We spoke to Jeremih ahead of his appearances at Cirque Dubai on Monday and Cavalli Club Wednesday, about how much he loves his UAE fans, his favourite thing to do in Dubai and why he has it a little tougher than Chris Brown and Usher.
You were here not too long ago for RedFest Dubai? What keeps bringing you back?
I just love it out here. I come from the south side of Chicago but I like coming out here and meeting all of my fans. Red Fest was crazy, it was good to see how everybody embraced my songs coming from where I’m from. Of course I like to come back I love it out here.
Your hits Don’t Tell Em and Down on Me are constantly played in Dubai across nightclubs. What is it about your tracks that people in the UAE find so catchy?
Some of fans say they love my voice, a lot of people say they love the selection of my production but really I like to cater a lot of my songs to the ladies. And fellas can sing it to the ladies. When you make music that can appeal to both genders.
What are favourite things to do and places to visit in Dubai?
I’m spoiled because of our lack of Nando’s in the States. There’s only one Nando’s in Washington DC and it just got there. But as soon as I can have that Peri Peri chicken… I got introduced in London so when I found out it was in Dubai that was definitely one of my highlights.
Also we play football at one of the big soccer fields, we talk about going RV riding, I didn’t even know there was an attraction to jump off the Burj Khalifa. I’m down for that, I’m just adventurous. Whenever I’m in a new territory I like to see what’s going on.
We get a lot of performers coming to Dubai for club appearances such as French Montana, Tyga, Lil Jon etc. How will you make sure your set sticks in people’s minds?
French Montana called me the other day. I just do me, I’ve always just done me and people have accepted it. Now that I have a little bit more in my arsenal as far as records over the last couple years, Down on Me, Don’t Tell Em and a few other features I have out. Whatever you hear on the radio you’re going to be able to hear on stage too. I never know exactly what I’m going to do on stage I just do.
You’re playing in Vegas fight weekend. Something we’re very much looking forward to seeing here in the UAE. Do you have any special tactics you'll pull out the bag for Chateau nightclub in Vegas on the same night stars such as Nicki Minaj, Sevyn Streeter and Funkmaster Flex perform too?
This is the biggest fight of our time. I’m good friends with 50 Cent, I know he’s going to be out there. From French to Fabolous to Meek Mill, knowing that he’s with Nicki right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes in there and we do a few things. I'm actually looking forward to that night because I’ve never been on a bill with Nicki. I’m on her latest album on two songs, one called Favorite and another called Want Some More. But if anything I’m just hitting the gym heavy this week to get my body ready for that Vegas humidity and nightlife. After Floyd wins I’m inviting everyone out to turn up with me. Not too many fighters are legendary. I don’t know who would want to be around that type of guy.
You’re 27 years old. Do you get to spend much time back home in Chicago hanging out with friends and family?
Yes, I still live in Chicago even though I just purchased a house in LA. Some of my friends are on the road with me tonight who I kick it with. To go home and see my family, I actually have a two-year-old son so I make sure I balance my lifestyle. From the studio to the stage to the house, I have a hard time balancing but I’m getting the hang of it now. A lot of people don’t know it’s a little difficult for me. I’m 100 per cent responsible for a lot of the lyrics, then music… Then you have other artists, who I’ve even had the opportunity to work with like Usher and Chris Brown, who I’m not saying they don’t write but they have it a little easier than me to come to the studio to have song prepared for them. From the writer and production aspect I do double time. Balancing my life I’m getting the hang of it more than ever.
What exciting stuff do you have coming up in the future?
I look forward to more blessings on blessings on blessings. When I’m not looking forward to something coming up, it means I’m not working. I have a couple records I look forward to being on – shout out to everybody like Meek. Everybody I’ve bumped into over the last year, we’ve made some incredible records, luckily they’ve been able to drop them as their singles. I’m looking forward to my album. I haven’t dropped an album in years, I don’t know if anyone’s been able to tell. Late Nights the album, a little acting here and there…
My new single featuring J Cole is out on iTunes and I have another rhythmic single featuring Flo Rida which I just dropped last weekend. We’re shooting a video for it next week. It’s called Tonight Belongs To You. It’s a club-driven up-tempo record.