Jeremy Shada captured our hearts playing some of our favorite tv show characters, including being the voice of Finn on Adventure Time and playing Reggie on the Netflix hit show Julie and The Phantoms. But he also has a knack for music and songwriting, and if we’re being completely honest, he’s one of our favorite artists in the industry!
With a vintage sound and goosebump-inducing vocals, we can’t help but be transported to another universe when we indulge our senses in his music, especially his new debut album Vintage. This album is one of the finest works of art that has been released so far in 2021. It’s got a 12-track lineup, and every single song brings its own unique sound to the album, and each is just as impeccable as the one before. It’s flawless, emotional, and real. So, what we’re saying is this album has NO SKIPS, and that’s the kind of energy we want to carry around the rest of this year.
We couldn’t be more excited about any release this year, and so when we got the chance to interview Jeremy, we were jumping for joy! We couldn’t wait to ask him about not only his music and the new album but also about his acting career and what we can look forward to seeing from him in the coming months!
You’re an Idaho native, that’s definitely a different vibe to LA and South Florida where you currently reside. How long did you live in Idaho? What was the biggest difference or culture shock to you between Idaho, LA, and South Florida?
Honestly, my family moved from Idaho to LA when I was 5 years old so I don’t remember much of that time in my life! For the majority of my life, I lived in Santa Clarita which is the suburbs of LA. I lived in Burbank for a few years and I gotta say, I love the homey feel of South Florida and Santa Clarita. The biggest difference between LA and South Florida is traffic! You don’t need to allot a few hours to get a few miles and it’s amazing. Florida has really begun to feel like home and it’ll probably be our forever home base.
We know you grew up in a very musical family and learned to play bass, guitar, and piano, and even began singing early on, but at what age did you get into acting? What was the first acting gig you ever had?
I booked my first role when I was 6 years old. I was practicing martial arts at a local studio in LA, the instructor booked a movie and needed a young version of him. Because I was fairly good at martial arts, I booked the job!
You are a very versatile individual, you’re able to sing, act, and do voiceover work. How do you find a balance between music and acting? What would you say is the hardest thing about balancing it all? And what is your favorite part of it?
I have to say that scheduling has to be one of the most challenging parts of it all. I do my best to be fully prepped on the musical side of things to minimize time in the studio with my producers. As much as I love being in the studio, allotting that much time to one portion of my job can be difficult. My favorite part of it all is creating and just being an artist. Writing, creating, and producing music really satisfies my creative bug. On the acting side, I love stretching different muscles by doing roles that might not seem like me. I love reinventing myself for new characters.
You play Reggie in the Netflix series, Julie and The Phantoms, we are obsessed with the show, its characters, songs, storyline, etc! It quickly became a fan favorite upon its release, did you expect such an outcome for the show? What has been your favorite part of seeing the fans support and the show’s success?
I think we could have only hoped for this outcome! Our creative staff, spearheaded by the legendary Kenny Ortega, created a relatable show out of the most unrelatable series of events. Without their creative vision and trust in their cast the show would not be what it is today. My favorite part has been seeing how the show has touched so many people. Many fans have told me “this show helped me through some of my darkest moments” and hearing that makes everything I do as an actor worth it. Our Fantoms have created such a fun loving environment and it’s so fun to see.
We love Reggie on the show, we sense he’s a very complex character, and if we get a season two we hope to get more of his backstory! What was your favorite part of playing Reggie on the show? What would you like to see happen to/for the character if we were to get at least one more season?
I love Reggie’s sense of humor even if it is self-deprecating at times. He is the emotional glue that holds the band together and being able to portray that with Reggie is definitely a favorite thing of mine. I would also love to see more of his backstory and how his family played a role in shaping him as a kid. I think one of the coolest things to see would be how he met the other band members and what event made them basically surrogate brothers.
Your acting repertoire expands beyond Julie and The Phantoms! You’ve done some serious voiceover work for shows like Adventure Time, Voltron, Batman: The Brave And Bold, Mr. Student Body President, and Incredible Crew. How does voiceover acting compare to on-screen acting? Is it more difficult having to use just your voice to convey emotions and feelings? Do you prefer one method over the other?
Voiceover is so interesting because it’s almost like acting with your hands tied behind your back. You have to convey all of your emotions through your voice and to successfully do that you really have to go way bigger than you naturally would. I wouldn’t say it is more difficult, I would just say that it is so different. I feel as though it’s helped me quite a bit with my on-screen acting though. I love on-camera acting but VO will always hold such a special place in my heart.
We know acting can’t be easy, but it sure looks like fun! Do you have a process for getting into your characters to make it seem so effortless? Any special thing you do before you step in front of the camera or mic to get in character?
I gotta say, it is so fun! One of my favorite things to do is work on set with the creative team and other actors. Besides making sure I know my lines and prep well for each scene, I don’t have any specific process in terms of getting into character. I approach every character and project differently because they all call for different things. Generally, I like knowing the lines and what’s happening well enough to where I can keep things spontaneous and loose. Overthinking a character or scene can be the worst mistake, it can leave you overly self-conscious.
You’ve stated some of your musical influences as being Frank Sinatra, Justin Timberlake, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance, that’s quite the variety of icons! How did you decide what sort of sound you wanted to be the “Jeremy Shada sound,” which you have stated is ”modern vintage pop?“
I decided to just put all of my favorite tones into an album and that’s how we got this “modern vintage pop” sound aka my album Vintage!
We are so stoked for the release of Vintage! We love that you have included vintage-inspired elements in your music, it adds a unique dynamic element to your sound! What can you tell fans about the album? What should they be most excited for?
Vintage is really something special not only because it is my debut album but because of the overarching theme. We see a story pan out of a man searching for love. There are ups and downs, loves lost and gained and in the end, a love that lasts a lifetime. Each track brings out a unique sound and has its own specific story that plays a part in this overarching classic love story. Get ready for some catchy bops!
You got to be a part of some songwriting sessions for Julie and The Phantoms and that is what hooked you on songwriting, where you proved to be naturally good at it. What is it about songwriting that drew you in and made you want to become a singer/songwriter?
The songwriting bootcamp we had for Phantoms made songwriting far less daunting for me. Seeing the process really put things into perspective and I realized this is something I can totally do. I now have the ability to share my own stories without other people’s final say. I love creating things that I enjoy!
If you could be a part of any other show, which one would you choose and why?
I would love to be in anything in the Marvel universe. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to Marvel so working within that property would be a dream come true.
We are always looking for new things to binge watch, what are your current top five binge-worthy shows?
Ted Lasso is definitely top of my list! My wife and I are hooked. The Morning Show, Shadow and Bone, The People v. O.J Simpson, and Sweet Tooth have also been some past favs.
Which of your current singles do you personally enjoy the most? What makes that one your favorite?
Picking a favorite is so challenging because it all depends on my mood. I’ve got to say that “If Looks Could Kill” has to be one of my favorites. The production is epic, my producers Zack and Kenneth killed it (pun definitely intended). I am a huge James Bond fan so getting to dabble in those sounds was such a blast.
What can fans expect for the rest of 2021? What about 2022?
Lots and lots of exciting things! A show I have been working on for the past year should be announced soon (fingers crossed). 2022 is going to be filled with new music and new projects. Excited for when I can begin to start speaking openly about them!
What do you think of Jeremy Shada’s new album? Which song is your favorite? Which of his iconic characters is your favorite? What are your thoughts on our interview with him? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP! You can also hit us up on Facebook and Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: Bernardo Noguiera