Jeremy Messersmith: Words, Music and Being Open to the Journey

As a singer/songwriter, Jeremy Messersmith has taken a winding road to success. From working in tech support, to performing in coffee shops, to becoming a nationally acclaimed recording artist, Jeremy has forged his own path by being open to possibilities.
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Jeremy Messersmith
Words, Music and Being Open to the Journey
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Jeremy started out as a self described “nerd” doing tech support, and he says that computer interest still comes in handy as a musician.
After moving to Minnesota to study music, his dreams of playing lead guitar in a rock band gave way to an interest in songwriting.
In 2017, Jeremy did a form of open source music making by releasing an album as a songbook, encouraging others to sing and record the songs themselves.
When he needs an artistic spark, Jeremy turns to boredom, cutting himself off from the world to force his mind to tap into creative ideas.



IVAN STEGIC: Hi there! You’re listening to ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us! I’m your host, Ivan Stegic. This podcast is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Online at

We all have a story, don’t we? We’ve all had successes and failures, joy and disappointment, love and sadness. And yet, we’ve all made it to here… to right now! Our stories are one amongst eight billion others… eight billion other stories, each of them unique, each of them grand in their own way, and each of them a window into the humanity that connects us all. ONE OF 8 BILLION tells life stories of people from around the world. Let’s listen.


Our story today is about Jeremy Messersmith, a nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter based right here in Minneapolis.

Jeremy’s journey has taken a winding road, from his start in tech support, to playing in coffee shops, to landing a record deal and becoming a successful recording artist.

Let's Listen.


IVAN: Welcome to ONE OF 8 BILLION, would you please introduce yourself.

JEREMY MESSERSMITH: Well, my name is Jeremy Messersmith. I'm a singer/songwriter. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And right now I'm just about to embark on a summer of playing in backyards all across Minnesota. That's my now. I'm literally looking at my guitar, and some merch and I will be hitting the road and touring in a very kind of stripped down COVID friendly sort of way.

IVAN: How long will you be on tour?

JEREMY: It'll be pretty much all summer, although as it's just mostly Minnesota, and I live here, I'll be working basically weekends till the fall I think.

IVAN: That sounds exciting. Sounds like everybody should go on a tour.

JEREMY: It's kind of like a road trip with a point. You don't really need to have a point to go on a road trip. They're all journeys of self-discovery. But it's nice, I can actually work and meet people and try out some songs and have a good home cooked meal every now and again.

IVAN: That's awesome. Thank you for joining me on the podcast. We're titled ONE OF 8 BILLION and it brings up so many different feelings for me, when I think of myself as one of this huge number of people on the planet. Sometimes I feel connected to everyone, sometimes totally insignificant and not connected. And I wonder how it makes you feel. What thoughts come to mind when you think of yourself as one of this huge population?

JEREMY: There are waves of thoughts and feelings. The first thing, one of eight billion, I don't feel very special. Or I'm just one of a bunch. But I find the meaninglessness to be comforting. As in Oh, you know, I guess no one's really going to remember any of us after we die and pass away. There's eight billion of us right now. So, I guess that kind of means that I suppose I'm free to do whatever I want. And that sounds really exciting. I don't worry about the burden of history or changing the world. And to me, that kind of helps me focus on the here and now.

IVAN: Great point and perspective. There's something about the number that is liberating almost, it's freeing, in a way.

JEREMY: I think of it sometimes like hearing a really, really good band. Radiohead is one of my favorite bands, I'll just use them as an example. And sometimes I hear something that they do, and I'm like, It's so good. It’s just ridiculous. And then I just think, I guess that just kind of frees me up to be myself, that I don't have to be Radiohead or be as good as Radiohead. I can just be me. And again, I find that kind of freeing in a way.

IVAN: Where did life start for you? Where were you born? What did the beginning of Jeremy's life look like?

JEREMY: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina at the Naval Hospital. My dad was in the Navy and was on a submarine somewhere in the North Atlantic when I was born. And we lived in a few places, Maine is another spot. But most of my childhood, at least my first memories and things all take place in eastern Washington, where I grew up, and it's usually just memories of me and my siblings. I'm the oldest of four. And I spent my first 20 years out there.

And it's the kind of parts of Washington State that no one really knows about. You think of Washington State, you think of Frasier and Seattle and that kind of stuff. But I grew up on the eastern side of it, which is the agricultural center where Washington apples are from. Most of the hops used in beer in America are grown there. And it's very much a desert, with some good irrigation. So similar to California and some parts of Oregon and stuff as well. And my hometowns, the Tri-Cities also kind of have a unique distinction of being the most polluted place in North America.

IVAN: Really? Wow. You would think that Los Angeles is the most polluted place, right?

JEREMY: I guess it depends what kind of pollution you look at. But the towns didn't exist at all until World War II. And they were built in secret and in a hurry in the 1940s, as a place where the U.S. government was working on the Manhattan project, and my hometowns out there were where the plutonium was refined for the atomic bombs.

IVAN: Really?

JEREMY: Yeah. So out in the desert, there's a place called the Hanford Reservation, and it's just filled with decaying reactors from World War II, which are currently being cocooned by government contractors. And it also contains a lot of nuclear waste from decades and decades of people let's just put it in a barrel and bury it in the desert and we'll see what happens. And yeah, it's currently a government superfund site, and was also the source of my first real job, driving around there and doing computer techy stuff out there around the year 2000 or so.

IVAN: Wait a second, computer techy stuff, but you're a musician? What kind of computer techy stuff? Do tell.

JEREMY: Oh, sure. I've been a nerd for way longer than I've been a musician.

IVAN: Cool.

JEREMY: And I do find that there is a lot of overlap. Like most of the musicians, I know, frequently they're into tech and at least these days, having your own studio and stuff is more about computer literacy than it probably even is about musicianship at this point. We're kind of in the era of computer jockeys as producers doing amazing work.

But when I went to school, I got a computer science degree before I went to study music here in Minnesota and I took a year and worked. At the time, it was nothing particularly exciting, very entry level help desk stuff, but I did get to drive around in the desert and see a bunch of radiation signs and warnings and asked if I needed a dosimeter. And I was told that I really didn't. Who knows?

IVAN: That you probably were already exposed to enough and that it really didn't matter if you were counting it anyway.

JEREMY: Probably.

IVAN: So when you were growing up, and you'd got this computer science degree, through high school, is that the route you wanted to take? You wanted to be in computer science? Or how did you end up in college deciding that that's what you were going to do?

JEREMY: I really had no clue what I wanted to do. And for the most part, I still don't. Music is something that I just fell into, but I started college when I was really young and I just picked up an associate's degree and went another year and got a little computer science one. I’d been a nerd. But I think I just liked computers. Well, maybe this would be a thing to learn about. And turns out I wasn't exceptionally gifted at programming or anything like that. But I think at the time, computers were still a bit new and intimidating in a lot of workplaces. So, I felt like just by growing up and having built my own PCs and stuff as a teenager that it kind of gave me a literacy that was helpful, at least in landing a job anyway.

IVAN: So you were driving around eastern Washington as the original Geek Squad I guess, if you were support. Right?

JEREMY: Yeah, that's not too far off. Yeah, we would drive around to different kinds of construction sites and tickets would come in, we'd go out and fix stuff or upgrade things. That was kind of what we did. Every day you'd have to drive through the armed checkpoint and stuff to get in and then work on computers.

IVAN: So cool. When I first started TEN7 we didn't just make websites, we did a little bit of tech support as well. And we supported the Electric Fetus, which is where my wife and I met. But they had an AS400 in their basement. I wonder if they still have it. And they used that for all of the warehouse, CD inventory and orders and I thought I called to support that one time, and those were harrowing hours. And I’m glad we don't do that anymore.

JEREMY: Yeah, there's nothing like spending some time on the phone answering tech calls to make you question everything you've done in your life.

IVAN: Do you make it back to Washington at all now as still a nerd, but a musician and visit the places you've been to back there?

JEREMY: I'll occasionally drive through but my family and most of my friends have scattered and moved elsewhere. Other than visiting a childhood home or something I don't visit very often.

IVAN: So where was the change? How did you end up deciding I'm not going to do this computer science stuff anymore? I'm not going to do the technology thing and support. I am going to be a musician. Was there ever that light that went off in your mind? How did that look?

JEREMY: I think that probably would have happened around the time I was driving around Hanford. I had a thought that there was maybe a much bigger world out there that I really hadn't seen very much of and maybe to be who I wanted to be, I would need to leave. And I didn't really have a huge, compelling reason to go. I thought about studying film maybe, maybe going into that. But as I wasn't much of a visual artist, and I've been playing guitar and doing music since I was a small kid in church and stuff, it felt like that was maybe a little more of a natural fit for me. But I think that's what drew me to leave and to Minnesota was maybe not like Oh, I need to become a musician or something like that. It was more just like I need to leave my hometown and leave my family and I need to see who I can be. I didn't have a picture of myself necessarily. I tried to be open.

IVAN: And you picked Minneapolis as the place you were going to move to. You kind of know where this question is going because I also picked Minneapolis, although I didn't really have a choice about coming to Minneapolis. I kind of picked America and Minneapolis was the place I ended up. But you picked Minneapolis. Why did you pick Minneapolis? Thoughts of snow? Cold?

JEREMY: Yes. Yeah, there's a lot of that. I don't have a good answer. Looking back at it I think subconsciously it felt like a thing I needed to do. The joke that I tell people, because I get this question a lot, “well what brought you to Minnesota? What I typically tell people is well, it was cold enough and just far away enough that no one from home ever really wanted to visit." And so therefore, it was perfect. If you want to become a new person, well, okay, it's time to sever from the past and do that. Which isn't entirely true, people have come to visit and whatever. But there was something exciting about going to a place where I knew literally no one and it turns out I really like it here and I've lived here ever since.

IVAN: I really like it here too. And when I moved here, which was in 1999, I arrived the day before the Super Bowl. And I remember it being very snowy and I'd never driven a car in the snow and my boss who picked me up at the airport was like don't worry, you'll be fine. Go as fast as everybody else is going around you, and you’ll be okay. Okay, that's great advice. Let me try doing that. And so there is me driving down 35 from the airport to downtown Minneapolis to find a place where I'm going to be staying, and it was a little daunting.

JEREMY: I was going to say baptism by fire, but more baptism by snow, I suppose.

IVAN: Right. I read online that you moved around the same time, I think it said 1999. And it said you were studying music. So, you not only decided to change what you were doing, and to become someone else, you decided to continue studying. So, you studied music and then did you play bars? Did you decide you were going to make an album and made an album? What was the first thing that happened that made you think Oh, yeah, this music thing, I think it might work out.

JEREMY: Well, that really didn't happen until much later. I showed up to college, I went to North Central University, which is in Elliott Park in Minneapolis and quickly found out that I didn't really have any kind of a classical music background, and I could barely play guitar, and I was woefully behind, everyone else. So, I largely spent my first year and a half just practicing guitar for hours and hours and hours a day and studying and trying to understand music theory and all that as well. I had a dream of, like Oh, I'm going to be a rock and roller in a cool rock band. I'm going to be the lead guitarist with Mystique. And I quickly found out that I wasn't that great a guitar and I didn't have a whole lot of, in fact I had like zero mystique, actually.

But I ended up stumbling across a songwriting class, I ended up auditing it, taught by this guy named Dave Petey. And I just had the thought, I don't know if I can do all the other stuff, but wow, I think I can do this. I think I can build a song. It's like making a movie, but you're using music as well. And I think I have the tools to do this. And so, I just started writing songs. And I would write all sorts of silly things and sing them to my friends just to make people laugh and stuff. And it was kind of there I started doing my first little demos and things which I would pass around, I would burn them on my laptop. Get the MP3’s and try to pass them around and stuff like that. But I really didn't start performing other than the occasional cover band gig or something like that, which I did for a few years until I graduated.

And then I just started playing at coffee shops around 2003 to 2004. I would play any open mic I possibly could. I played at the Acadia Cafe a lot. I played at Dunn Brothers or Betsy’s Back Porch, I played there. I didn't say no to a gig for probably 10 years. Anybody who wanted me to play, I would just play. At the time I was working in tech or working in coffee. I was working at a coffee shop for a while as well. And I didn't really have much of a sense of something happening literally until I think City Pages wrote about, I had a release show for the Alcatraz Kid, my first album. And for the first time, people showed up to one of my shows, it was packed. I was like, wow, people are here. And I've always had people at shows since then. So, I think maybe that would be the first moment where I was like Oh, this, this could be a thing. Maybe I could do this. This is exciting.

IVAN: Thank you City Pages. Boy, do I miss that publication?

JEREMY: Oh, I do too. Yeah.

IVAN: I think it was a few years ago, I think it was before the pandemic you released, I want to say an album, but it wasn't an album, it was a song book, I think. And you released it before you released the actual thing. I don't know if I'm making any sense. You probably know what I’m talking about, but I want to try to be a little better about describing it.

JEREMY: You released something, but it wasn't quite a thing.

IVAN: You released a song book, but you didn't release yourself playing any of the songs. And then you released the album, which was you singing all the songs. In fact, I think I saw you perform some of the songs before the album was released. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because one of our values at TEN7 is be open.

We’re very interested in open source technology, in open sourcing the work we do and contributing to the greater good and the greater community and the code that could be reused by others. And I'm reminded of that value when I think of this song book that you released, because you basically said hey, here's all the music, play it, use it, interpret it, change it, make it better, or worse, and then I'll tell you how it's supposed to sound when I release my album. That's probably not what you meant. But talk to me about that album and why you were motivated to do that. What was the whole story behind that?

JEREMY: Oh, wow. That was a really interesting time. I think it was way back in 2016, released in 2017. And I think it was mostly a reaction to grappling with the world in a Trump era. I had had an album recorded, and I had just given it to the record label, that came out in 2018, it came out later as Late Stage Capitalism. And it just felt like the moment Trump was elected, everyone's media frame and appetite had completely changed. And I just went off to a cabin, and I just started reflecting on my own life and values. And what I wanted to do is just write songs that kind of removed me.

There's kind of a few different schools of thought that either your fingerprints should be all over this song, or you should just get out of the way of it completely and just let the song be. And for this batch of tunes, I just got out of the way as best I could, and I tried to write just things, my deeply held beliefs, my core values, and I just tried to write them as absolutely simply as I possibly could.

And then I thought of the songs that were really important to me. And for the most part, they weren't the songs that I'd heard on the radio, they were the songs that I grew up singing. Passively listening to music is a great and wonderful thing, moving your body to it is fantastic. But actually singing, performing, playing songs, is just wonderful. And I don't know if there's any better way to encode information for people.

I sometimes think about it, like, songs are basically computer programs for our analog meat brains, and they were our first forms of information storage, you needed something to be passed over generations, write a song. I mean, that's how we have passed on knowledge for thousands of years. It's kind of like our versions of data storage, melodies and things they stick in our heads like nothing else. So, I kind of half-jokingly named the project Eleven Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele: A Micro Folk Record for the 21st Century and Beyond.

IVAN: Greatest name for a record ever.

JEREMY: Thanks. But, ended up seeing the optimistic hope that maybe the songs will outlive me and get changed around as needed. It was a very interesting sell to the record label out in New York. It was very funny, and I have very fond memories of it, where I’m with Glassnote Records, and I went and visited their offices. They had no idea why I was there and I just said hi, I'd like to release an album. I give them the title and they’re like, okay. Do you have the album? I was like no. I’m recording it on Tuesday. I’m recording it all in one day with one microphone at a studio in Minneapolis. We're going to film it and I don't want it to even be released as an album. It’s a songbook. I want people to literally just sing these songs before they ever hear me do them. I don’t want them to belong to me necessarily. And they were like, well this is the craziest thing ever, and I put on my little pitch deck and then I sang through the whole album for them just right there. I just did all of it. And they loved it. And they were very supportive. And that's how that came about.

IVAN: That's so cool. The sound engineers at Glassnote, what do they do when you say I want to record this with one microphone?

JEREMY: Well, I should say Glassnote on the record labels, don’t really do the creative stuff, necessarily. So they don't really have engineers on staff for that kind of a thing. I think they immediately recognized the kind of folk punk vibe of the project and were into it and were supportive. But they didn't balk at that, really, at all. In fact, my producer Andy Thompson, who ended up recording the album, he actually was really into the idea. It was funny, when we would sit down, I would do a take and then I'd be like well, how did that sound? And he was like oh, I think we need to adjust the levels a little bit, your voice is a little too loud. And all he would do is just move the microphone down like an inch. That was how that was done.

IVAN: That's amazing.

JEREMY: We really wanted to be a what you hear is what you get album. And you can literally hear my voice getting more tired as the songs go on a little bit too. You can hear it getting a little scratchier as the day goes on.

IVAN: It's a great, uplifting album that’s a quick listen, that is catchy as well, because there's that song about the cat, Everybody Gets a Kitten. And there's the wonderful Paul Wellstone inspired song title, We All Do Better When We All Do Better. It’s glorious to just listen to that.

JEREMY: Yeah, when I toured for it, I decided I wanted to go on a tour of just beautiful public places all over the U.S. And so I just mapped a route using mostly Atlas Obscura and a few other websites to find just cool, interesting, notable places that were public where people could just meet and I would play four or five shows in kind of the most epic road trip ever, and people came out to nearly every single place that I went, to come and just sing with me. And it was really beautiful.

But what I found singing the songs over four or five times a day, I would live stream them on Facebook and stuff, was that they really just became kind of a meditation, they were almost like a prayer. When you have that amount of repetition with something it's kind of like your mind sort of empties, and I'd never really had that experience with at least my own music before.

IVAN: Thank you for creating that. It was certainly something that I think the world needed in the really difficult time. That was really necessary. I want to ask you about a memorable mentor, or a leader or the guy you reported to when you were doing support in eastern Washington. Was there someone who sticks out in your mind over your lifetime that you think you learned from or maybe taught you what not to do?

JEREMY: This is quite an easy one for me because this person kind of looms so large in my life, but it's a singer/songwriter Dan Wilson. When I was playing in coffee shops, I had a gig one time at the Acadia, this was maybe 2004 or 2005 somewhere around there. I had been a big Semisonic fan. I learned to play guitar to Closing Time and Secret Smile and stuff off of feeling Strangely Fine and all that. So I was a huge fan and he had been producing a band that I sat in with sometimes called Epic Hero. And I remember he came out to a show that I did at the Acadia and I was so nervous, I just couldn't believe it. Dan Wilson is here to see me play my silly little songs. And the show went okay, it wasn't super fantastic by any means, I was not quite the seasoned professional I like to think of myself as now.

But I thought I'd really tanked and I remember going back to my studio apartment in Loring Park and I had a very old answering machine there with cassette tapes and I saw that the red light was flashing and I went in and pressed play and it was a message from Dan. Hi Jeremy this is Dan Wilson. I just caught your show at the Acadia and I thought it was really great. Hey, would you mind if we maybe met up for, beep…?

IVAN: Oh, no.

JEREMY: And I was like, Oh, the tape is full. I bought the cheapest tape of course. Oh, no. What have I done? And fortunately for me, he called back and he was like hey, I'm not sure if we got disconnected there. I'm not sure what happened. But anyway, if you want to meet for coffee sometime, I’d love to chat. And so that kind of was the beginning of really what has been a lifelong friendship and mentorship.

He produced my second album, The Silver City. We made it his house. It is and was and continues to be a wonderful learning experience. Everything I know about music and songwriting, about vocal performance and recording methodology I've learned from Dan. As well as just how to live life as an artist. And he's well-known now in musical circles. He's out in LA now but he has a big following of people. I think a lot of people would think of him as a mentor, which is to his credit.

IVAN: That's so cool. What a great story. And for those that don't know who Dan Wilson is, this is the musician who comes from Minnesota and has worked with the likes of Adele, aside from being part of Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare as well. Did I get that right?


IVAN: What are you inspired by these days?

JEREMY: I think probably the same things as anyone else. There’s always a new book or a film or some music that's inspiring. My biggest inspiration, or maybe my classic ones that I've found, at least for creating things if I need to be inspired, is probably boredom. Boredom is by far the greatest muse that I have ever known, and I suspect maybe the greatest muse that anyone ever knows. But if you remove everything exciting from your life, at least for me, my brain just starts constructing realities and starts oh, here's a song idea. Here's another one. When faced with lack of stimulation, that's just what happens. So usually, if I need to feel inspired, then I just go to a cabin with no internet and my phone doesn't really work and just sit there and it's amazing how inspired you get in five minutes.

IVAN: Maybe there's some teenagers in my life that could be inspired in that way as well. I'm going to change the mood just a little bit and then we’ll come back to levity. I would love to hear about what you think your greatest struggle in life has been.

JEREMY: The greatest struggle? That's a great question. I'm trying to think if I have a good or at least compelling answer for that.

IVAN: There’s no wrong answers here.

JEREMY: I think the biggest struggle for me has probably just been being an artist. I still find it very difficult. I think of artists as functioning like society's kidneys, but also like, Oh here's some crazy stuff, let's process it and let's try to help contextualize or help people understand it or whatever. But it's also maybe the biggest tool for just me personally. I tend to think of it like I have a certain set of tools, I imagine like my kind of artistic or songwriting scuba gear, so to speak. And when I put it on, I dive into my subconscious.

And sometimes I bring up gems, and it's fantastic, other times there's nothing. But I have found the struggle to do that is really difficult when there are so many other things to do. To do something that's real and genuine and good is really difficult. And I still find that to be a struggle to this day. Where is the voice? What do I have to say about this? Should I have anything to say about it? And yeah, that continues to be a thing.

IVAN: And the way you process is the way it ends up being the products that we hear and that we see and that we listen to, and I'm thankful for that.

JEREMY: Well, good. I'm glad someone is. It’s a very, like Oh yes, we're digging down, we're finding the pain in ourselves, we're expressing that, and then maybe we're saving other people a bit of time and thus society progresses. I don’t know.

IVAN: There's different ways of looking at it, I think. It’s important to have that levity but also the idea that this is actually heavy stuff in some cases, and it's important to do the work.

JEREMY: Yes, I do find that I'm a big fan of Richard Feynman.

IVAN: Love him.

JEREMY: Oh yeah. He’s great. One of the things he said is that if you can't explain something simply, then it probably means that it's not well understood. And I think of songs as that, and artists that as well. If I'm having to wrap my ideas in a bunch of wit or humor, things that the ego puts into art and music so people think that you're smart and funny, then perhaps I really haven't gotten to the heart of it yet. And again, trying to find the genuine thing to say is difficult.

IVAN: Is there anything you're reading or watching right now that you love that you want to talk about? But I want to tweak that and ask, is there anything that you're reading or watching or listening to that you love?

JEREMY: Well, I think the single biggest thing that has happened to me in the last six weeks has actually been a film. Although it does have a really wonderful soundtrack, which is worth diving into as well. I have seen this movie five times in the theater now, and I think it might be my favorite film. And I didn't think at my age that I could have a new favorite film of all time, but this one's called Everything Everywhere All at Once.

IVAN: Oh, I've seen that being advertised. And I haven't really paid attention to it. What is it about?

JEREMY: It's a story of a woman who is perhaps not living up to her potential. And it's a silly, beautiful, funny, tear jerking emotional multiversal roller coaster. It's really not like anything that I've ever seen before. I remember the first time watching it just thinking, I have no idea how this movie got made. I didn't know you could do this in a film. And seeing it with an audience, I've seen it with audiences a few times now, and it is a magic trick watching it in a room full of people. It goes from people howling with laughter to just sobbing in the span of 10 minutes, sometimes even in the same scene. To me it feels like the first film of the 21st century. I can't praise it enough. It’s really just remarkable and really brave, beautiful filmmaking.

The soundtrack is fantastic as well and the thoughtfulness that they went into for having different music representing different universes and stuff is staggering. I don't necessarily want to spoil anything for people who haven't seen it, but when you have Son Lux and Randy Newman collaborating on a soundtrack it's remarkable.

IVAN: That is remarkable. I just pulled up the Wikipedia entry for Everything Everywhere All at Once. It also says Andre 3000 is collaborating as a musician on the soundtrack.

JEREMY: Oh. Amazing.

IVAN: That is amazing. This looks amazing. I am totally going to see this. Thank you for the recommendation. For a sec, I thought you were going to say Top Gun Maverick.

JEREMY: Just wait till you see him shirtless, playing volleyball. It's life changing. Let me tell you. I don't need to see another movie after this. That's it. We've peaked.

IVAN: I'm glad you didn't say that. I've learned something about this. I’m totally going to go see this. I will say I did see Top Gun Maverick twice.

JEREMY: Yeah. To circle back to what we were talking about, the central question of being one person out of 8 Billion I feel like Everything Everywhere All at Once, that’s part of the core of the movie, is finding meaning in meaninglessness and how to navigate that with skill and grace and kindness and beauty.

IVAN: What a wonderful way to end the podcast. It's been so amazing talking to you, Jeremy. Thank you for agreeing to be on the show. Thank you for sharing your history, your thoughts and your feelings about being ONE OF 8 BILLION. Thank you for all the music you've put in the world and the creativity that you exude. It was just so great having you on.

JEREMY: Thank you for having me.


IVAN: I hope you’ll join us in the next episode of ONE OF 8 BILLION… when we’ll hear from Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Zeblon Vilakazi: Imagine each galaxy is made of hundreds and billions of stars and there are billions of galaxies. And just that snapshot, that tiny, tiny, keyhole really, into the universe. Now you think of this planet being one of many in this solar system in this galaxy and this galaxy is one of billions of others and you're only one in 8 billion of individuals.

I mean, doesn't it make you feel small in the entire cosmos?


This has been ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us... online at Join us again next time as we listen to one of eight billion other stories!

ONE OF 8 BILLION is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Find out more at I’m Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.


This is episode 138 of ONE OF 8 BILLION. It was recorded on June 23, 2022 and first published on July 20, 2022. Audio length is 35 minutes. Transcription by Roxanne Chumucas. Summary, highlights and editing by Brian Lucas. Music by Lexfunk. Produced by Jonathan Freed.

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