Review: Jevon Brings The Sounds of Brazil to the UK in Refreshing New Album
10 Feb 2021
Jevon is an artist whose influence on UK music has been underplayed in recent years. Bursting on to the scene as a part of the legendary New Gen mixtape, his steady stream of singles and EP’s have been consistently excellent, while his production has given other artists huge hits, as can be seen with Pa Salieu performing ‘Frontline’ on Jimmy Fallon earlier this year. His debut album, ‘Fell In Love In Brasil’, feels like his best work to date, combining Brazilian flair on production with impeccable songwriting to create a project that is sonically refreshing. While the artist has said that this album will be his first and last, Jevon’s versatility and ability on both production and bars see his work shine brightly in a UK music scene that can often seem saturated.
Jevon’s Brazilian heritage stands out as the major influence on the production of the album, with the artist having spent time living in Rio De Janeiro whilst working on the album. The sound of samba drum patterns and horn sections permeate through nearly every song, while the features on ‘Forest Fire’, and ‘Na Hora’ bring Brazilian rap to a UK audience. The opening track, ‘Forest Fire’ gives the listener a taste of what is to come, combining a hauntingly beautiful vocal sample with heavy Brazilian bars from Rincon Sapiência. Influenced by samples from his father and grandfather’s record collection, Jevon brings live instrumentation into his production expertly, creating a soundscape that is transports the listener from quarantine to Copacabana. The high level of production means that it would be ignorant to see this work as merely a UK rap album, as Jevon is able to include elements of R&B, reggaeton, and even rock with the guitar solo at the end of ‘Gringo’. It is all the more impressive that the whole project is produced by the artist himself, creating a perfect backdrop upon which the artist can build upon lyrically.
‘Fell In Love In Brasil’ sees Jevon at the top of his game, flexing his lyrical ability. The west London and Coventry artist is able to combine clever punchlines and braggadocio with refreshingly honest lyrics concerning love and ego. On ‘Cocaina’, he raps, “I was raised in hell, No wonder I play keys because my dad had a bando in Maida Vale”, demonstrating an ability for storytelling and wordplay with the dual meaning of ‘keys’, and ‘kilos’. ‘Lil Ze’, ‘Gracie Brothers’, and ‘Heavens Calling’ allow Jevon to display his ability with both lyrics and flows, with the latter containing a feature from Marcos Valle, a favourite of the artist’s grandfather.
As the title of the album suggests however, many of the tracks on the record concern themselves with the theme of love, something that Jevon is able to get across in many facets. ‘Ghetto Cinderella’ sounds like a follow up single to ‘Beautiful’ by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams, in the best way possible, whilst ‘Girl From Bahia’ brings a smooth and carefree tale of summer love with the help of J Warner. The song ‘Ego’ however is perhaps the best song on the album concerning the theme of love, as Jevon grapples with the idea that his and his significant other’s egos are getting in the way of their quest for love. Jevon croons on the hook, “Burning kisses on my cheeks, I think it’s from your cigarettes, Mona Lisa smiles, Baby why you chasing all those other silhouettes?”.
It can also not be understated how gifted Jevon is as a singer. With many in the UK scene trying, and failing to become a dual threat on the mic, it is something that comes effortlessly to Jevon, with it being almost impossible to distinguish whether he is in fact a better rapper or singer.
If this is to be Jevon’s only album, he has gone out as an artist at the top of his game. Sonically innovative and unique, the west London rapper has been able to bring the sounds of Brazil to the British Isles with effortless flair, using live instrumentation and influences from multiple genres to create a backdrop for his bars that doesn’t feel like it will be repeated by anyone else. From booming bangers such as ‘Ghetto Cinderella’, and ‘Playboy’, to more introspective cuts like ‘Ego’, and ‘Heaven’s Calling’, ‘Fell In Love in Brasil’ is a well rounded album that showcases an artist as a triple threat in terms of production, rapping, and singing. The money generated by this project will go towards funding for a studio in the favelas of Brazil. Jevon has therefore created a legacy with this work on both sides of the pond, and if this really is the end, he leaves as an innovator of UK rap with a timeless album.