Jeremy Latimer
Jeremy Latimer

November 16th, 2021

SoundGym Hero: Jeremy Latimer

Singer-songwriter, Music Producer, and Artist Currently living outside of Austin, Texas. Jeremy Latimer is this month's SoundGym Hero!

Who are you, and where are you from?

I'm a singer, songwriter, music producer, and artist based outside of Austin, Texas, for the last few years, and am in the process of relocating back to the Seattle, Washington area.

How did you get into music?

I've been playing music since early childhood, starting with cello in 3rd grade, then I switched to trumpet and played in symphonic band, marching band, and jazz band up through college. After college, I played trumpet in a ska band for a summer and then an indie rock band for a year.

As a kid, I sang in a church choir and my high school chorus. I picked up the acoustic guitar at age fifteen and played in my church's youth praise band and borrowed an electric guitar to play punk and ska songs with friends during summer breaks.

I started writing poetry in high school and then full songs when I was in college. After interning at my college's recording studio, I began recording and producing on my own.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

I enjoy all kinds of art and creative projects. I take pictures and videos and use them to create my album art, lyric videos, and site imagery. Once I went to a screen printing workshop and designed and printed the shirts that are available on my website.

Aside from art, I love being outdoors, hiking, swimming, kayaking, or just taking a walk in nature or a long drive. I find it's a great way to let go of stress and recharge a little. I also try to make the modern lifestyle more sustainable and built a worm bin to compost my food scrap, which makes an excellent fertilizer for the vegetable garden.

What's your most useless skill or talent?

I don't really think skills or talents are useless; it's just that someone may not have found how to make them useful yet. I do overanalyze almost everything, but I try to use that to make my life easier.

For example, I load the dishwasher very intentionally and put the same dishes in the same places every time. Each type of silverware goes in its own compartment, so when I unload the dishes, I can grab each type all at once and put them away without sorting them. All the big plates go next to each other, so I can grab four plates with one hand and put the whole stack away in one motion.

What inspires you to keep making music?

I was initially inspired by bands and songwriters whose songs helped me get through tough times of depression and anxiety. It was comforting to hear their sad songs, realizing that I wasn't the only one suffering, and seeing how they used their experiences to make great music that people connected with.

Songwriting started as a way for me to process my emotions and come to terms with certain situations. Now I feel compelled to share my stories, hoping they can help others who are feeling isolated to come away with a connection and feeling understood, so they can work through their issues and come out better on the other side.

If you could sit down to a session with any artist, who would it be?

I would love to meet Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and give him a hug. His music, in particular, helped me get through some of the darkest times in my teenage years, and I'll always be incredibly thankful for that.

Any habits you have before starting a session?

I do a lot of prep work before starting a recording session. It all starts by completely writing my song's lyrics, melody, and chords by playing them on acoustic guitar, and then making any changes or edits needed to get them to sound solid in their most basic form first.

I also create lyric and chord lead sheets in a standardized format. Then I determine the best key for my voice using a capo to adjust the key up if needed or tuning my guitar down a whole step. Then I dial in the tempo.

I've recently added in the step of making a reference playlist of songs by bands I like that have the vibe I'm going for, for the particular song I'm about to produce, and I listen through that playlist a few times to get in the right headspace for it.

 When I open up my DAW, the first thing I do is set the key and tempo, and then add markers for each section of the song. I also add markers for all the chords and usually add markers for all the lyrics too. It's time-consuming upfront, but later on, it really helps me know exactly where I am in the song and stay in the creative flow.

The first thing I record is a guide track of guitar and vocals, and use that to start adding layers from there.

If you could pick one, what would be the theme song of your life?

Most of my own songs could be the theme song of my life, hahaha. They're all about the struggles I go through. But if I had to pick another artist's song, then perhaps Tom Petty's "Time to Move On." I often feel like it's time to move on from one thing or another, even though I don't really know where I'm going.

What is the favorite piece of music gear you own?

Nearly all of my songs were written with my Martin orchestral model acoustic guitar. Guitar Center was advertising one of their huge sales, and I went and tried a dozen or so guitars, and the second I played this one, I knew it was the one for me.

It's dark mahogany with an East Indian rosewood fretboard and has a beautiful warm tone to it. In order to get it on sale before anyone else, I had to convince my mom to wake up super early that weekend, and drive 2 hours in the pouring rain to get there before the store opened, and was 5th in line to get into the store, and first one to grab it. It's been a part of me ever since. (Thanks Mom!)

What is your favorite SoundGym feature? 

SoundGym is so awesome; it's hard to pick a favorite feature! Obviously, the games are fantastic, and I can definitely tell that my ear training (really brain training) has gotten much better since using SoundGym.

But just as important are the features that kept me committed to a daily training practice. At first, it was getting soundcoins to collect the studio gear and sound packs, but as I progressed, the percentile ratings for how I compare to others really helps me stay committed by seeing my stats grow. Now my goal is to get SoundGym Certified by my one-year SoundGym anniversary.

What does the future hold for Leaf Colors? 

Like many musicians, my ultimate goal is to make a living to support my family by making awesome music. I'm very excited that my song "I Don't Know Why" will be featured in a radio ad for the ice cream shop D'Lites Emporium in Bartow, Florid which is hopefully the first of many placements to come.

My newest single "Wet Winter" drops this December, and I'd love to get it placed in a movie or show. I've recently started collaborating with other songwriters, and am looking to produce and mix for other artists as well. Long term, I'd love to use my studio and record label to support new artists and help them build their music careers too. As Cady Heron said in Mean Girls, "The limit does not exist!"

Follow Jeremy Latimer AKA "Leaf Colors" on his Website, Spotify. Instagram, Apple Music, Facebook, and Youtube.

 

Comments:


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Leaf Colors
Nov 16
Thanks for featuring me, SoundGym! It's great to be here!
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Yesss! Sounds awesome man!
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David Alva
Nov 16
Congratulations man! Nice journey so far.
Keep it up!
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Ben Sinclair
Nov 16
Great article and really dig your tunes @Leaf Colors! BTW I am in 100% agreement with proper dishwasher loading etiquette. They are designed a certain way for a reason, people, get more efficiency out of your washing by placing dishes/utensils in a strategic manner.
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Leaf Colors
Nov 16
@Ben Sinclair Totally! It seems so obvious, but maybe it's from all those hours of playing Tetris. Great to hear you're digging my tunes! I'm listening to yours on Spotify now, good stuff!
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James Toohey
Nov 16
Great tunes mate! Loving "i don't know why" :) Keep em coming!
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Colin Aiken
Nov 16
Congratulations! I really like the dishwasher thing. Wish I could convince my wife.
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Leaf Colors
Nov 17
@James Toohey Thank you, so great to hear you like it!
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Leaf Colors
Nov 17
@Colin Aiken hahaha I'm still working on that too!

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