Hailing from East London, you may recognize A-MVN for his contagious head-bopping anthem ‘Amy’ that he dropped earlier this year! Gripping the nation with his infectious hook; “Out ere daily and she calling me a fox / Baby really tryna’ take shots / Ironic cah’ I’m lickin them shots / Tryna go legit but for now I’ll grab a box” – the rising rapper is proving himself as an artist to watch! Growing up listening to an array of various genres, A-MVN began rising to prominence from a variety of freestyles he uploaded to Instagram; soon catching the eyes of many, he started to gain an ever-growing fan base that has seen ‘Amy’ gain over 250,000 views in just over 2 weeks on YouTube alone!
Having released a string of singles this year including a stand-out freestyle atop of Roddy Ricch’s ‘Bacc Seat’ hit, we caught up with the ascending star and got to know him a bit better…!
Because you are new to the game, could you tell us a bit more about your upbringing and how music was introduced to you?
First of all, my name is A-MVN but it is pronounced as A-MAN! I have been surrounded by music my entire life, my brother used to do music back in the day when I was younger and everyone in my area was into music and rapping bars. I just caught onto it and sprayed my first little bars around the age of 7! *laughs* So when I went to school, I met up with the members of NSG and Keeya Keys!
Oh, so you all went to the same school!
Yeah! We all went to the same school as each other! It’s crazy because we all had that love for music, so with that being said we had a studio in school, and we all used to record each other and go to events and whatnot! From there, I said ‘Alright cool, I am going to do this!’ because back then it was just a hobby, after that I stopped for a bit and NSG carried on but now I’m back! Let’s bring the fire and the energy! *laughs*
Your artist name is A-MVN, what made you choose this name?
My name is Akeem, so back in the day people used to call me Little A, I was a bit chubby as well *laughs* I was that chubby yute on the block! People used to call me Little A but in Secondary school I hit puberty and my voice broke!
Oh, so you went from a little boy to a man! *laughs*
Yeah exactly! *laughs* I’m a man so I am going to call myself A-MVN! But my close people just call me A, but yeah, everyone knows me as A-MVN.
That is the best story I have heard about an artist name! So funny!
Yeah, there’s a funny story behind it! *laughs*
I read that you originally started uploading freestyles on Instagram and that’s where you began gaining more of a following. Was it after you getting a good reception from them, that you then started to take your music to the next level? Or were you just doing it for fun and seeing where it would go?
Yeah! When I was doing it on Instagram, I was literally just doing it for fun and testing the waters and seeing who likes what; because I am a versatile artist, I was doing freestyles on Drill, RnB and Gas beats and people were actually gravitating towards them! There was one freestyle that I had done which was the ‘Bacc Seat’ freestyle, it’s Roddy Ricch’s song but I covered it and people thought it was lit! That’s when I was doing my melodic vibe as well, so I was feeding people with the melodic style. But when I did ‘Bacc Seat’ freestyle, everyone was asking me to make it into a track saying, ‘I need this in Spotify’, ‘I need it on all digital platforms!’ I was thinking wow! I recorded it, I put it out on Spotify and it did really well, the anticipation was crazy and from then I was like ‘Nah, this is it!’.
So, it was after ‘Bacc Seat’ that you started to take it seriously?
Yeah! That was at the start of the year, after that I was like ‘This is it!’, I started to do a couple performances here and there and then quarantine hit us! Mrs Corona didn’t want me to do any performances anymore so since then I have been in the studio working!
You are very versatile and you put your own spin on the current soundscape and that shows in tracks like ‘Snack Snack’ – I know that genres like Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Jazz and Afrobeats play a part in your influence. Are there any artists in particular that you grew up listening to or draw to now for inspiration?
There was a lot of artists that I grew up listening to but the main 3, I would say was Drake, Chip and Rick Ross! I listened to all of those types of artists growing up but now, I would say I listen to a lot of J Hus, Burna Boy and a lot of Afrobeat’s as well because I am surrounded by a lot of Afrobeat artists! It tends to happen, it’s an organic vibe in the studio! My brother used to do Grime, the music that I do now does not resemble Grime but back in the day that was it! I grew up on Skepta, Kano, Dizzee and all them lot – I was a proper Grime head!
Would you say you got your lyrical influence from Grime?
Definitely! Grime is lyrical! What I get from Grime; you talk a lot about your surroundings and everyone around you relates to it, that’s why I could always relate to it because everything they said in their songs I was living, so that played a big part in it as well!
You recently released ‘Amy’ – Tell us a bit more about the background behind this song! I noticed Amy Winehouse is on the cover art.
Hmmm! Trying to get me in trouble! *laughs* Originally it was called ‘Amy Winehouse’ but due to certain difficulties we changed it to ‘Amy’ and we thought it was still a catchy name; “Hitting them keys like Amy” so we said Amy is the one! It was inspired by Amy Winehouse as well, my Mum used to be a fan of her, so I grew up listening to her! When I made the song in the studio, it was literally just a vibe! I can’t lie, me and the guys, we’ve got a funny relationship with alcohol so… *laughs*
Nah I can relate to you on that one! *laughs*
Do you know what I’m saying! *laughs* When we are in the studio, there’s a bit of yack and a wave, I literally got the chorus; “Hitting them keys like Amy” and then I got “Out ere daily and she calling me a fox” and when I said that I was like ‘Nah, this is a banger!’, from there it was a top of the head freestyle and straight vibsing!
You just said you freestyled that whole song; when you’re in the studio, do you go in there with some type of vision if you have a song in mind? Or do you literally just go with the vibes?
It’s literally the vibes! I normally go the studio and I don’t force the inspiration, when I am there, I’ll tell bro to run the beat and we just catch a vibe. More time, I am freestyling whilst I’m listening to the beat! I come with the lines and go back and forth in the booth.
If you were to meet someone who was unaware of your music. What song of yours would you recommend they listen to and why?
I would say listen to ‘Amy’..
I knew you were going to say ‘Amy’! *laughs*
Definitely! *laughs* I would say ‘Amy’ because everything you hear on ‘Amy’ is me today, I have been in the studio my whole life and working to perfect my craft. I have been preein’ everyone else and how other people record and just gaining energy from them! All of that has come into this song – you are catching the flows, the lyrics, the melodies, energies and everything!
You love that song init! Well of course you do, it’s doing numbers as well!
*laughs* I love it! I love it! I’m gutted because the clubs ain’t open and I can’t perform it – it’s actually crazy! I’m going to sign a petition so the second wave don’t come, so the clubs can open up! *laughs*
You have done one collaboration this year on ‘Playing 4 Keeps’ – Have we got any more collaborations on the cards?
There is going to be some collaborations but right now we are building myself, working on myself and making sure you hear the bangers from A-MVN first! I have been in the studio working so there are a lot more singles coming! I’m sure in the future you will be hearing collaborations 100%!
Is there anyone you have always wanted to collaborate with?
Right now, it would have to be Chip! Chip will have to be the guy! The next person who I feel like would be a madness is J Hus!
Everyone wants a collaboration with Hus at the minute! He is the guy at the moment!
He is the guy! I feel like it would be a madness as well with my melodic vibe and the Afrowave – it would be mad!
What have you learnt so far in the time you have been taking music seriously? Is there any advice you would give to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?
What I’ve learnt so far is that no one is going to believe in your stuff unless you believe in it yourself! Unless you grab it and say ‘Yo, I’m actually going for it’ – no one will believe in it! I would say keep faith in it, believe in it and always be present and never give anyone an excuse! You have got to be consistent and everything will fall into place!
You must learn a lot from being with NSG!
Yeah! Definitely! It’s a worldwide effect what they are doing, every time they are in the studio, we are always having conversations and whatnot! Because we grew up together that’s why it’s even better, it’s not just because of where they are now it’s a genuine thing. I have seen the journey from bottom to top and it’s crazy! Mad inspirational and that’s always motivating as well!
What else can we expect to see from you this 2020?
Plenty more! I have got another single dropping soon! Keep running up ‘Amy’ right now and we’ve got plenty more coming, more singles and songs for the ladies as well! *laughs* It is going to be a dope year!
Keep up to date with all things A-MVN via his Instagram here.