Jeremih never intended to be the man holding the microphone. The Chicago R&B singer was involved with music growing up, but figured he would be operating behind the scenes, not on stage. Yet he’ll be on stage at People’s Court on Friday.
Jeremih (born Jeremy Felton) was a student at Columbia College in Chicago when he met producer Mick Schultz. The singer was doing some hip-hop on his own, but Schultz suggested collaborating and pushed Jeremih into singing more.
“We knocked out a few songs one night, then I didn’t hear from him for months,” Jeremih said. “Then one day he showed back up with the guy who became my manager and said ‘I want to make y’all huge.’ ”
And Schultz lived up to that. The singer was signed to Def Jam Recordings, and his first single, “Birthday Sex,” became a top 10 hit. His most recent single, “Down on Me,” from his 2010 follow-up “All About You” went double platinum.
That song featured 50 Cent, and has become one of 50’s biggest hits in years. Jeremih returned the favor by appearing on the single “Girls Go Wild” off the rapper’s “5 (Murder By Numbers),” which comes out next month.
Much like the success with Schultz, Jeremih wasn’t expecting to be working with 50 Cent.
“I had done a record with one of (50 Cent’s) artists, Willie Banks, called ‘I Don’t Deserve You,’ ” Jeremih said. “We got in contact, but I had no idea he would be on the song. He liked (“All About You”) and hopped on. It has become more of a friendship, I hope we do a lot more records together.”
Jeremih is currently working on his third album with Schultz, but before that comes out he plans to release “Late Night,” a free mixtape. Jeremih said should be out in the next few weeks. He said he wants to surprise fans with a new sound before going full force into the third album.
Jeremih turns 25 next month, but was coy about what he had planned for the landmark birthday. Jeremih said the idea for “Birthday Sex” came from how he would treat a woman on her birthday, but that he hasn’t planned things out that elaborately for himself.
“Right now I’m just brainstorming a few things to do in my hometown, Chicago.
“I’ll probably do something last-minute and quick on my yacht.”
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: People’s Court, 216 Court Ave.
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.