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  • Writer's pictureMadeline Kim

Jeremy Zucker: the artist I needed when I was younger

Jeremy Zucker was not your average college student. While pursuing a pre-med track and studying molecular and cellular biology at Colorado College, he also began his music career.

It doesn't take long to get sucked into Zucker's smooth voice and groovy beats. Tossing playful lyrics and merging indie electronica with notes of hip-hop, he creates tunes that many people can enjoy and relate to. Listening to his music is not only a pleasant auditory experience, but it gives the comfort of being with a longtime best friend whom you share all your life experiences with.

Coincidentally, singer-songwriter Mat Musso, known professionally as Blackbear, was what brought both Zucker and me towards Zucker's music. In his high school years, Zucker heard Blackbear's track, " 'Hotel Andrea', [which] he says grabbed his heart and revealed an array of feelings to him that he didn’t previously know were there." he said in an interview. Like Blackbear, Zucker's music is mellow and influenced by hip-hop. Zucker's music also echoes the music of other artists he looked up to such as Bon Iver and Twenty One Pilots.

In an interview with Billboard earlier this month, he reported his favorite album is currently Macadelic by Mac Miller. "[Miller] was looked at as the super happy... frat rapper, and I think I relate to people looking at you that way because my early music was really happy," he reflects, claiming Macadelic "changed the way [he] listened to music".

This change in music tastes is shown in perhaps his most striking song, "all the kids are depressed". In the introduction of the video, Zucker explains that before he began the actual video production, Zucker put out a casting call for the music video, "asking friends and strangers to share their experiences with depression." In three weeks, he received hundreds of emails from people all around the world. He closes off the introduction by hoping that his video gives others a voice. In the music video, he shared six testimonies, one of which was his own. Each gave a unique perspective on how depression impacts different people. For some, their experience stems from events pertaining to their parents. Others share them coping with depression on a daily basis. Zucker ends the music video with his own. "[This song was] something I wrote the other day and it reminded me why I make music," he puts at the end of the music video before he closes it with a list of mental health resources.

Mental health has definitely been made more aware in the public eye over the past years. Although the world has moved past trephination, there is still significantly more work to be done in regards to removing the stigma surrounding mental health and making mental health resources more accessible. On lyrics website Genius, Zucker explains that "a lot of people refuse to legitimize depression in real life and on social media. The reality is that everyone has some sort of relationship with depression and that no two people experience it in the same way. I really think that kids these days are the first generation to address mental illness in a constructive manner. Listen to the kids, bro."

In the span of three years, Zucker managed to rack up over 180,000 subscribers on YouTube and over five million monthly listeners on Spotify. Now that he has graduated from college, he expects to be able to invest more in his music career. While juggling school, he managed to write and produce music; he even managed to collaborate with Blackbear in his song "talk is overrated." If his success up until now landed him on Billboard's "You Should Know," I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for this indie artist in the future.

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