Faces of 2013: Jimmy heartboxes his way in

2013-01-13 10:00

Just a few months ago a catchy song hit the airwaves and sent Jimmy Nevis from being a no-name to an internationally-signed local artist. Janine-lee Gordon speaks to the rising star and gets “heartboxed” herself.

Jimmy Nevis is a journalism student at the University of Cape Town.

He was born and raised in the city’s Athlone suburb.

Anyone who appreciates a good tune, a pure voice and quirky lyrics will see why this 20-year-old will take 2013 by storm.

A year ago, Nevis finally gave in to the pressure from his loved ones to make use of his God-given talent.

He had become despondent because he couldn’t break into the music industry.

He realised he had to change his mind-set and take the bull by the horns.

So he sent out his first pop single, Elephant Shoes, to local radio stations last March.

It took KFM just a week to playlist the song and, a month later, national radio station 5FM started playing it – his life immediately took a new direction.

Within weeks, Nevis was signed to a record label and then came his debut album, Subliminal.

By the end of last year, Nevis announced a major licensing deal with Ultra Records in the US (David Guetta is also signed to the label) and his current hit, Heartboxing, is set for release there within the next month. He will also be released in Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland.

He says he is inspired by jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum and by the success of local bands like Mi Casa.

“I love how pure and raw Jamie Cullum’s music is and I try to incorporate that honesty factor in everything,” he says.

“Even with Heartboxing, I was writing an essay about how drugs impact the music industry and the idea just popped. So it’s a play on words about getting high?.?.?.?”

About the year ahead, Nevis explains that his next single, In Love With You, has already hit the airwaves.

“It’s a self-explanatory song. I wanted one (song) just for the audience that they could sing along to and we don’t have to talk about anything else.”

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