Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
If you think you haven't heard that much of Jevon’s music already you are probably wrong. The elusive artist has strong credentials against his name as co-producer of the New Gen album on top of producing the majority of Bonkaz F*ck Fame mixtape. He is a multifaceted artist who as well as producing, sings, and raps a variety of styles, “Alternative, that the best way I would describe [my music]. Because I produce for everyone else and make all different types. I don’t have a genre.” Everything he has released is of a high standard with no particular style outshining the other. For example his hook on Bonkaz song Lonely, which Jevon produced, is simple yet so effective that it will be stuck in your head for days. He puts this down to his hunger for learning and perfection, ‘Some people be like ‘Yo you clocked music.’ And I’ll be like bruv, you don’t understand there is so much more that I need to learn as an artist’ His progression from his first video to his latest is substantial, confirming the work he is putting in behind the scenes. Since his first video, he has released a handful of songs all of a high quality and produced for a number of UK artists. We went up to Coventry, where Jevon is from, to meet with him and find out about his journey so far.
Jevon grew up in West London, but his dad decided to move his family to Coventry when he was 12. As we walk around his hometown he tells us, ‘I was upset, I thought Coventry was the countryside. It took me a while to adjust to it, but it made me the person I am.’ At the time Jevon didn’t understand the move, but now looking back at it as a father himself he understands why his dad made that choice. An aspiring footballer from an early age, he took an unfortunate knee injury as a sign to hang up his football boots and take music more seriously. Thanks to those around him he grew up listening to a whole range of music, ‘I was always exposed to music from a young age, my family members had a really good taste and that triggered my interest. A mixture really, A lot of A Tribe Called Quest, reggae, dancehall, rare groove. So a lot of old sounding music,’ He explains it wasn’t until he saw the likes of Kano, Dizzie Rascal and So Solid crew that he realised that he wanted to make music himself.
Jevon explained to us the category he would place his music in, ‘Yung Bush put it in layman terms, grap. Grime and rap together, its close to that’. In spite of grime being a motivating force for him to take on music as well as his effortless, skippy flow, he dislikes only being restricted to the ‘grime MC’ label, 'I know Boy In The Corner word for word. Grime is what I grew up on and what I still listen to. I just feel like being labelled as a grime MC, we are mc’s but not a grime MC. Bar for bar I’ll be spinning sets and I’ll still do that shit. But, I can do both. I can do the grime thing, I can do the rap thing, I can sing.’ Jevon recently shut down NewGens weekly radio on Radar, going back to back with the likes of Kojey Radical, Fee Gonzales & Collard- spitting over instrumentals such as Kick In The Door, Pound Cake, and Abra Cadabra’s Robbery, all whilst making it seem easy.
We spoke about how he first got involved in the music scene. His manager at the time was also looking after Naughty Boy, and by hanging round with certain people he started to understand what the industry was about. He ended up drifting away from that situation and later became a part of the New Gen team, ‘I got approached by Caroline, I was like can I send you some music? She listened to it and was like, bro call me please. From there, she included me in the New Gen 10 with; Bonkaz, Avelino, A2, J Hus, TE Dness, Renz all these people at once. We showcased our music and from that its developed to us actually making music with each other.’ All these artists have maintained a close relationship, featuring on the recently released New Gen album; a very strong compilation of songs from up and coming artists from the UK. While Jevon may have pure love for his team and work closely with certain UK artists, it's not to be mistaken as a weakness. He reveals he is ready if anyone was to try and come for him as it’s all part of the package of rap. ‘Although it’s nice to be friends with everyone, we need to remind ourselves that this is boxing. If man wanna come against me then boy you better know what time it is.’
The main thing that comes across about Jevon is his patience for the perfect timing. He is more than happy to focus on refining his skills, be it producing, rapping or singing instead of prematurely releasing anything. He is so confident that things will happen when and how they are supposed to that he is in no rush to make any hasty decisions in terms of his career. ‘This is a message for all artists, don't feel pressured to release music. If you’re ready, release it don’t hold onto it. For me, I still feel like I’m perfecting my sound. I found my sound, I know what my sound is I’m just perfecting it and I’ll work in my own time and I’ll drop something when its ready.’ Jevon’s attention and drive for perfectionism is working. After listening to the New Gen album, the production particularly stands out, with the album sounding clean and cohesive despite a number of featured artists. Its impressive to see somebody already so talented willing to put in the work to continue to improve. His self assurance as he talks about his future in music is inspiring and it makes sense. He knows what he is supposed to do and he is willing to do it so why should he fail? Not to say that it has been easy for Jevon, but with his strong passion it will take a lot for something to get in his way.