- Sumfest, music and big dreams
Michael Nattoo – Staff Entertaining Reporter
Around three years ago, a video surfaced on Facebook, which showed a young man, possessing untapped, raw talent, singing at a shop in the community of Norwood. When he began, as is the case along most shop hangout spots around the country, there was some amount of noise, but as he continued, the noise died, and a beat rose from the silence. Capturing the ears, and apparently the hearts of those who were within earshot of him, Jovian Jackson subtly caressed the silence with his one-of-a-kind voice, and by the time he was done, those who were around him erupted in cheers. The captured moment went viral, and history has since been in the making.
Now three years later, Jovian, whose stage name is Jovexx, is preparing for his biggest performance yet. Come Festival Night 2 of the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ – Reggae Sumfest, Jovexx will make his debut, and is all kinds of excited that finally, he is making a breakthrough. “I’ve never been to Sumfest, and the first time, I’m gonna be performing in front of thousands. I’m grateful. But I plan to make a statement. A kick mi ago kick off di gate,” the artist explained, citing that ever since he could remember, he has always wanted to be on that stage.
His talent is undeniable, and though most will not forget him after his debut performance on that big stage come July 20, the Western Mirror takes pleasure in introducing the West to what may very well be the next big thing to come out of Montego Bay.
“Mi love music. From mi a likkle yute and a go a church, mi a do music and right now, mi grateful fi weh mi deh,” the soft-speaking Jovexx shared with the Western Mirror. Like most powerhouses in the music industry, Jovexx found his Genesis – aptly so, in the church. “I got involved with music when I used to sing on the choir in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Norwood – the Norwood SDA to be specific.” The exposure isn’t where the church’s influence stops for Jovexx. He makes no qualms and has no reservations about it – he is a cultural artist, and, in his own words, “You’ll never hear me singing a song about gunshot or anything like that… I’m all about reggae.” Jovexx has grand ambitions too. The foundation of his music comes from a singular purpose: “I’m going to change the world.” The path to superstardom, he believes, will lead him to becoming the next mouthpiece for underprivileged youths in Jamaica and across the world, and for someone who is set on never forgetting where he comes from – the inner-city community of Norwood, that goal seems easily attainable. “Where I come from, Paradise, Norwood – not everyone there is bad. You have good people coming out of there. And I want to show that. I want to use my music to show that, and to teach di yute dem knowledge, and show dem seh greater things out deh.” For him, music is everything, and he acts that way.
Jovexx is not a man of small dreams, but his unique style of approaching music, which hinges on being unapologetically true to his passion, makes his dreams seem less superfluous, and more consistent with the utterances of a man truly on a mission. But what does he sound like? For those who’ve never heard him, Jovexx describes his sound this way: “I don’t sound like anyone else to be honest. You can only be you, and that’s what I carry with me. At the end of the day, though I know there are similar sounds out there, I know my voice, and my voice is unique.” It’s a lot to wrap your head around, we admit, but if you’ve heard him, his statement, rooted in a quiet confidence, makes perfect sense.
It is no wonder that BBC1 Extra, as well as BritJam and CrabFest, and other popular entertainment shows with an international reach, have found the artist quite appealing, hailing him as a rising star.
But such success takes a team to accomplish. And Jovexx has the ideal one pushing him on. Overproof Records is relatively new, but their mission of delivering uncompromisingly soul-satisfying music, coupled with the belief that artists don’t have to leave MoBay to reap massive success in music, already makes them a force to be reckoned with. Asa Smith, Producer/Owner, Overproof Records, recognizes talent, and having Jovexx on his label was an easy choice. “Not many people can display that lyrical ability and that consciousness that he has. His stage presence and awareness are even better than those of some of the more established artists out there. Also, the level of positive vibrations he brings is unmatched right now,” Smith shared. And it seems the two are a match made in producer-artist heaven, as, like Jovexx, Smith has big dreams too. “We want to become a powerhouse and bring Montego Bay to the forefront of the music business. We have lots of talent, but not the right structures to develop it. We want to change that. We believe we can.”
Overproof Records can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make history with them. They seem to be in the business of that. Undoubtedly, so is Jovexx. Remember the name. Follow his journey on Instagram at Jovexx_music, and follow Overproof Records at overproof_music.