Musically, Jeremih has been everywhere this summer, from his top 5 R&B songs hit “Don’t Tell Me” to his collaborative EP with Shlomo to another mixtape, N.O.M.A. (Not On My Album) named after the bedroom-ready seven tracks that didn’t make the cut on his forthcoming album Late Nights, due this fall via Def Jam.
But the 27-year-old behind the 2009 breakout smash “Birthday Sex” can still “count on my hand” the number of concerts he’s played with a live band, let alone the number of non-core fans who know much about his upbringing on Chicago’s south side. There’s even a popular internet rumor that Jeremih is the older brother of fellow R&B singer Jason Derulo -- a myth that Jeremih is happy to clear up. “I don’t know where that rumor came from, or why it came from anywhere, and I don't know why I can’t take it off of Google,” he says with a laugh. “I’m hoping this interview can help me. I’m a fan of his recent work, but he’s not my brother.”
Jeremih’s performance at the kick-off of Fader and vitaminwater’s Uncapped concert series in New York on August 19 should help him establish those live chops as well as shed some light on his unique history, as this year’s series is themed around vitaminwater’s tagline “Hydrate Your Hustle”. Jeremih teases the show will bring “lots of excitement, spontaneous actions, special guests, surprise guests, an overall good time.” He’ll perform alongside Run The Jewels, with exclusive footage to appear on vitaminwater’s YouTube channel and TheFader.com.
As for what fuels Jeremih’s hustle? “My competition keeps me driven, my family and son and being home in Chicago keeps me humble, and my fans. They're the reason why I’m going hard and making sure everyone knows how to say my name. I think as long as I can have that memory of being with my granddad and making beats with my homies in my crib -- getting up every day, hopping on three buses to get downtown and make more music, it was influencing me. I just knew that was who I was and over time I just began to just accept it.”