Following the release of his brand new EP Aligned, we caught up with soul-pop singer, artist and songwriter Jawan to find out more about the making of the project, his musical journey so far, and his hopes for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Jawan, thanks so much for the interview – how are things where you are right now?
I have no complaints. Things are good. California is VERY slowly opening back up and I am trying to do all I can to stay sane, stay creative and live the best life I can with what we have right now
Congrats on the release of Aligned. How long was this project in the making, and what were your intentions or hopes in terms of what people will take away from it?
Thanks so much! I Started working on this project back in December with my producer Marqus Curtis. It came together very slowly because I was on the road a lot at the time, so I would get to the studio when I could, but things went full speed ahead after the shutdown happened.
This EP has slightly spiritual elements, it definitely has self-empowerment and some love. I want people to grasp those things, but most importantly – I enjoy making music to make people feel good!
So, whether people are home cleaning, riding in their cars on a Saturday afternoon or whatever kind of mood they are in, when they finish the EP I just really want them to feel good.
What made you choose the term Aligned for the title and overall concept?
How do I give the concise version?! I had been searching for a title for a while. Aligned was already a song on the EP that was written by Javonte Pollard and Adia Andrews and myself. That song is special to me, I had a concept, Adia came with such power in her contribution, then Javonte came along and helped paint such a beautiful picture.
This song is just my life right now, it is how I feel, and it gives encouragement; which is who I am to the core. No title I came up with worked, I was given many suggestions and one morning I woke up and it came to me “you’re looking too far, Aligned is it.” So I went with it.
You have a beautiful leading voice throughout these songs – are you vocally trained, and do you play any instruments, or self-produce?
Thanks again! My music teacher in elementary school was adamant about us knowing proper techniques and basic theory, so that is where it started. I then went to a performing arts high school, Lincoln Park, when I really knew music would be my career.
The time I spent in college, I majored in music. Then I moved to Los Angeles and I went back to school for Musical Theatre at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I did take voice lessons here and there and combining all of that with what I learned in church is who you see today.
Which song on the EP would you recommend to new listeners who only have time for one, and why?
That is hard because even my favorite song changes every day. If I must choose one, I will say if you are looking for more of a spiritual life experience go with Aligned, and if you just want to groove go with Contact. That was rough because they all just feel so good to me.
What values do you hope to bring to the music world?
I hope to bring integrity, self- empowerment, and consultation for those who will come after me, giving them tools that could hopefully make their path a little smoother.
Do you always write from this kind of mind-set, or have the events of 2020 impacted your creative direction?
I have always been about self- empowerment and being free to do exactly what you want, so I would have to say I have always had this mindset. 2020 gave me the time to focus on what I wanted and hone the presentation, and dealing with a genius producer like Marqus, here is the product.
What’s your songwriting process like – melody first, or concept, lyrics, beat?
When I first began writing I would have the melody and lyrics and would just have musicians put music to what I had already done (LOL). These days, everything starts with a feeling and I’m typically with Marqus at the inception of every track, and the first question is, what do we want this song to feel like? Concept probably comes next, then melody and lastly lyrics.
What’s the live scene like where you’re based for this kind of music, prior to Covid-19, and do you hope to perform live much as and when things begin to calm down?
Before Covid-19 you could perform any day, at one of a million venues, but everything is pretty much down in LA now. People are finding creative ways to perform, whether it be streaming or outside events. I have not quite figured out my exact route, but I do plan on doing a live performance very soon.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given in life?
Be yourself, do exactly what you want every time. Know your talents but hone your skills. Know your purpose and that will take you where you need to go!
Is there anything else we should know?
Be on the lookout for me. Follow me on all social media platforms. This EP is only the beginning of where I am about to go because life is truly aligning, and I want you to enjoy the journey with me.
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