Inspired by the eclectic music tastes of his family and his own explorations into Hip Hop, R&B, Soul and Liquid Drum & Bass, Jemu has developed a natural ear for emotive chords and rhythms. Initially trying his hand at music production on his father’s copy of Dance Ejay 3, a loop-arranging software, he was later introduced to Fruity Loops by a friend, which opened the door to a much more creative approach to making music. What started as a hobby has developed into a life-long obsession for Jemu, practicing piano and production techniques daily with the goal of being able to create music without being constrained by lack of musical or technical freedom. Had been experimenting with sound pallets and chord progressions reminiscent of those styles spoken above, but in a slightly different context, the talent hailing from South East England is at last delighted to have released his remarkable debut EP ‘Rayban Funk’. Viralbpm sat down with the British producer – pronounced Jem-You – to discuss about his latest tracks, influences and upcoming releases and collabs.
V1. Let’s begin with your debut EP ‘Rayban Funk’ on Icarus imprint Fly Boy Records. Tell more about it. Which track of the collection is your favourite?
Jemu: The EP is a selection of tracks I’ve made over the last year or so. I tend to vary in style quite a lot as I’m working, as I like so much different music within the electronic world, but these 3 tracks came together nicely as a body of work. I’d say my favourite is probably the title track – Rayban Funk; I made that track at the beginning of the summer last year, and for me it really gave me the feeling of being somewhere beautiful and hot.
V2. You’re from South East England. Did your roots influence you somehow throughout the creation process of the EP?
Jemu: I’m always inspired by my friends, family and girlfriend, but geographically, for this EP, I was mentally placing myself somewhere with a much nicer climate than England has! My mother is from Barcelona, so a lot of my inspiration is based on times I’ve been at my parents’ place in the Costa Brava, and music that my Dad played when we’d go out there when I was younger. Lots of Cafe Del Mar compilations and downtempo house stuff. There are some really nice views locally which do inspire me a lot, but I don’t think they’ve found their way into the music yet.
V3. Jemu is pronounced as Jem-You. Is there any interesting story behind your alias?
Jemu: While I was trying to come up with a name to use for my artist project, I spent a lot of time thinking about my childhood/early teenage years and things I enjoyed back then. My nickname growing up has always been “Jem”, and I remembered spending days on end playing a game on the Dreamcast called “Shenmue”. I couldn’t believe that you could just walk around and go about your day in the Shenmue world, with no real goal if you didn’t want to. And do Kung Fu stuff. Sounds boring but I loved it! So I basically merged “Jem” and “Shenmue”, and settled on “Jemu”.
V4. What are you currently working on? Can you reveal anything to us?
Jemu: Recently I’ve been exploring more progressive and club-focused house music. I find the intricacies in the percussion and evolving elements really satisfying. It’s really nice being able to get lost in a track and not know how long you’ve been listening to it. Also I’d love for my next release to be a bit more dancefloor focused. The kind of thing you might hear at a beach club at sundown, or something. That would be nice.
V5. With who would you like to collaborate with and which producer would you characterize as one-to-watch?
Jemu: I’m loving what Jonathan Kaspar is doing right now. Also Pablo Bolivar has some amazing music. Would be great to do some collaborations in the future, but right now I’m very focused on developing my sound and concentrating on improving as a producer. As far as ones to watch, “My Friend” just put out a really nice two-track on Icarus’ “Fly Boy” imprint. Also “Murtagh” – a really talented producer who I’ve been following for a while.
V6. Thank you a lot for taking your time in order to create a special interview like this. Any final words you want to share with the Viralbpm readership?
Jemu: Thanks for having me! I’m currently working on new music which will see the light of day during the summer. Also a big thanks to the Icarus boys for all their support!