Juxtaposing booming city rhythms with lilting folk, Jeremy Loops perfectly captures the duality of his South African life. The extremes aren’t new to the singer, who by day travels to the furthest corners of Africa to battle deforestation through his organization, Greenpop, and by night resumes as raconteur for raucous fans around the world.
In a whirlwind 2014, Loops debuted at #1 on iTunes in South Africa, headlined major festivals, and maintained #1 on the three most prominent radio stations in Southern Africa with “Down South”, his breakout single.
You wouldn’t know on sight that the always affable, charming Loops’ social message is as important as the message he writes in his songs. A sense of oneness with all that is around you is a fiber woven into everything he touches. On Trading Change, his debut, his wandering spirit is in constant flux with a pulsing desire to be grounded in love. On “Mission to the Sun”, an impassioned plea for a lover to stay afloat, Loops implores “Wherever you go and however you roam, just keep your head up high and keep howling at the moon”.
To say Jeremy merely roams is a disservice to his boundless activism – through his environmental work at Greenpop, he traverses Southern Africa teaching underprivileged schoolchildren how to protect their planet. This connection with the planet and its inhabitants is just one element of the broken tale Loops tells on Trading Change. Fraught with lost love and moving on, Trading Change is a fervent letter on embracing those intimate wounds and taking flight.
“It’s a broken heart,”, Loops reminds us on the raw, confrontational “Higher Stakes”, “…and this time I’ll fix myself before you”.
Ethan Tucker’s trademark sound of acoustic roots and layered electric guitars combined with an unmistakable soulful and bluesy vocal, is a recipe which has garnered attention from some of his most popular contemporaries, as well as bonafide legends. Ethan Tucker may only be in his early 20s but the self-starting Olympia, WA-native has already made a name for himself, impressing some of the more respected veteran artists in today’s music world. Performing and recording since the age of 16, Tucker has honed his unique blend of acoustic-roots, soul, blues, and reggae, slowly building a dedicated and ever-growing audience, and making friends with some significant musicians in the process.
Tucker struck up a friendship with kindred spirit Michael Franti at a tour stop in Sun Valley, ID. Wielding his acoustic on his back and making several attempts to engage Franti backstage, Tucker was finally given a shot to impress. Franti and his bandmates in Spearhead erupted upon Tucker’s delivery of an early rendition of his song “What They Say” in their dressing room and a new friendship and musical partnership was born on the spot.
After forging their bond over a two-year span, Franti invited Ethan to his San Francisco studio to write and record some music. These sessions yielded the backbones of the songs “Cool Kids” and “Crazy Tonight,” the latter which features Franti on vocals for Tucker’s 2015 release of “Misunderstood”. Ethan has toured internationally as support for Michael Franti across Europe, and domestically on tours with the likes of Jamaican legend Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy and G-Love among others. In 2016 Ethan debuted on national t.v. on The Voice, wowing judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton with his unique and rootsy rendition of “Roxanne”, and ultimately went a couple of rounds on Blake Shelton’s team.
Whether with his full band or simply a troubadour with a guitar, Tucker continues to win over crowds, any size, anywhere. The future is an exciting canvas for Ethan Tucker and you can anticipate hearing much more from this true talent in the near future.