Jeremy Loops: The Modern Folk Maestro

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Jeremy Loops: The Modern Folk Maestro

When South Africa’s own eco-warrior and modern folk maestro Jeremy Hewitt, AKA Jeremy Loops, touches down on Australian soil next month for the first time, it will be the realisation of a life-long dream.

“I should have made it to Australia years ago because I have so many friends and family there, but unfortunately that never came to be so I’m excited that now’s the time, and I get to come and play some rocking shows – and I’m staying for five days after the tour ends, so I can’t wait.”

Calling in from backstage at a sold-out gig in Salzburg, Vienna, Loops is in his element, energised and looking to the future. “We just finished on stage about an hour ago so everyone is still riding the adrenalin high from a big show in a city we’ve never played before,” he says.

“Even though there’s a language barrier everyone sang along, word for word, and I expect that’s only going to get bigger and better in Australia because I believe our two countries have a very natural connection.”

Known for his ability to play harmonica and acoustic guitar, as well as incorporating samples, synthesisers and sequences into his music (hence the moniker), Loops is acutely aware that the majority of his success relies on his ability to connect with people from all over the world regardless of their colour, creed or background.

“I tend to write lyrics that are very personal to me and it’s a beautiful feeling, and very humbling when people tell me they can relate to them. Songs like ‘Higher Stakes’ and even ‘Down South’ [his breakthrough single] meant so much to me when I wrote them and they came from a very pure and honest place.”


Preferring to stay true to himself, Loops gained world-wide attention for his strong social message on his debut album Trading Change without the aid of a major record company or promotional campaign.

“Nobody, including myself, ever had the expectation that those tracks would be hits,” he admits. “Most of my song writing, and the traction around my career, came about organically. I’ve never had a big label supporting me or any help from the business side of the music industry. Thanks to the beauty of the modern digital world, these songs have taken on a life of their own.”

Loops says he realised the power of people to embrace and effect change when he started a grass roots initiative with two friends back in his home town of Cape Town. “Greenpop is a project I co-founded six and a half years ago, just before I started releasing music publicly. It was a tree planting project. We wanted to plant trees in under-privileged schools, orphanages, old age homes – anywhere that needed them,” he explains.

“In South Africa, we have this massive divide between super wealthy areas and super poor areas, and communities that have been forgotten and impoverished. We’ve got a lot of problems still locally – structural and systemic racism and classism, and I believe Australia experiences similar issues,” Loops adds. “So we were determined to give something back where we could. And in the last six years we’ve planted around 70,000 trees at about 350 different schools around Southern Africa, so we’re making progress. We also have fruit orchards that are harvesting peaches and apples, and it’s been an absolutely awesome experience to see it grow.”

Written By Natalie Rogers
Feature Photo by Ben Brown
Second Photo by Ronan Park

When & Where: Howler, Brunswick – November 27