HUM Insider | Musicara Special – Jeremy Lim

HUM Insider will be a series of blog posts where I will interview the many people behind HUM. This is your chance to get to know our incredibly diverse and magnificent team and maybe even see your friends’ (or your own) embarrassing interviews so you can laugh at them forever. Either way, we don’t judge. This month will feature a number of the performers who will be at Musicara. Read up about why they joined HUM, what inspires them in music, and most importantly, Squirtle, Charmander or Bulbasaur.

Daniel: What inspired you to go into music?
 I’ve always been drawn to music, but it wasn’t presented to me in a way that I could relate to until my teenage years.  Growing up, I was a big gamer, and that gave me my first taste of electronic music.  When I learned how to make it on my own at around 15 or 16, I was hooked.  Sadly, I was only dabbling for the longest of times.  Come 2013, I looked at my trajectory, realized I was running out of time, and it’s been a crunch since, a lot of study, networking, portfolio building, and practice.  I don’t think I knew how to tackle all of the hardships that come with the career; working as a freelance photographer helped with that a lot.
Daniel: So I read up on your bio and I am amazed at how many different reams of work you are a part of. Photography, composing, DJ-ing, the list just goes on. Is there a particular aspect you enjoy more or would like to spend more time doing?
Composition, hands down.  Many of my heroes are great performers, but all of them are amazing composers or songwriters.  If I had to name DJ sets or photographs that were iconic to me, I could only give you a handful.  Songs?  I could give you a hundred.  I feel like I’ve been given a great gift whenever I hear a great song.  I want to make sure I repay the world in kind.
Daniel: With all these things going on, how do you keep track of everything?
Spreadsheets and having objectives.  My marketing background helps my productivity a ton.  Know where you want to go, determine what skills and actions you need to get there, and then start piecing everything together.  Use a spreadsheet to check your progress.  Apps like Toggl and Trello are fantastic for keeping you moving day to day.
Daniel: What inspires your music? Are there particular emotions, images, or feelings you draw from when composing new music?
Again, my marketing background plays a big role in this.  With client work, or for concept albums, I always start with a creative brief.  Who are we speaking to?  What are we trying to say?  Sometimes, I start from chords.  Sometimes, I let the instruments in front of me dictate the sound.  I’ve made a point to assimilate as many different genres as I can so I can speak a wide range of musical languages.  I think I’ve gone from looking for inspiration to more of a what-does-this-situation-need approach.
Daniel: Have you found then some ‘unique thing’ about your music that makes you different?
Coming back to video games, I really enjoy soundtracks.  I’m always moving between genres, but I’d like to think there’s a cinematic feel to most of my music.  I also smother everything in reverb.  That’s another trademark.
Daniel: Do you see any particular avenue where you could see this ‘sound’ of yours thriving?
Jeremy: I used to do very theatrical sounding works, so that kind of music would fit very well into a franchise like Final Fantasy. My more recent works are very clean sounding, so I think somewhere this could go would be in Mass Effect for example. Mass Effect just has that clean sound to it.
Daniel: You are fairly prolific with your work. Do you ever have random people coming up to you?
In games and films, hopefully!  The client list has been growing and they seem to be happy.  On the consumer end, there’s been a good amount of interest in my chillout material.  Post-party jams, yoga classes, study sessions, jingles for makeup artists – I’ve had my music used in quite a few contexts.  Very grateful for that.  The next batch is quite a bit more aggressive, so I’ll hopefully be adding to that list soon.
Daniel: How did you get involved with HUM?
Do you know a guy name Gabe Bondoc?  Steven Ngo and his old band, Gardenburst, were opening for him at UBC.  I photographed the show, and since then we stayed in touch.  Come last year’s big fundraiser, I’ve been doing small things for HUM here and there.
Daniel: Lets do some rapid fire questions. Favourite music right now?
Yellow Ranger” by Awkwafina, “Hypnotic (Vanic Remix)” by Zella Day, “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, “Excommunication” by Erkka,“Tenderly” by ANDREA, “Moondust” by Jaymes Young … really, this can go on forever.
Daniel: Favourite current TV show and childhood TV show?
Right now, I just wrapped up The Legend of Korra.  Huge fan of the Avatar universe.  Childhood – let’s say Samurai Pizza Cats?  (Editor’s Note: I couldn’t believe it but here is the link. Amazing)
Daniel: If you could go anywhere to take a photo, where would you go and why?
I just went in 2013, but I can’t think of anywhere I want to be more than Japan.  I’ve always wanted chase the cherry blossoms from one end of Japan to the other.  And eat everything along the way, of course.
Daniel: Favourite food?
 Japanese again!  I could really use some sushi right now.  And ramen.  And takoyaki.  And zaru soba.  Let’s just say all of it.
Daniel: And the classic, Squirtle, Charmander or Bulbasaur.
Jeremy: There have been studies done on this!  Squirtle and Bulbasaur are easier up front, but in the long run, Charmander is the strongest of the starters.  I believe in strong foundations, and that extends to my Pokemon choices, too.
Daniel: Thanks for joining me Jeremy.
Jeremy: A pleasure, sir!