Giveon | 5 Minutes With

“The thing I learned from it the most is to just be honest in your music and lyrics don’t have to be too complex. Less is more”.

The Long Beach singer/songwriter, Giveon, speaks on his feature on Drake’s surprise release ‘Chicago Freestyle.’ As much as Drake shed some light on these moody baritone vocals, Giveon is a storyteller utilizing his unique voice to tell tales such as the three stages of a relationship gone wrong in his debut EP ‘TAKE TIME.’ 

Let me introduce you to him, ladies and gentlemen, I give you – Giveon: 

“For the most part, I’m pretty laidback. If I had to pick a couple of words to describe me, I would say curious, funny, observative, and creative. When It comes to me describing my music I like to tell people to think of it like scoring a film. Whatever I’m telling a story about rather it’s heartbreak, infatuation, etc. that’s what music will sound like sonically”, now that he presented us with a beautiful introduction, let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we?

As a curious kid, always observing his surroundings, Giveon reminisces the first story he’s ever written: “I’ve been a fan of storytelling since a kid. I actually remember the very first story I wrote. It was about four brothers that separated in their teenage years but had to come back together in their adulthood to save their mother’s life”. He probably drew from his life as Giveon is one of three brothers, and his mom played a significant role in his singing career. 

One might say she was the one who encouraged him to pursue singing, whether it was voluntary, or he had to be slightly pushed can be left for a discussion. He mentions: “I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. What started it all was my mom, forcing me to sing at birthday parties. It was annoying at the time, but it worked in the long run. She Mr. Miyagi’d me”.

Having or being blessed with a baritone voice (an adult male singing voice between tenor and bass) was not something Giveon always cherished. It took some time for him to realize it’s okay not to sound like every other R&b artist in the game, but now he embraces it: “My journey to originality was a lot easier than most. I naturally have this unique tone, so I don’t have to go out of my way to do my own thing; it just happens.”

Earlier this year, Giveon put out his debut EP ‘TAKE TIME’, an eight-track long ode to unsuccessful relationships. “TAKE TIME is a story from start to finish. You can tell if you listen close enough. It’s the three stages of a relationship that goes bad. The first part is infatuation, then there is turmoil, then finally there is heartbreak. You can hear it lyrically and sonically. When fans listen to ‘Take Time,’ I want them to relate to it and believe me. All these songs are based on true stories”, he shares. 

Around the same time, Drake did his good old surprise release, one of which was ‘Chicago Freestyle.’ Fans were speculating and guessing the wrong name, it was Giveon. He elaborates on this experience: “The Drake feature is amazing. It changed my life, and it’s going to keep changing my life. I’m always going to be grateful for the experience. The thing I learned from it the most is to just be honest in your music and lyrics don’t have to be too complex. Less is more”.

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Words: Karolina Kramplova