, in a different way and I saw that and I listened to his music. This dude is serious, he’s great.

How did the music making start for you? Making beats…
Jeremiah Jae: I come from a really musical family – like a real music family. My mom sings, my dad is a jazz pianist, composer; he makes beats actually (laughs). I never really wanted to consider producing as a career until high school. I started to get into rap groups and the idea of forming a little clique, names and concept for things. Getting into that world gave me the feeling that I can really make some fresh honest music if I put it out in the right way. Just committing to that lead me into the direction of now. Just putting out honest material, really spontaneous work. That’s not really genre specific music, but Hip Hop is the foundation of that. I got into this, started making beats, using Fruity Loops. Before that I played piano and guitar. The instruments were all self taught, like how to play drums.

But there was no professional training?
Jeremiah Jae: For piano, I took lessons for like seven years with this guy named Mr. Kingston, rest in peace. I hated those lessons, I didn’t really retain too much because I wasn’t into it. That was something my parents wanted me to do, but from that it’s just playing by ear really well. Taking this ear into the beat world I saw that it was music too. It’s putting layers together and combining different elements. I found that really fascinating. Being a visual artist my whole life too, even before I was making music. It was like making a collage.

You’re from Chicago, does that music for which this city is known for, inspire you?
Jeremiah Jae: I really love Jazz music. Just seeing my dad perform, I got the opportunity to see him perform a lot, being backstage meeting the different Jazz musicians. Really cool cats, the cat generation – so I always wanted to embody that coolness as a musician. I was really into Rock, Punk Rock, a lot of different weird bands, Placebo (laughs). There’s just a lot of different music I’m open to. But the past few years I’ve been buried in creation and trying to expand the range of what I’m into and what I want to put out into the world.

When you play out live – what do you want to give to the people?
Jeremiah Jae: Just really an experience in experimentation and limitless range of sound that eventually leads back to rhythm. But aside from that just noise and aside from that it’s just different layers and different elements. I really like to experiment and play with different groups, different Djs. This tour I’ve been solo, so I’m just trying out new things when I play. I don’t want the audience feel like, †œwhat the fuck is going on†. I just want them to be open to sound, I do interpretations of what they like and put it into a new realm of music. It’s an ongoing process, it’s just like a journey. I’m just a journeyman when I play. I guess five years from now or five days from now it’s going to be something different.