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JERUB: A Rising Star To Watch

Jerub's journey is as captivating as his music, reflecting a fusion of his Nigerian roots and British upbringing.

In May 2023, Jerub unveiled his 'Finding My Feet EP,' featuring the standout track "There Till The End," which earned the prestigious title of BBC R1 Track of The Week. His music has resonated deeply with audiences, garnering praise from BBC Radio 1 DJs and catching the attention of major national TV outlets such as BBC1, ITV, and Channel 4.

As his momentum builds, Jerub's live performances have become eagerly anticipated events. From enthralling crowds at The Great Escape and Live at Leeds to commanding the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude, he's proving to be a dynamic force in the music scene.

With his authentic storytelling and heartwarming blend of pop and indie, Jerub is undoubtedly a rising star to watch. As he continues to captivate audiences and expand his musical horizons, there's no doubt that his journey is just beginning.

What a momentous occasion to be at Jerub's final show of his UK tour! It's a fitting setting to delve deeper into his journey and learn more about the artist behind the music. As he prepares to take his talents to Europe, this intimate conversation promises to offer insights into Jerub's creative process, inspirations, and aspirations for the future. From his earliest influences to the highlights of his career thus far, there's much to discover about the man behind the music.

As Jerub's final show approaches, we had the chance to sit down with him and delve into his remarkable journey thus far.

This is the last show of the UK tour. This is exciting. How are you feeling?

Oh man. Right now I'm feeling very excited. Very, very excited. I think, you know, the whole tour, it's been amazing. It's been a real dream come true, actually, and it's gone very quickly. I feel like it was like yesterday when I was planning it. And now it's it's almost over. But yeah, I've been super overwhelmed with just the people turning up. Most of the shows have been sold out and yeah, it's really been on my mind.

Last night you played in Nottingham and you grew up there, but you're from Nigeria, right?

I'm from Nigeria, and I guess I'm from Nottingham as well. Probably from both places. But yeah, Nottingham is home as well.

How do you think both places shape your music?

Oh, great question. No, I definitely think I think for me the, the feeling of home is actually something I realize I write about often, and I'm probably one day going to write a project around that theme. I've got a song probably coming out soon called Hometown and yeah, I think just remembering more from where I’m from is quite important to me and never forgotten, again where I was born, where I was raised, the people that I was raised with. It's just a big, big thing for me.

”Gonna Be Okay”  just came out. Can you share a little bit what’s the inspiration behind that song?

The inspiration behind that song, I guess really simply, I wrote it with the incredible Troy Miller, who's just a brilliant writer and producer. And really, it was the first time we ever wrote together, but we were both really just on board with writing a song that had a little bit of light. I think it's such a dark time in the world right now. And I think sometimes people just need to know that it's going to be okay. For me, there’s been times up and down and someone's been next to me. It's rubbing shoulders saying it's going to be okay. So I just thought, well, what would it look like to write a song that told people that?

That’s quite a hopeful song. Do you think there's other themes that are quite harder to write about or do you just so everything feels quite natural to you to talk about?

I think everything is hard in context or easy in context, depending on how I am or where I am. You know, if I'm in a place or if I'm really inspired by a really hard thing, I'll probably find it easy to write about it because I'm inspired by it. So I think it probably depends on how inspired by it and that feeling, and emotion.

"Till The End" is your most streamed song, but do you feel like there's any other song that you've written that you it  hasn't gotten the same recognition that you wish it could have?

Wow, that's a great question. I think one of a couple of my earlier ones before yeah, before things started to, you know, pick up a little bit. My first single actually “Paint me in gold“ is one that I always go back to and everyone always loves to hear. And I’ll never not play it like I always play live because I just love that song. And another one actually called “Feel It”, both those songs are ones that I hope they have a little bit more space in their own right in the future.

How do you balance the demands of making music that's commercial versus music that feels true to yourself?

Great question. I think for me, I just always need to write from a real place and sometimes writing from a real place is commercial, sometimes isn't. But I think I just have to always try my best to stay authentic and write the songs that are true to me and true to the people that I want to write it for. Yeah, And I feel like also these days, authenticity is very well received by the public. So I agree that the more authentic you are, I think people can see that. Yeah. And it's sometimes it does feel like fighting against the grain, but it's worth just being honest. That honesty is good.

You’ve had quite a few significant performances lately. What has been your most memorable live performance besides tour?

Oh Wow. Most memorable live performance. Besides the tour. I mean, there's been a lot I could talk about. I feel like “Children in Need” was really, really special. And I got to sing my own song, which is really cool. But also, you know, “Comic Relief” is probably the most recent, but it's definitely one that I found, you know, really, really special because it was Lenny Henry's last one. And the song within itself that I sang, which it's not my own, but it's one of the most covered songs ever. I was a little bit daunted to do, actually, and when I heard I wasn’t sure, and I said “it’s a big boy”. But I was also really up for the challenge. I just loved the whole experience. And the song itself is just such a powerful song with a powerful message. So I loved doing that.

Do you like covering other people's songs? And if so, what's like an artist that you love covering?

I like covering other people's songs to an extent, but I like to make it my own. But I love different artists. All sorts of different artists. The one I often do these days in my live shows is “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna. That's a good song. I feel like I wish I wrote it.

What about dream collabs?

Dream collabs! Ah man I’d collab with a lot of people. I'm a big fan of big fan of a bunch of different people. John Bellion, I'd love to, you know, Dave the rapper? Yeah I'd love to collab with Dave. And I just think his, his storytelling is amazing and I love storytelling. Yeah. Dave is one that comes to mind. Raye, I've loved Raye for a long time. She's obviously in the moment right now. And rightly so. But I'd love to work with Raye at some point.

Would you tell us about your new EP that is coming out soon?

You know what, this EP, I guess is just a collection of songs of my experience over the past year or two. Just growing up, just, just taking steps in the music industry, just living life. I think it’s me documenting a bit of my journey, feelings of, you know, I don't know, feelings of pressure, feelings of hope, feelings of love. Just really trying to document all my experiences.

Is this a collection of songs you've already put out, or is it a mix of both, or is it a completely new EP?

Yeah, there's going to be a lot of new songs. There's going to be some that people have heard already. There’s going to be some that people have never heard.

Your music kind of all stems around a constant genre. Do you think you're ever going to try different genres or experiment with different things?

You never say never. You know, you can never say never. Depends on, again, inspiration. And I guess with music, I feel like as I grow, my music grows. So my music goes, where I go and I feel like I will continue to grow, so my music will naturally continue to grow. And I'm excited for that challenge, that journey.

In terms of instruments. I know you play the guitar, do you play the piano as well?

I get by. That's what I say. I get by on the piano.

So are most of your songs born on the guitar or both?

Probably both. I write on both. I love to write on the piano because I think you get a different feeling, like one of the ones “you and I”. It was born on the piano, and you can tell it's from piano.  Or whereas a different one might been like “Scared To Be Myself” was definitely born on a guitar. It feels like a guitar song. So yeah, I love both. You get different feelings of different instruments.

Have you ever thought about adding some new instruments into the mix?

I'd love to. I'd love to play the drums. Yeah, well, the bass b is cool.  Bass players are very cool.

How does your music differentiate when you play it live? Because a lot of musicians will have different arrangements live. So do you try to stay true to the original songs? Or do you try to change it up a bit?

Both, probably. I think if it's too different to the original, it gets lost a little bit and people miss what they've connected with because ultimately they'll connect with what they've heard. And if you change it too much, it's like, where's that connection? But also I think what I love about live (music) is you get a lot more space to just have fun, have a good time, try some fun arrangements to support, strip it back if you want, build it up, if you want to, sing with people, sing by yourself. Change the feeling, change the genre, and just really have a cool moment.

So yeah, I love the live stuff.

How do you expect the crowd to be tonight?

Oh man. I don't know. I can't tell you. Like, I feel like going into every show, I try not to have any expectation to be honest, because one, you could be disappointed. It's better when you’re pleasantly surprised, but I think it's going to be good. It's the final show of the tour. It's sold out. It's in London. And all the shows have had great crowds so far. So I hope it’s the same.


Article by Ines Barny

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