20 questions with Javeon

Javeon is more clear than ever on his sound, returning to an original love on his forthcoming EP

Javeon has been involved in Bristol’s music scene since he was a teenager and is one of few Bristol vocalists to have broken into the commercial music world, releasing with major labels including Universal Music’s PMR and co-writing with the likes of Tory Lanez, Clean Bandit and DJ Zinc. 

co-writing with the likes of Tory Lanez, Clean Bandit and DJ Zinc

Javeon is modest when it comes to talking about his work, but he certainly isn’t shy. When we shove him into The Canteen’s Fotomatic photobooth, his playful personality is drawn out immediately, before we end up chatting over a pint for an hour.

Over many years, Javeon has crafted an infectious stye of R&B-laden, pop-tinged dance music that has gained favour with Zane Lowe, Mistajam, Idris Elba and Groove Armada. His smooth R&B vocals and songwriting ability has also made Javeon a much-in-demand feature vocalist, but it when it comes to his own work, there has been a notable shift across Javeon’s last few singles, as he works towards his forthcoming EP release.   

there has been a notable shift across Javeon’s last few singles

Though his pitch-perfect R&B vocals are still a defining feature, Javeon is more clear than ever on his sound, he says. The EP was produced for the most part by Zack the Lad with a look in from El.Train; however, Javeon – technologically capable – was involved in every step of the process.

Taking more of an active role in the production, it showcases a flavour that returns to Javeon’s original love: grime and garage. Starting out on the Bristol scene as an MC in Kold Hearted Krew with the likes of Joker and Bugzy, its a sound that has never truly left his pool of influence.

Taking more of an active role in the production, it showcases a flavour that returns to Javeon’s original love: grime and garage

You can catch Javeon live at Exchange on 19 September, with support from Jon, Chikaya and Wish Master. 

What have you learned today?

Some pretty boring tips on mixing vocals that will definitely be quite helpful. Also that Biblos wraps are every bit of the truth that I remembered them being.

Which song by another artist most inspires you?

A track that changed everything for my writing style was Frank Ocean – Swim Good. But at the moment, it’s got to be Lil Silva – Don’t You Love (Ft. Banks).

First piece of music you bought?

I bought Craig David’s first album Born To Do it in Eastville market. Years later I re-bought it on iTunes out of respect. This album was the template for the kind of artist I wanted to become.

This album was the template for the kind of artist I wanted to become.

Most recent?

JON. – Mellow Minded (Ft. Reppatwa).

Who are your top three acts right now?

Lophile, NAO, Young Fathers.

Who is (or was) the most underrated artist?

XamVolo is criminally underrated. I saw him at Exchange earlier this year and both his vocal performance and band blew me away. It was fairly full, but that place should have been heaving. Check out his COLORS performance on YouTube if you’re not familiar!

It’s 3am and the party is winding down, what track do you play to get everyone going again?

Roy Davis Jnr – Gabriel (Ft. Even Everet).

If you couldn’t work in music, what would you be doing instead?

As a hobby I’ve gotten into beer making. I made a hazy pale ale called ‘Mac Daddy Haze’ with a friend and it’s tasty AF! So I’d probably be brewing my own beer full time. It isn’t sexy, but there you have it.

Do you listen to any music you think would surprise people?

A rock and roll band called Rival Sons. I saw them earlier this year in Birmingham and I can’t wait for their Bristol show in November.

What was the last book you read?

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

Most recent binge watch?

Preacher on Amazon is BLOWING MY MIND. 

Life motto?

Make it happen instead of waiting for it to happen.

Make it happen instead of waiting for it to happen.

Cats or dogs?

Not an easy question. I respect the loyalty you get from a dog, but appreciate how much cleaner and independent cats are. But I have cats, so I guess you’ve got your answer! 

Tea or coffee?

Earl grey tea all day long.

Pet peeve?

I hate unreliable people. Complete waste of time.

What do you wish you’d known when you were younger?

When I was younger I was quite an unsure and cautious kid, so I think I’d want to know that I could trust my instincts and stick to my guns more. I’m a much happier person for doing so later on in life.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Do what makes you happy, be nice to people and don’t be an asshole.

Tell us something people don’t generally know about you…

Since I was 18, on and off, I’ve been mentoring and helping young musicians. This involves advice on the industry, performance techniques, vocal workshops and inside information you’d only know from being in the industry.

Since I was 18, on and off, I’ve been mentoring and helping young musicians.

What’s the oldest item of clothing you own that you still wear?

Stylistically, knowing what to wear to give me my own sense of identity hasn’t come easy. I haven’t really gotten attached to anything enough to want to keep it. I have a black Nike baseball jacket with brown leather sleeves that I love. It’s not exactly vintage, but it’s about six years old and I still wear it now.

What are you doing tomorrow?

I’m going to Brighton for a session with a great producer I’ve been working with called El.Train and a band called Kudu Blue, then on to the Joker pub for some chicken wings and to enjoy the weather for the weekend.

Photos: @thefotomatic

19 September – Javeon, Exchange
Tickets // exchangebristol.com

javeonmusic.co.uk
@javeonmusic

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