Discovering JERUB

In the pool of more than 100,000 new songs released daily, in the mix of chart-toppers and headbangers, the magic lies within finding the breakthrough artist that is only beginning and makes you feel seen like no other. In this instance, Noctis discovers JERUB, a rising singer/songwriter who didn’t dream about being a musician, but after finishing his university degree, “all his eggs were in one basket,” and he never looked back.

With the release of his new EP ‘Finding My Feet,‘ JERUB translates common daily anxiety into anthemic, emotive records that have the power to make you feel seen and feel like you’re the only person in the room. Still, you’re not alone; you’ll feel understood and accepted. JERUB keeps it real, and gets vulnerable, but as much as he is aware of the uncertainty and unpredictability of life, he is not fearful; he is patient and wishful.

The first time the world recognsied JERUB’s talent was at BBC Radio1’s Live Lounge Introducing Search, where he was the finalist and stood out of more than ten thousand entries. In the same year, he went on to release his debut EP ‘Feel It.’

As Noctis gets to know JERUB as an artist, he starts to reflect on the highs and lows of this year. A highlight not just of this year but probably his entire life was his performance at King’s coronation; feeling honored, he approached it elegantly and with ease “just like any other gig.”

What have been some highs and lows of this year so far?

There’ve been so many highs! I’ve released an EP, I’ve gotten to play so many great live shows and I’ve been loving making music more than ever before. I’m not sure about lows to be honest. It’s been all highs so far. 

You moved from Nigeria to Nottingham when you were 10 years old, how did you feel about the move?

At the time, I didn’t really know what was happening. I knew we were moving but I was too young to comprehend it. I had just finished primary school in Nigeria so I guess a lot was already changing so I just went along with the change. I don’t remember putting up a fight with my parents. 

Was it a hard adjustment?

At first, everything was new. New friends, new school, new environment, new weather to get used to. I stuck out like a sore thumb and that was a bit uncomfortable but it was also exciting to be experiencing all this at a young age with my family. 

Was music a big part of your childhood home? 

Mostly! My parents aren’t musical at all but they love listening to music. I started singing when I was 11/12 when I joined a choir with my brother. We then started a little band together so it’s been something me and my brother have done together.

What made you want to pursue music professionally?

Music was never “the dream”. It’s something that’s really become a part of my life relatively recently. I started writing properly in 2018 and I fell in love with it. I’ve always loved being able to communicate a message and connect with an audience through music so I decided to pursue it professionally. 

You recently finished university, what did you study and how did you find the experience?

I studied Social Work at Uni and I really loved it. I loved my course because I got to serve the community and be exposed to so much. You get to see the realities of people’s lives and be a part of helping. 

Could you open about some of the things no-one prepares you for after university?

The uni experience is a weird one because you’re an adult but don’t always feel like it so you have a bit of time before you have to “grow up” and all of a sudden it hits you, you’re a grown up. For me, when I was at uni, music never really felt like a big risk because there was this other ‘big thing’ that I was doing but when I finished, all my eggs were in one basket and now doing music full time felt like a bigger deal and it took me sometime to just find my feet in that. 

Did writing for ‘Finding My Feet’ help you deal and get through the initial transition?

I always love writing songs that are real and authentic and those often come from my own journey in life. There’s something really therapeutic about being honest in the songs you write, acknowledging where you are and being okay with it. One of the lyrics is “Step by step, I’m just walking it out, I’m still making it work but I’ll figure it out” and that’s something that still helps me when I’m not sure what’s next.

What were some prevailing emotions and themes you wanted to express throughout ‘Finding My Feet’?

The EP covers a whole range of themes. From the changing nature of friendships and the different seasons that relationships go through to my journey to being confident in myself and who I am. It explores the theme of contentment and being present, learning to love the real and mundane moments of life and the need we have for others, in times of hardship, we have people who are there for us and us for them. 

What was your family’s and friends’ reaction to ‘Till The End’?

They LOVE the song. It’s many people’s favourite song. I love that I’ve gotten to make a song just for them. 

How was it performing at the King’s coronation concert, what were you feeling on the stage?

It was really special. There was a real sense of honour from everyone involved in the process, everyone was just honoured to be there and so was I. The energy from the crowd made it so easy to give it everything I had. It went so quickly also which I guess has to be a good thing. 

How does one even prepare for an appearance of this magnitude?

In many ways it’s like any other gig, learn the song, rehearsal etc… But I guess the biggest preparation was mental. I wanted to get to a place where I was as comfortable as possible  because as a performer, when you’re comfortable, it translates in your performance. 

Who were you excited to see perform?

I was really looking forward to seeing Katy Perry perform. I’ve always been a fan of her music. I also loved seeing Lionel Ritchie, he’s just a legend. As a Nigerian, I was also excited to see Tiwa Savage. 

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Photographer: Matt Miller

Words: Karolina Kramplova