From finding his sound at the University of Nottingham to performing at the King’s Coronation Concert earlier this year, Jerub’s meteoric rise has been nothing short of incredible. The talented and soulful Nottingham musician tells us how his experiences at university shaped him into who he is today…
What was your experience as a student musician? How did you strike the balance between studying and putting energy into your creative outlet?
I felt like, in many ways, I was doing so much at that time that uni was almost a side hustle to my side hustle. I had two side hustles, no main hustle. I was doing music at the time, and it was through Covid as well. I did four years at university and two years was just focused on music a lot of the time. During Covid, I wrote a lot of songs and when I finished my degree, I started taking it more seriously.
Do you think your experiences at university are captured in any of your songs?
Probably, but I wouldn't say explicitly, as I think my music is influenced by most of my life, as just life in general. And you know, my time at university is part of that: the friendships, the relationships, how old I was, and where I was in my life at that point in time. It all contributes to the songs that I write.
What was it like to perform your first gig?
My first ever gig was a Sofar Sounds gig, which was in a coffee shop in Nottingham called Specialty just off Maid Marian Way and I remember being a little bit nervous, but I was also excited and ready for it. It was an exciting new adventure - no one had ever heard me before. I just remember being a bit nervous because I was wondering if anyone was going to even like my music. But it all worked out okay.
What is your advice for aspiring artists who are trying to navigate the Notts music scene?
I would say Nottingham has a great music scene already. I guess for artists like myself who are starting out and wanting to get their name out there and do more, I would say collaborate. I think collaboration takes you from being insular to quickly exposing yourself to new inspiration and new people. Not everyone loves it but it's really helped me. Being able to collaborate with other writers and find the community of musicians in Nottingham who are doing the same thing I am, and just being a part of something, has been so helpful. Also, gigging is really good and I think the live side of things is where I find the most joy. It’s where you build a connection with an audience. You really learn to grow your craft, learn how to perform and tell a story through music.
What are your own aspirations as an artist?
I would love to do so many things. I always say I want to take music as far as I can and just go the distance. I'd love to always continue being in love with my work. I've seen so many people who have just fallen out of love with it. I'd love to stay loving songs, music and audiences, and connecting with people. I was actually telling someone yesterday how much I would love to play Glastonbury. It would be a huge moment. Last year I played Splendour - I would go to Splendour when I was younger and I would think, ‘Oh my gosh, imagine if I could play Splendour, that would be amazing,’ and then I played it! So hopefully, I have many of those moments in my career.
Finding the community of musicians in Nottingham who are doing the same thing I am has been so helpful
Do you think your own personal music taste is reflected in your music?
I think that my music somewhat reflects what I listen to, because I listen to a bunch of things. Whether it's folk, singer-songwriters, pop, rap, grime, Hip-Hop or Afro B, I’m listening to loads of things. I think one of the hardest things as an artist, and even with my EP Finding My Feet which I have just released, there were so many lanes I could have gone in, and sometimes you just have to pick one and hope that one day you have the freedom to do whatever you want. I love the songs and I love the lane that we've gone with, because I think it reflects where I am, and reflects what story I want to tell right now. One of the things I love about music is that you can constantly change and adapt your sound and keep growing as an artist and as a storyteller.
Since you are still based in Nottingham, what do you think sets the city apart from others you have visited on tour?
Playing in your hometown is something special - there is something so warm about it and it feels so safe and comfortable. Generally, Nottingham’s music scene is really booming and even the fact that we have our own music festivals which span so many different music styles - Splendour, Beat The Streets, Dot to Dot, Hockley Hustle - I think that is just really cool about this city.
What are your favourite Nottingham spots?
I really love Hockley. One of my favourite downtime things to do is just put my headphones on and go charity shopping in Hockley, or Beeston. Anywhere in Notts is just a vibe. I feel like Coco Tang is the perfect coffee shop, because again, it’s just a great vibe over there. Another one is The Specialty, where my first show was. I also love Pudding Pantry and especially during uni, I liked Rock City and Rescue Rooms, too.
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