Jeremy Gloff: Singer/Songwriter

-appeared in the August 29-September 11, 2002 issue of Watermark
-by DJ Holt

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TAMPA BAY – Born in 1975 in Fredonia, New York, Jeremy Gloff began singing and writing songs at a very early age. He remembers pretending the vacuum cleaner hose was a microphone and crooning like Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac. He entertained family members with “Jumbo Jukebox,” one of the first songs he recalls composing.

Times certainly have changed for this gifted, self-taught musician. The Weekly Planet awarded Gloff a “Best of the Bay” accolade for his 2000 album Spin Girl Spin. The album was also voted one of the top five best local releases of 2000.

Gloff describes his own music and lyrics as those of “a boy trying to figure it out through writing songs.” Having been “out” in the community for a number of years, he considers his songs and albums a personal diary of his experiences. For example, America Is Lonely Tonight contains a variety of songs about dating and the Internet. One of his signature pieces from that album is “The Sound Of My Crashing,” an intimate account of being stood up by a date.

Gloff credits mostly female singers as his main influences, though he quickly states that none of them “sound anything like my music.” He particularly enjoys listening to Donna Summer, Emmylou Harris, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Marianne Faithfull and the band Sonic Youth.

The biggest concern that Gloff has with the Tampa Bay arts scene is making sure that all artists have a voice. He would like to see the general public more informed and more excited about all of the musical opportunities that exist in the area. His own desire is “to play out more and keep my enthusiasm up.”

Currently, Gloff is planning his next album. He normally records his albums under his own label, RiotBoy Productions, but several production companies have courted him. He would like to sign with one eventually, but he feels very strongly about retaining his individual voice. “The music industry is getting more and more commercial, and it’s important for people to stay true to themselves.”

You can catch Gloff frequently at the Orpheum, “In the Raw” open-mike night at the State Theater, or in his living room. Gloff loves throwing concerts for 50 or so of his closest friends and fans. It gives him the opportunity to try out new songs and styles, such as his 2001 album Valentine, a techno collaboration with Susy Martian. You might better recognize the duo by their assumed identities, J-Glo and Sassy. And you can find his albums in most local music stores, including Vinyl Fever and Sound Exchange, in addition to his Web site, www.jeremygloff.com.

Gloff is beginning classes in sociology at Hillsborough Community College this fall, but he remains focused on his music. He is determined to find the proper recording label for his brand of folk & indy-rock, and his dream of success perseveres.

“Of course, I want to be a star,” he says. “But I want to be real.”