Norway artist Jimi Somewhere’s single “Jesus” featuring Kacy Hill from his upcoming debut LP “Nothing Gold Can Stay” reveals the importance of defying society’s expectations.
The 22-year-old singer has accumulated more than 13 million Spotify streams from 375,000 Spotify listeners and was featured on the “New Music Friday,” “Lorem” and “Fresh Finds” playlists. Somewhere has worked with artists such as Boy Pablo and bülow and garnered support from Pigeons and Planes, i-D, FADER, NOISEY, CLASH, Lyrical Lemonade, Ones To Watch, The Line of Best Fit, DIY and AltPress.
The idea for Somewhere’s new track “Jesus” emerged when he thought about growing up in a church with his producer, Milo.
“I wanted to address my relationship to faith, doubt and leaving the church. I just wanted to reflect around all the emotions tied up to that and the frustration around growing up,” said Somewhere.
Somewhere hopes the song brings a sense of freedom to those who will hear the song for the first time.
“That’s what it feels like to me. At the end where it explodes, I want people to just let it all out,” he said.
The artist was deeply affected by the music after hearing the final version of “Jesus.” He said that finishing something you’ve been working on for a long time is always emotional.
“I still tear up at the ending with the guitar solo. It also takes me back to 2017 when we started making this song, so it has already become nostalgic to me in a way,” Somewhere said.
He continued, “Writing the first verse was also emotional. It was kind of like opening a scar up when I started writing about these themes. You can definitely hear that in the lyrics and the performance.”
“Belong” is the most important word in “Jesus,” according to Somewhere. He feels that everyone is trying to find their own identity and also their place in the world.
“I hope there is some universal truth in my music that can connect with all generations, but I think for our generation specifically growing up with the internet, it’s easy to be confused and get frustrated,” he expressed.
All of Somewhere’s music is centered around his adolescence and memories, and Christianity has definitely been a big part of it. “‘Jesus’ is no exception,” he said.
Jesus is one of the biggest symbols of faith, doubt and values, which is what the song is centered around.
“That’s what we started with. I think I had the title right after I came up with the chords. Kacy’s imagery of ‘the light, a glimmering of hope’ is so beautiful. The song was so dark up until that point, so it’s nice that Kacy’s verse offers this comfort,” Somewhere said.
Somewhere started writing songs when he was 8 years old and claimed that he couldn’t remember a life without music.
“I was talking about moving to New York to be an artist before I could even speak proper English. As funny as it sounds, I think Eminem was the first artist I really fell in love with,” he said.
The artist confessed that he spent long hours reading Eminem’s lyrics, watching interviews and listening to his music.
“My parents weren’t too happy about it because of all the profanity considering I was 8, but they let me do my thing and just always told me to be critical around what I let influence me,” Somewhere expressed.
Somewhere’s favorite days are the ones when he wakes up, makes coffee, then makes music all day.
“I have a studio in my apartment, and I live with my producer, so we literally don’t ever have to leave the house. Recently there’s been a lot of meetings and emails to answer because of the album rollout, but once all of that is done, it’s right back to waking up at noon and making music until 5 a.m. and then repeating,” Somewhere said.
Somewhere tries to not follow any formula when he writes songs. He thinks that following a pattern takes away the magic in the process.
“I’d rather try to make room for happy accidents and new methods. That’s a great way to make sure no songs sound the same and also a way to keep it fun,” he said. “I make so much music, so it’s important to make sure it doesn’t start feeling like a chore.”
The artist wants “Jesus” to serve as a reminder of liberation — to allow yourself to take a break from all expectations that the world puts on you.
“Figure out what you believe in, where your values lie and what you want to do with your life,” he advised.
Somewhere’s most unforgettable gig was when he went on his U.K. tour with Boy Pablo. It was his first time performing in front of a crowd that gave an actual response to what they heard.
He revealed, “When you’re starting out, you do so many shows in front of half-assed industry crowds and people who don’t know you, and it can be very draining. But suddenly we had all these people in front of us who actually knew the lyrics and were screaming along. It was so fun!”
Somewhere also talked about his most prized possession — a copy of “Get Rich or Die Trying” signed by 50 Cent in person.
“I met him at a random electronic store in Norway, and he signed it!” Somewhere said.
The artist concluded with helpful advice to aspiring singers: “Do not overthink; build a team; trust your gut and make a lot of songs. You haven’t failed until you give up.”
Contact Ron Rocky Coloma at rcoloma ‘at’ stanford.edu.