Jeremy Zucker "The only thing that hits me as a real statistic is how many people are at the show and how the room feels when I play a set."
Alice Gee | 12/06/2023
It's just a couple of weeks away until the release of Jeremy Zucker's latest EP, "is nothing sacred?". From what I've gathered, this is set to mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in an illustrious career. Taking the time out of his busy schedule, Jeremy sat down with us to take a couple of steps backward with me giving me a glimpse down the road that has led him to where he is today—a multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and producer with over 9.5 billion global streams and 4 million album sales.
There's a lot to unpack, so let's delve back past these seven and a half years since his debut release, 'Beach Island'. I was interested in hearing where it all took off. Growing up in a household filled with music, it was only natural for it to become an inseparable part of their later life. They described music as the constant "background noise' to me doing more 'normal' things." A "background noise" that has followed him throughout many of life's explorations.
From his first job as a snowboard instructor, "I needed to make money at the time, and so I became a snowboard instructor because it was something I knew how to do", to pursuing molecular biology at Colorado College, Jeremy excelled in various fields. However, it became evident that music was where he discovered his passion. "I studied biology because it was a subject I was naturally the best at. I think I'm generally just curious, so, naturally, I have bounced around doing many different things, dipping my toes in all these different places." Throughout this journey, he intertwines music, consistently creating and composing alongside these diverse ventures.
Upon graduating from College in May of 2018, that same month, Jeremy made a significant stride by releasing his EP "glisten". An EP featuring one of his most acclaimed tracks, 'all the kids are depressed'. The essence of this particular song was to give legitimacy to depression and bring awareness to its existence, assuring individuals that they need not conceal their struggles behind a smile. "I wanted to address that it was and still is okay to struggle with mental health. The making message of that release was that you are not alone—more people than you think are going through it." He went on to explain how the purpose of his music video was used to help encapsulate that. "That's a lot of what the music video touched on. We told different people stories and illuminated something that is kind of taboo to talk about."
Curiosity led me to delve deeper into who Jeremy is behind the music. And to Jeremy, authenticity is integral to how he portrays himself. There are no hidden agendas or hiding behind masks; Jeremy's music truly reflects his emotions and experiences. When asked how he would describe himself behind the songs, he replied, "The same person releasing the music. It's authentic to me. I'm not hiding behind anything."
Then in 2020, with a string of EPs now under his belt, it was time for the real test of their debut album, 'love is not dying.' Immediately entering Billboard's Top 100 and reflecting on this, Jeremy shares, "At the time, it was really hard to gauge the success of it because it came out right at the beginning of the pandemic, but I was just excited to get it off my chest. Seeing it on the charts was awesome to see. I hoped for my album to be my biggest project so far at the time. After a little while, I stopped looking up whatever accomplishments, or lack thereof, it was getting because I was looking towards the next thing!"
Gaining platinum multiple times over and amassing more than 9.5 billion streams, I wondered if these numerical milestones felt similar to him, what significance they held for him, and how he viewed them. "There's a big disconnect, but I think that's a result of this post-internet music era that we live in. It's at the point for me where the numbers kind of stop meaning everything. I guess I have a good base value for what is impressive for someone with my history, but it's still really abstract to think about the number of streams and listeners. The only thing that hits me as a real statistic is how many people are at the show and how the room feels when I play a set."
With the US tour coming up in October, Jeremy expressed genuine excitement. "I'm most excited to play the new music to people and to revisit older songs. I can't wait to play these songs for the fans because it's an indescribable feeling."
Jeremy's latest tour is dedicated to promoting his latest EP, 'is nothing sacred?'. It serves as a shout into the void, a question born of frustration, and a call to action. An introspective EP that acts as a passionate outcry to an indifferent universe, taken from a deep longing for connection and dissatisfaction with apathy and detachment that may have once seemed appealing but ultimately led to isolation. In a world increasingly disconnected, Jeremy questions the value of these emotions and inspires listeners to embrace selflessness, care for others, and cherish the beauty of the present moment. The artist fearlessly dismantles the self-constructed walls of their psyche, allowing vulnerability and emotional honesty to shape these songs.
As the interview came to an end, I asked Jeremy if there was anything he had learned or focused on in the past few years that he felt was still really important to him now. "I recently discovered the word "Sonder" and its meaning. It's the sudden realisation that everyone around you is living their own life completely separate from yours. Everyone is just at a random point in their day when you see them, notice them, or talk to them, and they go home to their own families, lives, hobbies, and jobs. It's that overwhelming realisation. It put a lot of things into perspective for me.
In a world where we often become consumed by our thoughts and goings-on, we often lose sight of the fact that each person we encounter is navigating their unique journey. And to me, this feels like what 'is nothing sacred?' is about, inviting us to raise our gaze and appreciate the inherent beauty in our shared humanity. It beckons us to step outside the boundaries of our own experiences and embrace the transformative power of genuine connection.
Words Will Macnab
Photographer Meredith Traux
Stylist Ian Elmowitz
MUA Jodi Vaugn
Photography Assistant Andrew Zaeh