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Midnight Youth Music Man on a Mission

 He’s been a television presenter, has a degree in politics and history, been part of a rock band with international success and has just released his self-proclaimed “Bloody great album”.  Jeremy Redmore might not be a name you instantly recognise… But he’s OK with that. 

The ex-Midnight Youth frontman is flying solo and recent months have seen the release of two Top 20 Singles, catchy pop tune Bad Philosophy and the  more rock-inspired Run Run, both off his debut solo album Clouds are Alive. Jeremy Redmore wears big thick rimmed glasses and has that distinct musician-vibe about him. When we met, it was his first time having an ice cream float. The man is 31 – it seemed very peculiar to me. He’s reserved, but chatty at the same time. He’s almost startled when I ask him questions that aren’t directly related to his music. It seems he has no interest in being front page news. But with being dubbed the ‘next big thing’ in New Zealand music and acclamation for the recently released album, it’s no surprise people want to know more about what’s behind those thick rimmed glasses and baseball cap. 

First off, I asked him what a high and a low of his week thus far had been. To be fair it was only Tuesday and he scrambled to remember what day it was. “A high would have to be that some dude from Texas got in touch and said ‘Where can I get your record?’ and he was so determined to get it that he got it online and it’s going to be shipped to him”, he says with delight, before struggling to find a low. “My washing machine started making funny noises. I guess that’s a low”. The high and a low of his week are somewhat of a testament to his down-to-earth nature and genuine pride of his success. He hails originally from the Shore but moved to Tauranga at age nine after his Dad got a job as a fireman.  “In high school I was just a complete geek. I did music to try and meet girls because I went to an all-boys school”. Whilst he wasn’t an instant hit with the ladies, he did manage to impress a teacher during his final year of school. They  pulled him aside and asked him to perform solo for the school’s big band. And it’s lucky he did, with Redmore later going on to join well-known New Zealand rock band, Midnight Youth in 2006. The band later split in 2012 after what the internet entails as Redmore’s quest to go solo. 

After a short hiatus, Redmore released Clouds are Alive at the end of last month and says it’s a highlight of his musical career thus far. The guitar-driven album is a good listen for what he describes as ‘everyday kiwis’. “There are some really good stories. It’s eclectic and there’s something for every mood… It’s just a bloody great album!” Most of his songs stem from the shower or in his sleep. He seems to be almost proud of the fact he has never sat down and tried to write a song – he hates the idea of that. “It’s unhealthy. I’m really lucky I’m one of those people who have songs come to me without really trying”. 

He goes on to say something along the lines of how he doesn’t give a damn about his image or his name, although he didn’t use the word ‘damn’. “If I wanted that, I’d have my face on the front of the record – but I’m not sure that would do me any favours!” He laughs. In fact, we both do. He’s a funny guy. Perhaps this is why it was he who was chosen to present a TV show based around travelling to restaurants across the country. “Some idiot thought I’d be good at a TV show”. I put it to him that perhaps he’s best described as a ‘Jack of all trades’. He laughs this off before profusely denying it. But there’s no denying that he really is the ‘next big thing’ when it comes to music. In recent weeks it has been announced that he will play the role of Simon in Auckland Theatre Company’s upcoming performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. Directed by Oliver Driver, the production will run from 30 October to 23 November and Redmore will be starring alongside other top New Zealand musicians Julia Deans (Fur Patrol, The Adults) as Mary and Laughton Kora (Kora) as Judas. Whilst Jeremy Redmore is a name you may not have heard before, this certainly isn’t the last you’ll be hearing of him. 

by Anna Henvest