So, considering the enthusiastic reception your first single ‘Elephant Shoes‘ has enjoyed along with your recent appearances on local radio, this is surely an exciting time for you. How has life changed since the release of the single?
Life has surely gotten a lot busier. I’m now doing gigs and shows at a much larger scale with an audience who are actually familiar with my work. It’s been great to constantly get to work on something that is equally a challenge and my passion. The biggest reward for me is hearing that people genuinely love the song and can relate to it. My work stems from my own experiences and so it’s quite a great feeling knowing that others understand and share what you are feeling.
“Heartbreak” is the embryo by which honest lyrics are conceived freely. For me, music just comes naturally after a heartbreak scenario, it’s somewhat therapeutic. It’s a place of musical vulnerability that gives one the opportunity to take a hurtful situation and turn it into something different.
If you silently mouth the words “Elephant Shoes,” it looks as if you’re saying “I love you.” Therefore, the song is about people in a relationship seeing what they want to see, not necessarily seeing the truth. The song was inspired by heartbreak but is sung to a cheerful melody, which is symbolic of the joys of heartbreak, the parts where you grow stronger and learn to move on.
It was taken from a personal experience. I had just gotten off the phone with her and the chorus just came to me. I then worked on the rest of the song for about a week thereafter.
Your record label, Rude World, has released an electro rendition of the single on their Soundcloud page. Aside from your original vocals, how much influence did you have on this version of the song?
Quite a lot actually. I am also a producer, aside from being a singer/ songwriter.
The Rudeboys and I sat down and worked on it for about two weeks. I told them that I wanted it to have an Electro House sound and they delivered. We then sat together and worked out what we wanted and what we thought would sound good.
Jimmy Nevis – Elephant Shoe (The Rude Boys Remix) by The_Rude Boys
Are you a fan of electronic dance music? Who’s your favorite DJ or producer?
I am actually! I love Afrojack. He always brings the heat! DJ Blend is also really great. Tiesto has some amazing remixes. Locally, DJ Kent is majestic, I’m a huge fan of his work.
Now that we’ve heard your first single, what’s next in line for your growing fan base? Any chances of a full album soon?
There will definitely be a release sometime in September. The label and I were planning a release for June but we pushed it back just so that the music can sound perfect and not rushed. I’m so excited for people to hear what has been a work-in-progress for such a long time now. Otherwise, in the meantime, the second single, “Heartboxing” will be released in June as well as a music video for it. I’m also doing quite a few gigs in and around the Mother City during June and July.
We know from your live performance on radio that you play the keyboard, is this something you incorporate into your stage gigs? What’s a Jimmy Nevis show like for those who are yet to see one?
I play the piano/keyboard in my gigs as well as the tambourine, I love that instrument. I do a combination of original tracks and covers. The covers are great though, really different and unexpected.
The show is intimate, even within the largest of settings. It’s raw and innocent. What you see is what you get. With that being said, a lot of work goes into the production through band arrangement, performance and content. If you really want to know, come check it out for yourself!
How would you like the rest of 2012 to unfold?
Well I don’t really want to die in December. [Laughs]. Seriously though, I know that it’s going to be a good year. Besides wanting an album, headlining gigs and festivals and the touring, I primarily just want South Africa to hear my music and enjoy it! I’m here to entertain you, so let me.
INTERVIEW: Jayson Geland
Catchy Jimmy and The Rude Boys this week-end, 2 June at Zula Bar for the – Rhino Rubiks Cube Party
Images: Lisa-Marie De Sousa & Another Shooting Photography