[interview] JIMMY NEVIS Releases New Album – THE MASSES

Jimmy Nevis, Mixed Apples feature: photo credits to Earl-Martin-Photography

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Jimmy Nevis is a young (22 years old) alternative pop singer/songwriter and producer. Signed to Cape Town record Label, Rude World Records, with a publishing, licensing and distribution deal with David Gresham Records, Jimmy Nevis released his debut album entitled “Subliminal” in November 2012.Jimmy is currently riding high on South African airplay with a number of hit singles including Elephant Shoes, Heartboxing, In Love With You and Balloon – All chart toppers on various South African radio stations, respectively. The Heartboxing Music Video had successfully reached the No. 1 spot on Trace Urban African Chart in early 2013.

This week sees the release of JIMMY NEVIS’ sophomore album, entitled THE MASSES, through David Gresham Records and Rude World Records. The album comes after the release of his latest single, Day Dream (Last Night), in October 2014.
Jimmy Nevis - The Masses
Although the majority of the tracks on the album were written during August and September this year, JIMMY’s different approach in songwriting has been moulded over the last two years. For this album, he has been able to express his opinions and thoughts in a mature and creative manner for the first time, a process which now comes naturally.THE MASSES was produced by Ashley Valentine (Locnville, Kwesta and Chad Da Don) and recorded at JIMMY’s own studio earlier this year.JIMMY describes working with Ashley as a relationship with an energy that transcended ability and talent, which was almost spiritual and wonderfully alienated.

After studying Sociology, JIMMY became inspired by people and their stories. With THE MASSES, his aim was to inspire others with his message and talk about issues that went beyond the love-hate pop structure. He wanted the album to challenge him on every sphere – from writing to production.

Jimmy Nevis, Mixed Apples feature: photo credits to Earl-Martin-Photography
“It’s about you – the fans, the people, the country and the world. It’s about our minds and who we claim to be; our desires and dreams, our ups and our downs. My country, my career, my perceptions of my hometown, my thoughts on social-political issues inspired this project – it’s a mix of all the different sides to me.”
Driven by how the music feels as opposed to its sound, together with a dreamy, tribal and urban edge to its production, THE MASSES still portrays signature JIMMY NEVIS qualities such as gospel undertones, quirky lyrics, soulful vocals and catchy melodies.

“Fans can look forward to something new, something old and something borrowed. I think people can expect to be moved emotionally and physically. These songs sum up who I am as a human being right now and I couldn’t be more proud of that.”

Jimmy Nevis, Mixed Apples feature: photo credits to Earl-Martin-Photography


MA: Hi Jimmy, how you doing? Its awesome to be chatting to you!!

Its been a great year for you, hasn’t it? Any moments that stand out for you?

Well definitely the national anthem at the Currie Cup Final. Releasing Misscato was also a big moment with regards to the MTN promotion as well as the awesome music video.

MA: Please give us the quick 101 on Jimmy Nevis. (Where you come from, how you got into music?)

I was born and raised in Cape Town. I grew up in the church, singing and playing the keys in the Praise and Worship Team. Basically, my whole life has been around music, shaping me for a moment like this.

MA: Who was your biggest influence growing up, regarding music and pushing you to follow that path?

Jamie Cullum – He was the perfect blend of soul, jazz and pop. I’ve always loved his sound and even though I don’t sing in his genre, his music was one of the first to bring me to tears. Awkward but true.

MA: You say in your bio, “‘I’m trying to get South Africa back into pop music”. What are your thoughts on the current way POP music is regarded and supported in SA? It is one of the biggest music genres in the world after all. 

I feel like people forget that pop is about what’s popular and that it comes in different forms and genres. It’s not specific or static – but ever changing and constantly evolving. It’s not about a sound as it is about a feeling. I think we do celebrate pop in our country but because we are so diverse, it comes in many forms – dance, hip-hop and maybe even Afrikaans. In this light, I would like to become a cross over artist who is able to appeal across all these genres, as a pop artist.

Jimmy Nevis, Mixed Apples feature: photo credits to Earl-Martin-Photography

MA: Where do you take inspiration from in your music?

Everything and everyone. My friends play a big role in helping me tap into various emotions so that I don’t just write about experiences, but actually live through it.

MA: Your latest album is dropping in November, called The Masses. What can we expect from this album of yours? 

It’s something new, something old, and something borrowed. Lol. It still has undertones of gospel and soul, but echoes new synths, electronic elements and tribal beats. I think content wise it really extends itself to a political sphere and talks about concepts like abuse, minorities, and the music industry. It’s very personal in that way, yet still relative enough for universal appeal.

MA: Do you have a favourite song on the album? 

I love 7764, its my area code and is really about accepting your roots, your culture, your flaws and your upbringing.

MA: Are you planning any sort of tour with this album? We would love to see you playing up in Gauteng sometime. 

Absolutely. We are doing a Musica Signing tour at the end of November and then a live tour in December and January. I really cant wait to come to Gauteng for the proper experience.

MA: Any other projects that you are working on that we might be interested in hearing about?

I’m starting my own foundation, charity movement which aims to shine a light on minorities through discussions and various digital and physical drives. More information coming out in December.

MA: Where can we follow you on social media?

MA: Thank you so much for your time…

Jimmy Nevis, Mixed Apples feature: photo credits to Earl-Martin-Photography

Photo credits to: Earl Martin Photography


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