Keep up with your mental health. I feel fortunate that almost every song feels like a therapy session which helps keep me in check. But really finding a way to keep your mind sharp and in balance is important. Not just in pursuing music but in life.
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Stinson.
Jeremy’s transition to Nashville was a no brainer; the south is his home and the diverse and eclectic scene that Nashville has to offer is undeniable. While attending Middle Tennessee State University, he thrived playing keyboard for several different bands, reaffirming his interest in pursuing music full-time. But Jeremy’s musical background stretches far beyond his college years. His Grandfather was a jazz pianist and his Great Grandfather a country ragtime piano player. Inspired by his family’s musicality, Jeremy first tried his hand at classical music. While being fully self-taught, he did not find much interest in it, which led to a quick transition to a more pop and rock feel while jamming on his keyboard with friends in high school bands. Jeremy’s talents, interests and genuine love for songwriting shine in songs like “Runnin”; his authentic contribution to a thriving genre is refreshingly equipped to tackle even the most turbulent of breakup songs. “Runnin” is one of several relatable tracks which Jeremy plans to release throughout the remainder of 2020.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/8e62d0ddb15d7c29cf4e59cfa35ba713
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a very lively home in Irmo, South Carolina. Being a triplet with two girls and having another little sister, our house was always filled with friends and music. The majority of my friends played instruments, so multiple times of the week we would get together and play for hours. An activity I can only assume my neighbors were not fond of. My parents however enjoyed it and put up with our mediocre playing, including loud drums that would seem to shake the house. They both have a love for music and music seemed to be in my blood on my father’s side. With his father being a jazz pianist and his father before him being a ragtime pianist.
Irmo’s best feature was a lake that has close to 650 miles of shoreline. So if I wasn’t playing music, I was outside enjoying the water, playing in the woods or staring at the stars at night. I credit nature for being a big impact to my songwriting. Realizing sometimes how insignificant one can be, especially looking at the stars, opens up pretty big questions and deep reflection. At night when my whole family was asleep, I would quietly play the piano and write away. This being the beginning to my long love affair with songwriting.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Music was always a constant in my life, but I would slide in and out of pursuing it. Whether with relationships or with work something always seemed to get in the way. I knew music was the only thing that made me truly happy, but I grew content with my life. Being content is a beautiful thing everyone should strive for, but it can also play a negative impact, especially if you want to leave an indent creating something larger than yourself. Once the world shut down due to the coronavirus, it made me think the three big questions. What is my purpose in life? How can I create change in the world however big or small? And most importantly what makes me happy? Music answered all three. Since then I have given it my all and will continue to do so as long as I am alive.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
In 2013, I was living in Murfreesboro, TN with my guitar player and another band from Chicago. These were our college years and music thrived in this town. This community (outside of Nashville) was full of house shows. The kind of shows where you could play in front of hundreds of people, crammed in houses or backyards, don’t get paid, and just submerse yourself in music. Technically this was the dream, though getting paid would have been nice. Once we saw other houses doing it, we thought it would be a good idea to create our own house venue. We lived in a very large house built in the 30’s that we thought would fall apart at any minute so why not add mass amounts of people. We figured all it would take was kegs, cheap liquor, a food truck and of course our music. One of these shows however ended with me losing half of my front tooth on a microphone.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I have way too many mistakes that make me laugh, but one of my favorites goes back to my first year in Tennessee. A songwriting friend and I were going to play a writer’s round. Being young and probably too arrogant for our own good, we thought it was an excellent idea to drink. Not a few beers, but a ton. Shots and all in between. We were so drunk that I don’t think anyone could understand a word we were saying. Stumbling off that stage I learned two things. First, if you want to be a musician for a job treat it like one. Secondly, Pedialyte really helps a hangover.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
At this moment I am finishing up quite a few singles that I am really excited to share. Several of them give off the same vibe as “Runnin’” and “Worthless”, being heavier on the electronic side laced with organs. While others rely more on the piano and my voice to carry the songs.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity isn’t just important it is a necessity. The entertainment industry, especially film and television, leaves a strong impact on the minds of people today. Especially our youth. It is important to show every kid or adult watching these films that they are represented. This will not only help to motivate the youth into showing them their limitless potential but will show them the reality that the world is diverse. Creating more love than hate. Diversity is a beautiful thing that needs to be celebrated. The world is changing, and we are heading in the right direction but are sadly still far behind for this day and age. Culturally, representing diversity in film is one of the many steps we can take to help our country, as well as the world, get back on track.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Not everyone will like what you do. The only thing that matters is you are passionate about the art you create and that it resonates with you.
2. It is ok to ask for help. Not one person is expected to know how to do everything, so why should you?
3. Keep up with your mental health. I feel fortunate that almost every song feels like a therapy session which helps keep me in check. But really finding a way to keep your mind sharp and in balance is important. Not just in pursuing music but in life.
4. Do not become a perfectionist because life isn’t perfect. Create what you feel and don’t force anything.
5. Have fun. This is very important. Life is too short to be wasting away doing something you don’t love.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Love what you do. It is a cliché, but very true. Not even just in the music industry but in all industries. You want to feel passion and have a sense of purpose. If you love what you are doing it is much more difficult to “burn out.”
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It would be a multi agenda movement. I would love to inspire people to not hate and to love everyone, as well as be thankful for life. The fact that we are able to feel, have thoughts, have conversations, create art, love, and die is incredible. I don’t understand how people can fill their life with hate, not accepting people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. People are supposed to be different and that’s what makes life so interesting. If everyone was the same, where would the fun be?
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My parents have always been incredibly supportive and for that I am very grateful. I remember a specific moment in high school where my Dad told me “Anyone can play a cover, but not everyone can write a song.” At that moment I think my hobby of songwriting grew to a full-on addiction.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I once had a friend tell me, “If the stage is on fire try and put it out, but if you can’t, enjoy watching it burn.” Those words really hit me. Of course, try your best to put out the fire, but some things are out of your control and there is a beauty in accepting that. Just like there is as much beauty in heartbreak as there is sadness. It is all how you choose to perceive your situation.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
It would most definitely be Jamie Cullum. He is a pop/jazz singer songwriter that blends the two genres brilliantly. I would love to pick his brain on songwriting and his influences musically.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!