VIDEO: Exclusive interview with singer/songwriter Jeremy Thurber
Lighting up the KCON 2014 stage as part of the pre-show to MCountdown's Saturday night concert, singer Jeremy Thurber definitely stood out. Clearly not new to performing, he moved across the stage singing flawlessly, all while pumping up the crowd leaving many asking, "Who exactly is Jeremy Thurber?" Jeremy took the time to sit down and talk with me via video chat so I could find out, and the answer may actually surprise you.
Tanya: Hey everybody! I'm Tanya for DramaFever News and I'm here to talk to singer/songwriter Jeremy Thurber.
Jeremy Thurber: Hello! What's going on?
T: So, we're just going to jump into our little Q&A that we have. Can you tell us more about you?
J: Yeah. Again, I'm Jeremy Thurber and I'm a singer/songwriter. I'm living here in Los Angeles just kind if pursuing the dream of music. I had fun ad KCON, which was insane.
T: Can you tell us how you got started in music?
J: Yeah, I actually started off as a dancer . When I was younger, I wanted to take dance classes at like 5, so my mom started putting me in classes and stuff, then I started getting jobs working for artists in music videos and all that stuff, then I was like "actually I think I can do what they're doing and I want to do it." Then I moved to LA from San Diego, where I met Drew Ryan Scott and Sean Alexander and they wrote me my first song. Then that kind of snowballed and ended up getting me into k-pop and writing for k-pop and all that stuff, so it's kind of crazy how things come full circle.
T: I think that's a lot of fun. Oh, there we go... it took it a second to recover. Sorry Hangout is being a little crazy everybody. Tell me where you have had the opportunity to work because I know you have done things on a global scale, like you said you have worked with k-pop. Anything else?
J: I have done some j-pop stuff. I recently got a song with a huge Latin American artist who I am really excited about... I wish I could say his name, but I can't, and I am just continuing to do lots of stuff for Korea. I have a song on a Chinese artist coming out that, again, I can't say [the name]. They are very secretive. It's just really cool to be able to do music all around the world. You know, I think a lot of American writers get so stuck on what's going on here that they don't realize that there's a world. There's a global market and other styles of music that you can draw from to write for people here and learn and make yourself a better artist in the end.
T: All right, so you're obviously not new to the world of k-pop, as you have mentioned, and I do know you had the opportunity to work with TVXQ, so what was your favorite part of that?
J: It was kind of like... it just happened? It was really cool. It was one of those situations where it just happened me and Sean Alexander wrote the song and it was a really fun song. You know, they wanted us to add a dance break and all of that stuff, so we kept going through it and working on it. It was just a really cool experience. Then having that album come out and it was my first platinum record ever which was really exciting for me. I was actually on my way to China to do some shows like a month ago and I stopped in Seoul. In the airport, there was a huge tree poster and their albums and stuff so it was really cool to go buy the physical copy and see my name in the booklet. It was a whole experience that was just insane. [And I'm] very, very thankful for.
T: Do you enjoy Korea when you get to go?
J: Yes! I do! I'm not as adventurous with food... Last time I was there I was hanging out with my friends Jackie Liu and Amber Liu [of f(x)], who I'm sure you guys all know, and she was taking me around to all of these very adventurous places. I remember they were eating live squid and it was crazy, but it's so much fun. Yeah, right? It's not good, not good.
T: Yeah I'm making faces over here, that you guys can't see, about live squid. Listen, I can handle it if it's cooked, not if it's going to be moving.
J: Yeah, it was crawling along the table. Like, the legs were- [Jeremy grimaces] I was like, "you guys..."
T: Now I'm super jealous of your friends because I love Amber. She's one of my favorite people and I love watching all of her crazy adventure on Instagram.
J: Yeah, she a professional Instagrammer. That girl knows what she's doing. I'm very jealous.
T: Tanya's having technical difficulties, sorry. Recently you performed at KCON in Los Angeles, so tell me about that experience since you were actually performing instead of being behind the scenes as a singer/songwriter.
J: Yeah, it was really cool. I've had a lot more opportunity lately to work on my artist project which is something that I want to start moving into more. I'm working on a new project right now. I got the call to do the pre-show- a friend of mine set it up- and it was insane. I had just come off tour in China where I had performed on some of the biggest stages for the biggest crowds I have ever performed for and then I got to perform on an even bigger stage for an even bigger crowd and it was just a month of dreams coming true. Standing in the middle of that stage, asking everyone to scream - it was just like the arrows from [the movie] '300' where it's just like... It was really cool. It was awesome. I had such a blast.
T: Did you get to meet any fun, new people because I know there were a lot of artists there?
J: I met Teen Top and I got to meet a couple of the members from VIXX. I didn't get to meet G-Dragon, but I got to watch him rehearse and I was peaking through the curtain like, "Oh man! There's G-Dragon! G-Dragon! Over here!" I was like, "I want to do a song with you!"
T: I totally would have been doing the same thing. Like, "I just want to say hi to you, that's it. That's all I want. I'll walk away now... I'm not crazy, I promise."
J: Right? Me and my dancers were trying to peak through the tarp and we're like, "There going to come. The secret service is going to come and they're going to drag us out of here!" So we were running from tarp to tarp to look through... "Get your Crayon!" and [fan boys for a moment].
T: "Crayon" is actually, by far, my favorite G-Dragon song so that makes me happy.
J: It's pretty awesome. That, and "One of a Kind" is like my... and "That XX". "XX" is super dope.
T: I like that one a lot actually because you get to see many different sides of him all in one song.
J: Yeah, I agree. I agree. That was definitely my favorite album that he did with "That XX", "One of a Kind", and stuff. It was such a versatile, creative album.
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T: So since we're talking about it, and you happened to mention, is there anyone in the field right now that you want to work with that you haven't had the opportunity to?
J: I've been trying to work with Girl's Generation for a long time. I've tried to do some stuff with f(x). I think I would love- Oh, 2NE1. I would love to do a song for 2NE1. Of course, G-Dragon... Who wouldn't? Defintitely, those are my favorite. The very established groups. And I really like what Infinite is starting to do. They are starting to catch my attention a little bit, so maybe I'll try and do some stuff for them as well.
T: I also like the evolution that Infinite has been putting out lately. It's pretty good.
J: Yeah, they are definitely on an awesome rise up.
T: They, um... I like when even groups that are more established finally find exactly what they want to do. Even if their style of music doesn't stay the same, it's good to know that they know their path now. It takes a lot.
J: I think it's really interesting though, with k-pop too, when they find their artistry because they come out and they are very more or less "put together", if I could say, and then some groups become artists, you know what I mean? Then the others kind of fall off, but it so nice to see those groups [who] become artists kind of break away a little bit.
T: I'm just going to say, right now, that you have captured my heart because my biggest thing and anything [k-pop] is I love groups that have a hand in whatever they are doing. Either they write, they compose, they take on producing, so groups like Block B or B.A.P, I'm really, really into those... You're my favorite person right now.
T: So you did mention that you are working on your project and I do know that you have a release out right now. Do you want to tell us more about that?
J: Yeah, my EP out right now that we are promoting and that I've been performing everywhere is called "#Solo". Solo. You can find it on iTunes and everywhere, Amazon. I'm starting to work on a new record actually with the producers called The Swaggernauts who did Troy's "Happy Little Pill". I don't know if you've heard that song. It's huge right now on Billboard and everywhere. We have this song that I finally captured myself into a record that I'm very excited about, so I'm just going to continue making music and performing and just getting out there. I'm going back to China, I think October/November, I'll be doing quite a few cities out there so I'm really excited about that. I love performing.
T: One random question because we have talked a lot about China. Where else do you want to perform?
J: I really want to perform in Rio. I almost had a chance to perform because Converse sponsors me and gives me dope shoes for my shows, thank you Converse. What's up? They did a show in Rio, but I would love to perform in South America, Mexico, just where there are big crowds... I love big crowds.
T: Actually, k-pop has a really huge hold in South America and a lot of people don't realize that because it's fairly new to the United States, so that's kind of cool.
J: I'm also working on doing some shows in Korea, so that's why I didn't say Korea. It's kind of in the works, [already] happening, which I'm excited about. Japan too, would be awesome.
T: Japan started, actually, my love of all things Hallyu.
J: Oh really? With what? What was your first k-pop song or j-pop song?
T: I started out with anime actually. Then I started realizing that a lot of the music in anime, even though they are Japanese songs, were actually Korean artists. One of my friends was like, "You need to listen to this song!" It was "Haru, Haru" by Bigbang. I was like, "Okay, well it's not that awesome, but whatever" and that- don't kill me fan girls, please don't kill me! It was early Bigbang, they kind of... anyway, it doesn't matter. I started getting into G-Dragon more after that because I had heard the early stuff I was like, "I can work with this. This is pretty awesome."
J: "It's pretty good. It's pretty good." [laughs]
T: I tend to seem overly judgmental about music, but I do believe that, while artists are extremely talented, when you have you are early on moving from the "hey these are canned songs" to "hey, we're actually working on it" it can be kind of hard. While "Haru, Haru" itself, the subject was a beautiful song, but I think it could have been produced better but that's my personal opinion.
J: And that's what's up.
T: Thank you to Jeremy for taking the time to talk to me although Hangout is being crazy right now. And look for the article on DramaFever soon because we will highlights of his KCON performance! Thank you!
J: Thank you so much. Bye guys, have a good one.
If you were unable to be at KCON 2014 to see his performance in person, you can watch it in its entirety below! You can also follow him on Twitter (@jeremythurber) and Instagram (jeremythurber). You can find his EP "#SOLO" on iTunes by clicking HERE.
Don't forget to tell me what you think about Jeremy Thurber and all of his volume of work in the comments, or tweet @Hallyu_Tanya!