One thing Jonathan Jeremiah is not is pre-packaged. In fact, this North London gent has spent the best part of a decade defining a sound rooted in a rich legacy of bespoke English folk and confessional soul.
Jonathan cites family sing-alongs and his father’s extensive vinyl collection – including Scott Walker and Cat Stevens - as his influences.
Following a trip to America, Jonathan was inspired to write Happiness and Soiltary Man – two key songs on his album.
It wasn’t all about the music for Jonathan though; like many new artists, he helped to finance the album he was working on by working nights as a security guard at Wembley Arena.
Undoubtedly a major factor in the sound is Jonathan’s rich sonorous vocal; "When I was 14 my voice developed an incredible deep baritone. At the time it wasn’t the greatest thing, everyone wanted to sound like Jeff Buckley. I felt like a man out of place but in time, I embraced the baritone."
The other significant element is his fluent and luminous guitar, inseparable from the voice. "I can’t imagine singing without playing the guitar, I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t work. Even when recording the vocals for the album I played the guitar at the same time. We actually had to re-record the guitar parts for the instrumentals as you could hear my voice in the background!"
His musical dream
Now, after the night shifts and listening to the masters, Jonathan has produced the album he had always envisaged. His live band has recently been expanded to include percussion and brass, but upfront it’s simply his guitar and voice leading the way.
Those stints working at Wembley didn’t just help him finance the album; they fuelled and sustained his musical dream.
"I’ve always treated playing live like a conversation, talking to someone. When I was working at Wembley you’d see people like Bruce Springsteen and Neil Diamond up close. That definitely rubbed off. In the middle of the night after Springsteen was on the place was empty and being locked up. I’d go onstage and imagine the crowd; how can you not be affected by it?"
The album has been a long time in the making but offers proof that sometimes the best things take time. With equal measures of hard-headed determination and careful nurturing, Jonathan’s music is ready.