Jeremy (@jeremyvangogh) is Lemi’s Local Expert of the Week! Download the app on the App Store and Google Play to read more of his expert-approved recommendations.
Music’s always been Jeremy Sayas’ first love. To be fair, what choice did he really have with two vocalists for parents. They of course met at a singing contest and would soon go on to start their happy little family of musicians. Now at only 24 years old, Jeremy and his band, The Vowels They Orbit, are signed to Sony Music Philippines and their single ‘Selos’ just surpassed 1 million plays on Spotify. He tells us all about the wild ride of many firsts he’s had as a musician. Check out his recommendations and memories only on Lemi under @jeremyvangogh.
“I kind of always knew I was going to be a musician.” Jeremy recalls. “I’d spend my mornings watching the music channels before my school bus came to pick me up.” At even such a young age, he knew music had such a powerful influence to make you feel things: the joy of jumping to the beat, the energy to take on the day, or the melancholy over a break up you’ve never experienced.
Jeremy did try a regular office job once. It barely lasted a month. Caging his freedom felt like it hurt his soul. Creating will always be his number one priority.
Starting a band isn’t the hard part. It’s sticking to it that really separates you from someone that isn’t fully committed to the art. Jeremy played the piano and guitar long before he ever thought he’d be in a band, so when they did form one, it came as a bit of a shock that he’d be the drummer instead of lead guitarist.
“When I first joined the band, I was supposed to be lead guitarist, but things happened and I got hold of the sticks instead. Of course, I still wanted to be lead guitarist. Who wouldn’t want to be front and center stage with all the cameras on you?” Jeremy joked. But his desire to play trumped over his ego. “I just really wanted to play, so I ran with it. It sounds cliche, but this was when I really learned the importance of each role in a band and about playing together.”
Now the journey was laden with thorns and rough roads. It wasn’t smooth sailing for the band just because they could hold a tune. “I’d basically been training my whole life to be a musician, so I was and still am determined to make music no matter what.” Sometimes, the band would hit a rough patch, but other than Jeremy, the whole band was filled with introverts. Jeremy kind of knew it’d be up to him to keep morale high, so he likes to say a few words of encouragement whenever he felt they were needed.
“I’m the only extrovert in a band of introverts, so I’m always the one pushing the team. I like to say:
At what point did you think, “This is it. I’m a musician”?
“I never thought it would reach this point. I used to just be some guy jamming with friends or writing songs in my room, playing little melodies I thought were cool. Back in February when we got signed. That’s when we felt, okay that’s it. We’re not just some band of friends playing in a garage. This is real. Now, it still feels like a dream to say I’m signed to Sony, the same record label as so many of these rock legends I looked up to like the Foo Fighters and AC/DC.”
He’d also share a funny story of meeting your heroes. Being a musician, Jeremy was in turn a huge music fan, and some of the big bands he fanboys over are signed to the same label such as Sandwich, Moonstar88, and the focus of this story, Eraser Heads.
“So we have this annual party type thing where we’d all perform at the 70s bistro. This was when I first met Raimund Marasigan and this guy is literally my idol! I introduced myself to all the other bands, but I didn’t even think to try it with him because he’s like a living legend, so I was super shy. But, out of nowhere, he just walked by and some fans were getting pictures with him. I realized, screw it I’m a fan too, so I tried to get a picture with the band. That’s when he not only recognized us, he welcomed us to the family. He didn’t just acknowledge my existence, but also called me family!”
For more of Jeremy’s memories, check out his list on Lemi!
They’d only gotten a manager in November 2018, so getting signed to a record label after only three months felt like the world was moving in a blur. Everything was falling into place, and many would call this a great success, but not for Jeremy. It was still a monumental feat, but he’s just getting started.
There was another milestone that he’d think back to fondly. “Back before we were even signed, we were part of a campus tour gig. We’d just released our song ‘Selos’ a few months before, but other than that we were still basically nobodies. When it was our turn to perform I think the band’s hearts collectively skipped a beat when we could hear the crowd not only singing along, but singing louder than we were.”
What’s next for Rock Star Jeremy Sayas?
“I’d consider this maybe only 40% of the way to reaching my dreams as a musician.” He still doesn’t see himself as a rock star. He’s still looking to make his signature sound and hone his skills along with the band.
“I want to perform in an international event like Coachella. I want to see my name on the billing along with the big names. It sure sounds like a tall order, and I’m extremely grateful for where I am today, but it’s nowhere close to what I dream of accomplishing. I’ve got a few ideas for how I’m going to get there, but nothing set in stone just yet. Just know, I’m not stopping until I get a Grammy.”