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From Elephant Shoes to Heartboxing, Jimmy Nevis is catching a fast wave with his playful melodies and rhymes, writes TINA GEORGE.
Riding high on the South African airwaves with Elephant Shoes and now his second hit single Heartboxing, Jimmy Nevis (pictured) is a shot of fresh air the South African pop scene hasn’t had in a while.
It’s his infectious and clever writing skills introduced on his first single Elephant Shoes (a song in-spired by the sting of heartbreak, imbedded with a melodious chord progression and catchy hook) that is making a big impression.
The Cape Town alternative pop singer/songwriter and producer has managed to not only release two hit singles, but also a full length album, Subliminal, and recently signed with a major US label, Ultra Records, home to Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Benny Benassi, Alyssa Reid and Kaskade.
The urban-acoustic singer has been singing his entire life, par-taking in everything from produc-tions to competitions. When he’s not doing gigs, you’ll find him at church where he leads the Praise and Wor-ship team in Welcome Estate. Apart from his booming music career, the 20-year-old is a second-year media and writing student at UCT.
Nevis was contacted by the Cape Town independent label, Rude World Records, where he received a contract soon after the success of Elephant Shoes.
“I’m trying to get South Africa back into pop music. I think it’s so neglected and undermined and I love the fact that I can be a part of someone’s memory. Pop music has that power. “I feel like I’ve been wanting this for so long that I have to embrace it. If it means I’ve done something right then it’s only fair that I appreciate them back,” he shares of the overwhelming response from his fans.
“I always used to think some-one’s going to discover me, but you have to initiate your dream. You have to give something to work with to have divine intervention.”
But Nevis hasn’t always driven the wave to success as his first op-tion of studying, in jazz vocals, was unsuccessful.
“I got despondent the whole year, I didn’t make any music and just focused on my studies.
“There was a time where I need-ed to do something, or I wasn’t going to pursue it at all, and that’s where my epiphany came. I went around to Cape Town stations and exhausted all social platforms. Now receiving good news each week, I can’t deny the fact that it’s God. Nine months ago nobody knew me and now they do, it’s not natural.”
With puns and catchy tunes, the 14-track album boasts a variety of sounds from industrialised sounds with raw elements of atmospheric sounds combined with lots of effects.
The album is titled Subliminal because Nevis attributes it to hid-den messages: “It’s naturally the way I speak, in riddles. My lyrics are made up of 20 percent life and 80 percent creativity. The meaning of each song is on the sleeve of the album so it’s something special for people who buy the hard copy.”
Nevis says he dreams of singing to a sold-out New York crowd.
“I want to have my songs either sung with me or back to me.”