Jevon is an artist from West London that first came to The Art of Grime’s attention with his last EP ‘Spirits & Chaos‘. Released in April of 2019, its cover depicted a gold plated skull amidst a pulpy sludge of computer generated effects. For an artist in the opening stages of their career, it was striking, as Jevon wrote vivid scenes with his bars and produced salient melodies that oozed from the speakers. In a climate where half singing-half rapping styles are at a fever pitch – Jevon approaches them with a musicality others lack, often under laying the rap with a sang melody. It adds depth, more than just painting a verse with auto-tune. His influences are hard to pin down solely by listening; but you can hear the jet plane flows of grime, the sheen of contemporary UK Rap production and a smidgen of R&B thrown into the proverbial pot. The most visible vocal led genres in Britain are spoken about in a segregated way: grime, rap, drill and afro-swing are Very Separate Genres, and fans will chop it up til the world overheats, deciding which one is washed and which one is worthy of mainstream success anytime they get the chance. This era of success for Black music in the UK is unprecedented, and its also the first generation of artists that grew up with the veteran names we know and love in their regular musical diet. Jevon hasn’t seen the success of a J Hus, Kojo Funds or Aitch – yet. Maybe his music is the result of a kid from London taking in the grime and rap of the early to mid 2000s, ultimately mixing it with influences from across the pond and beyond.
‘Playboy‘ is his latest track, its melodies plucked from samples of a box of records his granddad left behind for him. You can hear it. Brass licks ring out in the opening, their rasp bringing the bustle of a booming city directly to your headphones. Cut to the verse, and it’s a look at life through the eyes of the author. Jevon tells us he was a “good yout, but found out crime paid bigger”, giving the listener an insight to life through the lens of a young, inner city kid from London. As the track moves on, piano keys populate the beat, as the rapper runs through subjects like trust issues and questions the path of a positive life without proper guidance. ‘Playboy’ is a layered track, as the hook comes in, brass is swapped out for a more familiar square wave riff and Jevon switches the rapping for the singing. Overall, ‘Playboy’ is an expansive track from a rapper unconcerned with pandering to what’s hot. We just hope the next releases follow suit.