From working as a mascot for Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. to debuting at #14 in the Billboard Hot 100, young Californian artist Giveon has walked a long road to success in a very short time.
In less than a year, the Long Beach native singer has signed a deal with top label Epic Records, dueted with Drake, and published an impressive debut EP, Take Time. His deep baritonal voice, the warm atmospheres in his music, and an approach to songwriting based on storytelling are the high-quality ingredients that have led to his success.
When Drake invited him to sing in his latest single Chicago Freestyle, last March, Giveon was still relatively unknown. So unknown that people started spreading the word it was actually Sampha on the song, not him.
This situation rapidly changed when one of the singles from Take Time, Like I Want You, amassed more than one million streams on Spotify in a very short time span, proving Giveon had finally made a name for himself in the mainstream.
From his modest upbringing to the golden world of mainstream music, Giveon worked hard, showing his talent to be solid and his immense will.
“I was so fed up,” he explained in an interview with Billboard, describing his time at Bubba Gump. “I left with no plan, no money or anything.” After his experience as a mascot, Giveon started a dog-walking business that allowed him to find the resources and spare some time to dedicate to his biggest dream, becoming a musician.
The young Californian star reached success by applying a formula that mixed determination, hard work, and the belief in manifestation. “I’m big on manifestation,” he explained, adding that by writing down crazy goals, he feels more driven and more prone to working hard to reach the desired outcomes.
Giveon refined his songwriting skills by treasuring what he had learned from writing short stories, an endeavor that resulted in less interesting feedback from his audience. While songs are more immediate to understand and enjoy, Giveon keeps adding to his compelling tunes the storytelling elements practiced through his short stories. That’s why his songs are so well-structured and carry so many poetic lines.
Giveon also has a particular approach to music. In his words, as it is now almost impossible to create something completely new, an original way to approach songwriting consists of mixing different influences to make them unique through the application of a personal filter and personal life experiences. That’s why his many influences, from Frank Sinatra to Sampha, live together side by side in the young artist’s tracks.
Giveon is surely one of the most interesting rising stars in the realm of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul. We look forward to hearing what he has been writing during the lockdown and hope a new EP will be out soon!