A career far from music took Jeremiah James from Colorado to California. Along with his clothes, furniture, and appliances – came his guitar. Which served him well because it didn’t take long after he was settled in to start focusing more on his craft. With a new EP out now and more on the way, we talked about his roots, career moves, and more in this back and forth.
Kendra: What initially sparked your interest in playing guitar as a teen? Was it the pop-punk scene of the mid-00s?
Jeremiah James: My interest was first sparked when my dad got me a Fender acoustic guitar for Christmas. Before this, I was listening to music all the time and it was heavily influenced by my sisters who were going through a heavy pop-punk phase. Bands such as Blink-182, Green Day, and Linkin Park all had songs that could move me emotionally when I listened. But I quickly realized that unless I was playing an acoustic song like “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” most of the songs were more tailored to be played on an electric guitar. So I started exploring simple acoustic classics like “Wonderwall” but never took it much further than this.
Kendra: You made a big move to California a couple of years ago. What prompted that because it appears as if you didn’t start making music until you got settled in.
Jeremiah James: Since I was born and raised in Colorado and had been land-locked my whole life, I always dreamed about moving out to California and living close to the beach. After I earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from UCCS in 2017, I got a job as a CAD Engineer, and the company I worked for – Cobham – offered me the opportunity to transition out to California to work in the West Coast Design Center. If I had never made this move I would have never discovered my potential as a singer/songwriter and an artist.
Kendra: When did you realize that you wanted to take the leap and start crafting your own songs instead of just playing around on your guitar in your spare time?
Jeremiah James: About a month after I had moved to California, I met an artist who took me under his wing and showed me the inner-workings of music as an art and how it was something that if I wanted it. I could eventually get there with enough time and effort. I’d have to put in the work to be creative and non-cliche with my lyrics and compositions and also develop the confidence to sing in front of an audience. I wanted it.
Kendra: When it came time to write and record ‘Render,’ what impressions did you initially want it to leave audiences with?
Jeremiah James: I wanted to tell a story. I have several other songs written, but these songs seemed to fit together best from start to finish. I had an amazing relationship with a sweetheart of a girl, but life happened and we broke-up. I realized a month or two after the break-up that I was still in love so I poured my heart out to her and confessed it only to find that she no longer felt the same way. Being left in love and knowing that she had completely moved on hurt me quite a bit it’s the most emotionally painful thing I’ve ever experienced. And I just couldn’t figure out how to move on so the heartbreak was something that prolonged for years. But music gave me an outlet, a way to discharge my emotion and pain. And ‘Render’ is the story that was born from it.
Kendra: You had a mentor who pushed you towards going in with your music. What advice did they give you that you feel will help you create a career in music that is “Made to Last?”
Jeremiah James: Music is a true stairway to heaven. You can always improve something: the lyrics, the melody, the timing, the arrangement, the vocal technique, the composition, etc. The key is to find joy in it and let the audience know your story is worth listening to. As I continue to write songs, I continue to find joy in my music and because of this, I believe I have what it takes to be an act that is Made to Last.
Kendra: With all that’s going on, how do you feel 2020 has shaped your creativity and drive moving forward?
Jeremiah James: 2020 has made me realize that music is medicine and the world needs it now more than ever. People are afraid, the fear is real, and from now on the music I make will be something to combat that.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned…
Jeremiah James: I’ve got tons of singles and two new EP’s I am working on! Here’s a sample stanza of a song I haven’t titled yet, but I think has quite a bit of potential:
Come carrying drops
From Jupiters sky
Onto Earth’s eyes
Til’ the shallow rock dries