Be it playing live at a concert or in the controlled environs of a studio, irrespective of the style of music, Keba treats each new song, each familiar note as a brand new experience- his tribute to the art form and his secret to being a musician who is constantly evolving. A musician who strives to make mellifluous music every moment.
We at Thamizh Roots had to catch up with him! Therefore, without further ado – check out our interview with the humble Keba Jeremiah!
When did you first start playing guitar?
Who are your musical inspirations?
There have been many people who have inspired me. Growing up in the 90s, it was several artists who wrote their own music and did guitar heavy stuff. Artists like Joe Satriani, Eric Jonson and others too influenced my playing style. Now it’s essentially things like rock and jazz, just acoustic styles that I enjoy most (artists, Like John Mayer, Michael Buble and Tommy Emmanuel being a few favorites). Given the different kinds of artists I work with everyday, I meet a lot of people who inspire me, I don’t have to look as far as international artists. There’s so much talent right here in our backyards!
Your father has been an influential figure in your life. How has been supportive of your musical career?
Like I said my parents forced us to go for music lessons when we were kids. So the fact that I did learn to play is because of them. They have been very supportive in my journey so far as they have allowed me to pursue my music. In a society which can be rather narrow minded in terms of what children should do with their lives, they have been able to understand my rather unconventional choices that have taken me further in the music field and away from the more accepted, more appreciated field of engineering (which is what I studied). I’m glad they get that and understand that children should be encouraged to do what they love.
You have worked with many music composers such as Yuvan Shankar Raja, Anirudh, Thaman and more, can you tell us one memorable experience?
I’m not sure I can put it down to a single memorable experience. Working with all of them is memorable because they have such unique and different styles of doing things. I have learnt a lot working with each one of them. They all bring out the best in you as a musician. I have learnt to work on my timing and my general skills in production from these guys.
You have worked with A.R Rahman on Mariyaan and Kadal, how was that experience working with one of the most famous composers?
With Rahman it’s always a different experience. Some songs we have just sat down and played according to what is required, while others were more of a journey- creating, experimenting and changing things as we went. Either way, a session with him is always challenging and creatively compelling and you can be sure that you will produce the most honest music that you possibly can. I’ve always walked away from a session feeling like I’ve learnt something new and for me that is the best reward.
If given a choice, where would you most like to perform?
If you weren’t playing music for a living, what would you be doing?
If you could play another music instrument, what would it be?
The double bass or the harp, perhaps!
What genre of music that you can’t stand listening to?
Are you planning to release any independent albums?
I have had a plan in the pipeline for a while now but am waiting for a few things to fall into place. I have a few ideas and some artists I’d like to collaborate with. Hopefully it should happen soon.
What is currently on your playlist?
Unfortunately, these days my playlists have been taken over by whatever show I’m rehearsing for. It’s not always what I’d choose for myself but there’s some good stuff. It’s an assorted mix of Christian and secular music.
What are you working on at the moment?
Being a session artist there’s always many things going on. Usually it’s all short term. One thing I’m focusing on is taking the time to play and practice music just for the sheer joy of it. It’s been a while since I have sat down and fully enjoyed a practice session. I’m planning, along with a few good friends to work on some music-just jam and have a good time like the old days. Who knows, something bigger may come out of it!
Which one musician you would love to work with in the future?
What is your favourite (only one answer)
• Color: Blue
• Animal: Rathri, my fiancé’s cat, is my new found love.
Our sincere thanks to Keba Jeremiah! Thank you very much for letting us do this interview and we would like to wish you the best for your upcoming projects! Hope we will be able to see more of you in the near future!
SOME VIDEO ON KEBA JEREMIAH