Hiya Jem thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become a soloist?
To be honest, I’ve never wanted to go solo, and I’m only a solo in the media; while making music, my friends and I are a band.
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
I’m Jem, I’m 24, and I’m a London based Turkish singer/songwriter.
My musical journey started as an opera singer, and I studied opera in high school. Then I crossed over to study contemporary music, and I graduated from it recently. Since I was 18, I’ve been writing songs, and now I’ve finally released my four-part debut Ep!
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
It’s not that I’m sick, but being asked which genre of music I’m making gets tricky sometimes. I’d say Alternative Rock as an easy answer, but then I heard people saying that it’s not Rock, so I feel like whatever I say won’t be definitive and won’t be a satisfying answer for anybody.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I love watching the stars every night, and I’ve spotted some seriously unusual celestial actions, especially in the summertime in Turkey, so I know for a fact that aliens exist and they visit earth. Also, I’ve always felt like they would understand my alienation better than the humans!
What is your party trick?
I can do a handstand and stay like that for about a minute! But I’m not a party person, so another trick that I have would be disappearing as soon as I get there!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Interacting with my band is always the most fun, and I love seeing them interact with each other as well! I believe the dynamics created when you let your feelings flow and become one in the music is insanely powerful. It also translates to the crowd super well! Sometimes I like to take this concept further and assume that the energy travels outside the venue to the rest of the world when it’s actually a good show!
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I’m not sad all the time, ahaha! I mean, I can see why people think that way because of the intensity of my music and lyrics, but I’m actually a very entertaining and goofy person to be around!
If you had to describe your music to an alien, how would you describe it?
Since they’re aliens, I assume they communicate through telepathy and empathy, so I would let them feel what I feel while making music and watch them gently sob over my intensity.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
Whatever you hear is me; even the bits of characters I create to channel my feelings are part of my psyche. Maybe that would make me more of a relatable person, or perhaps because it’s too transparent, it would make me the opposite! But one thing is clear; I’m here in this world to explore the depths of who I am so that I can understand and articulate myself better!
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I think ‘Lost’ is my favourite at the moment! I love the different dynamics in the song, and playing it live only adds another layer of warmth to it!
You have your debut EP recently out, ‘Don’t Let Me Disappear’. What can you tell us about it?
I have to say, these couple of weeks have been wild for me! Now that the Ep is finally out, I’ve received so much feedback from people in the last couple of weeks! Hearing people’s connections to the tracks has made me super grounded and alive. All the fear, joy, love and despair are available for everyone to taste, relate and celebrate; that’s crazy yet liberating at the same time!
Talk me through the thought process of the EP?
Honesty brings honesty, and this was my motivation while writing this Ep! I wanted to share my alienation and be brave enough not to be scared of what comes out as a result. Because I have believed in every single line I wrote and didn’t filter any of my feelings, I hope people could see my music as a safety net and get vulnerable to it.
What was the recording process like?
Very intense, shrouded with a variety of emotions. It was a scary yet transformative place to be. I’ve learned so much about myself that I didn’t know only in the recording process!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the EP?
Learning how to produce and arrange various instruments in a way that makes sense would be a lesson I took away from the Ep process as a musician!
Would you change anything now its finished?
I’d like to believe that my music reflects who I am as a person at the exact time I’ve written and recorded it. No matter what I came up with now wouldn’t translate better than before. Therefore I wouldn’t change anything.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I’ve already started recording new things. I’ll probably be recording the vocals by the time this is released. But besides that, more shows are ahead all over the world. I plan to go on tour in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. I also just released my documentary-style short movie where I talk about the process of recording my Ep!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Be honest, be yourself, not afraid to feel yet not be enslaved by what you feel!