There were a lot of surprises at this year's Net Prophet. Who knew that an iPad cover (not an iPad, just the cover) would be auctioned for over R20 000? Who knew that a particularly inquisitive member of the audience, quickly dubbed "Question Guy", would become a Twitter trend unto himself? And who knew that Jeremy Loops and his folksy tunes would cause the crowd to erupt into such thunderous applause? I caught up with Jeremy a little later to find out more.
You've performed at a number of large events, including Rocking The Daisies and Up The Creek. How did performing to the seated (and mostly professional) audience at Net Prophet compare? It was a completely new experience; surprisingly relevant and particularly enjoyable. Engaging people takes so many different forms, and fresh environments like this keep me on my toes.
You've got quite an unusual background, which included studying for a corporate career and then sailing around the world on a super yacht. Could you tell us a bit more about that and how you made the transition into music? I think my unusual background makes my music accessible. I started what I thought would become my career as a hopeful student at UCT. You know how some people get driven to drink when they do things they don't like? Well, my refuge was my guitar - a newfound passion at the time!
Spending years away from home, while confined to a small cabin on a boat, generated the need to come home and get involved. I learned to use a loop pedal out of necessity, as there was no possibility of being in a band while at sea.
When I came home, I started planting trees in townships with some friends. A few months later, I co-founded Greenpop [host of this weekend's Reforest Fest]. The energy surrounding this time in my life helped turn my ad hoc jam sessions at home into something more. The transition into Jeremy Loops felt quite natural, although mostly overwhelming!
You're often described as a "one-man folk band", but your music is a lot harder to nail down. How would you describe your sound and your act? I really don't know. It often depends on which effects or voices I'm using to build the song, whether there's a collaborator involved, and what I'm trying to go for. Folk is my primary influence, but I really enjoy gypsy jazz, hip hop, rock, and some electronic music too. It's really cool exploring all these genres. I just play songs, I guess.
You use multiple instruments, pedals, loops and a bunch of other effects. How does it all work? All my instruments and effects go through the Loop Station at the end of the circuit. I record different elements on different layers, stack the layers up and use the pedal to remove layers too. This is what gives my songs their dynamism. In a way, you can think of the pedal as the band with my feet as the conductor. They determine which instrument comes in at which point, and so on.
What challenges do you think come from essentially having to do everything yourself? Staying creative is difficult, I suppose. The benefit of working alone - retaining my own artistic vision - is also the greatest pitfall. Sometimes, when one is low on ideas, it's nice to have others to bounce them off. Staying motivated is also difficult, as nothing happens if I don't do it, whereas with bands, you've always got other people pushing you.
How has collaborating with musicians like saxophonist Jamie Faull, guitarist Andre Geldenhuys, and rapper MO Lecko impacted on your music? Collaboration is a continual learning curve for me. Not only do these musos influence my own style, but they also open up doors to musical worlds unknown to me before. My collaborators don't share a common background or taste in music (as is often the case with a band). Jamie comes from a classically trained jazz background, while MO Lecko is strictly hip hop. Our musical tastes converge, but our knowledge bases are worlds apart. This means everything to me.
What's next for you and your music? Bushfire Festival (Swaziland) and Oppikoppi are exciting forthcoming gigs. I think that's the direction I'm going. I love live performance. I want to play festivals - big festivals, everywhere.
Eugene Yiga is a reformed accountant, now enjoying his time as a lifestyle and entertainment writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. He also writes about personal development and is on a quest to read the 100 greatest books of all time before he turns 30. You can contact Eugene by following @eugeneyiga on Twitter or by emailing to say, um, hello.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.