Jeremy Zucker’s hit “come thru“ has garnered 200 million hits on Spotify, and at 23 years young, he possesses a unique emotional aptitude that shines through in his latest single “not ur friend“. The ability to focus and “be present, most of the time” has been instrumental in Jeremy’s creative process, which is something that pervades through to the way he leads his life – such as keeping his space clean and making sure that his apartment is clutter-free.
“I don’t like holding on to too many things that I don’t need. Everything around me needs to have a home, or a place. Everything must have a place.”
His consistent love of music has guided his journey since the age of 6, when he was made to play an instrument he hated, the piano. Through subtle persuasion and a willingness to look deeply on what drove him, he managed to find his way to playing the guitar and fell in love with alternative punk rock music. We caught up with the young star about his journey so far since he started releasing tracks 5 years ago.
Popspoken: How did the transition take place from your part time to professional career?
Jeremy Zucker: I never really planned on having a full-time music career. I was studying science in university and was actually planning to go to medical school to be a doctor. Music was just something that I always did on my own. Sometime in college I started getting noticed. By the time I graduated, I realized that I could support myself. I haven’t looked back since.
Popspoken: What were some of the sacrifices you had to make or privileges that you had to forsake so you could maintain your focus on studying and writing music at the same time?
Jeremy Zucker: I don’t think I was more stressed than the average college student. In fact, I think I was less stressed, because I never felt that music was a responsibility. I did it because I wanted to do it and never felt the pressure, something I’m very thankful for. I liked isolating myself and making music whenever I wanted to.
Popspoken: What has changed since you signed on to a label, started gaining a fan base and commercializing your music?
Jeremy Zucker: These days I write music much slower and more deliberately, even if it means I produce less. This way, I can focus more on the quality rather than the quantity. The only other difference is now having to follow a fixed schedule to release the tracks – be it keeping a track in the drawer for three or six months. It’s not a bad thing as this structure allows me to write from a more authentic place that I was before.
I also get the luxury of not having to worry so much about whether people will love the song or not. I write music that I care about and putting it out there makes me happy. Being able to express myself, and allowing myself to trust my own taste and judgment in music is deeply satisfying. The last thing I ever want to worry about is whether people are going to be happy listening to what I put out.
Popspoken: You write a lot about loneliness. What do you think is the best cure for ‘loneliness’ in the modern era of being so interconnected by the internet, yet being so disconnected from reality, all at the same time?
Jeremy Zucker: It’s important to have honest and carefree friendships. Knowing that the people you support will support you back. Most of the times I think people are isolating themselves, because either they don’t have the energy to reach out, or it’s just too hard. You have to dive deep to see who are the friends and people you care about, and focus on those whom you draw energy from and inspire you.
Similarly, a lot of people drain your energy. The difficulty is in aligning what you need and when. A lot of inspiration in my music comes from the experiences drawn from the people around me.
Popspoken: There are some hints about collaborations with Korean pop band BTS. What are your thoughts in general about Korea?
Jeremy Zucker: My Korean fans are so awesome. I did 2 sold out shows and I’m going back in fall. It’s the most amazing experience playing to them even though there are slight struggles because of the language barrier. I usually have no idea what to expect, I honestly believe relying on the emotions in the music and allowing your music to speak for itself is the most important. I’ll try my best to feel the emotions in the crowd. To just look, smile and connect with people.