Jeremih Talks New 'Late Nights' Mixtape, European Tour: 'We Came to F--k Sh-t Up'

Meredith Truax


Singer Jeremih released his first after hours-themed project with 2012's beloved Late Nights mixtape. Four years later, he's still working around the same concept. Last December, he put out an album called Late Nights, and his latest mixtape is titled Late Nights: Europe. The tape catalogs a string of sexual encounters as the singer criss-crosses Europe — with quick excursions to Dubai and Lebanon — on tour. Soundz, who produced Late Nights' highlight "Woosah," is responsible for most of the beats here, and he shores up Jeremih's airy falsetto with a rattling low-end. 

Billboard caught up with the singer to talk about his his latest project and the potential end of the Late Night series. Read excerpts from the conversation below.

Jeremih Dedicates New 'Late Nights' Mixtape to Europe: Listen

?What was it like making this 'tape on the road?

I had never really recorded on the road. Luckily, this tour, I was able to go out there in Europe, and I brought my homie Soundz out with me. I was trying out new treatments while performing. After a lot of the shows, we'd set up small little booths in the hotel room, which I had never done before. Over the last week and a half or two weeks, we came up with a body of work, like 20 songs. 

Was it hard to record in that sort of environment?

For me, no. It reminded me of how I use to work before I got signed — I recorded at my grandad's crib in a small little room. We had to make everybody shut up when we hit record, but other than that, I was right at home. 

Had you been to Europe before?

I've been to Amsterdam and Dubai, which is not in Europe, but it was the very first show I had before the actual European tour. For the whole month, we came to f--k s--t up. Every song was inspired by wherever we went, whether it was the people, the food, the girls with their accents. We had those girls speaking throughout the tape. 

How did you originally connect with Soundz?

He was a part of the original Late Nights tape four years ago. He did a song on there called "Feel The Bass." I had originally wrote while working with him for Ciara — at the time, he was working with Tricky Stewart and the Dream, they were heavily influential on Ciara's album, so I was trying to get in where I fit in. 

From that point, every time we got in the studio it was good vibes only. And on Late Nights: the album, he produced "Woosah." He's big on sounds, I'm more of a feel type of person. We'd always talk about the aesthetic. I'm like, "You gotta take that equalizer off 'cause I don't think it feels the same way." Over time, we just both started to understand working with each other. 

"Woosah" has that live bassline, but all the beats on here have a real heavy low-end.

That was his bass guitar on "Woosah." I didn't even think that song was going to make the album. We had the live guitar on there, but overseas, I don't have a guitarist in my band, so we were just going with what we had, going for an 808, trappy feel. 

You reunited with Krept & Konan for "London"?

London was really the highlight to me of the tour. We had two or three shows back to back to back sold out. I was shocked — not that I don't know that I have a strong U.K. fanbase, but see it night after night sold out with new faces, I couldn't help but record afterwards. We had three or four songs that could have been called "London," that's why there's another one on there called "British Headboards." We were told by some of the girls that in the U.K., they're big on headboards. Kind of weird to me, but that's why we called that song "British Headboards."

I was able to meet a young lady by the name of Steff London. It blew me away — in this whole wide world that we travel in, we meet all types of women that have their own talents. She had this musical talent that I hadn't come across before. She was dope, reminded me of Nicki Minaj. We did that song at the end of the night in one night. Then we stayed an extra day to get Krept & Konan on it. 

Jeremih on Pleasing His Hardcore French Fans With Hit 'Oui' and His Complicated Relationship With Def Jam

Radio might like that one.

Lyrically, I had to explain to people what she's saying because I'm not sure they understand her twang. It's a sneaky way to say something so nasty that I believe radio would accept it. Definitely that song could blend in with a lot of Top 10 records right now. Hopefully people don't sleep on it too long.

How did "Stockholm" come together? That's one of the quieter moments on the record.

That was one of those late night, early morning ones — 5, 6, 7 a.m. That was a record that Chance the Rapper was messing around with. But on the tape I had to leave it empty. I was waiting for his verse, he was still working on it the day before I dropped it. But I put it out. I wanted people to appreciate the music. Sometimes you fill up a beat so much with words and lyrics. Keep it sexy.

Are you just going to keep making new installments with the Late Nights title?

That was just random. Later That Night is the last part of the Late Nights series. I'm pretty much almost done with that. I've just been working a little more to try to perfect it. It'll be my last album under Def Jam and under a lot of the obligations that I've been having to work with the last couple years.