Born and bred on Chicago’s South Side, pop-R&B singer and songwriter Jeremih taught himself how to play several instruments and didn’t consider himself a vocalist until a warmly received talent show performance. At Chicago’s Columbia College, he struck up a partnership with fledgling producer Mick Schultz, and the two closely collaborated on the material that became Jeremih’s debut album. In March 2009, slow jam “Birthday Sex,” the first single, debuted on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart, eventually topped it, and even crossed into the Top Ten of the Hot 100. Thanks to that hit, Jeremih, released that June with production handled entirely by Schultz, debuted at number six on the Billboard 200. A year later, Jeremih issued his follow-up, All About You. Like the debut, it was produced by Schultz and spawned a Top Ten pop hit, though it was a club track — “Down on Me” — featuring 50 Cent.
Five years passed prior to the release of Jeremih’s third album. The protracted gap between full-lengths entailed numerous delays, a period during which the singer distanced himself from his earlier hits and blamed himself and his label for the slippage. The artist nonetheless hardly pulled a disappearing act, with the high-profile mixtape Late Nights with Jeremih, a Top Ten pop hit in the form of “Don’t Tell ‘Em” (produced by Schultz and DJ Mustard, and featuring YG), as well as appearances on numerous tracks headlined by other artists, most notably DJ Khaled’s “Hold You Down.” Late Nights: The Album finally arrived in December 2015 with guest spots from J. Cole, Future, Big Sean, and Ty Dolla $ign, among others. Just a few months later, Jeremih wrapped up his trilogy with the Late Nights: Europe mixtape, a slick collection whose 14 tracks were purportedly recorded in only two weeks. He and fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper closed out 2016 with a collaborative mixtape called Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama. February 2017 saw the release of “I Think of You,” the lead single from his forthcoming fifth album.
~ Andy Kellman
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