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Meet Javen Oliver

Today we’d like to introduce you to Javen Oliver.

Hi Javen, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

Yes of course. My name is Javen Oliver. I’m a musical artist born, raised, and living in Baltimore, Maryland. Music is my life, man. It has been a big part of my life before I was conscious of it. Absorbing the music that was played in my household helped me gain an ear for rapping, writing, & singing. It shaped my musical taste very early.

I remember days of aimlessly drowning myself in a pile of CD’s & cassettes that my dad collected over time. A collection full of golden age Hip Hop & Soul/R&B from the 90’s and prior. I used to get lost in those albums-the rap albums specifically-. I even started to make little raps of my own.  I’m pretty sure my father didn’t want me going through some of those rap records at 6, 7 years old. But he’d eventually put me on game anyway during car rides as I got a little older.

I remember seeing the cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle” thinking it was a version of Snoopy that I’ve never seen before. Or seeing the CD print of a marijuana leaf on “The Chronic” disc, thinking it was some type of lettuce that I’ve never seen before. Come to find out both weren’t true. Kind of.

The dope thing about growing up was I could hop into the living room and hear my mom playing live tour & music video tapes on the VCR of her favorite band, Queen. I was enamored with those songs. Playing as Freddie Mercury, singing with a pencil in my hand for a microphone. But, nothing was better than seeing her jam to her favorite artist of all time, Prince.

After all of that I could hop into my room, that my sister and I shared, and hear R&B/Pop & Rap from the late 90’s on up. From Aaliyah’s classic albums, to Pharrell’s “In My Mind”, to Jon B’s “Cool Relax” up to her favorite, Chris Brown. Even the supplementary hot artists in the 2000’s, like J.Holiday, or Danity Kane, my sister had them CD’s in her collection. We would bump all day and even make some silly songs of our own.

Growing up with divorced parents, I hopped around from neighborhood to neighborhood. Grabbing different musical influences from different sectors of where I stayed, people I’ve met, etc. Over time I kept music as a mindless hobby. I would write raps in my free time to free my mind from my parents splitting, changing schools etc. Or I would try to write them in class when I wasn’t so free.

I started to actually record myself in my junior year of high school with my close friend and music partner, Akeal. We got close that year during the basketball season and we ended up recording our first ever song in the dining room of my other close friend, Rashad. After that first recording I was hooked. Yet, it was still a hobby for me up until fairly recently I’d say.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?

Being an artist is not easy at all. You always have to try and reinvent yourself in and outside of the music. Always keeping the pen sharp, ideas sharp, that’s hard to do sometimes. Especially when trying to make a living. A lot of time has to be taken to create a sound. That’s been my biggest agenda/challenge as of late – coming into my own.

Being an artist in 2022 is a challenge in itself as well. Especially when it comes to Hip-Hop. I see a lot of artists-including myself-struggle with the demand of “having content” when it really should be about the art first. F an algorithm.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?

I use my music as a therapeutic outlet, hopefully connecting to someone out there who happens to come across my work. No matter the style, subject matter, or the energy behind it. It’s always from the heart.

Right now I’m focused on being even more personal & intentional with my art. As a black man in America, I know how common it is for us to go through many silent battles. Along with the stigmatized mindsets we have towards fighting those battles. Those internal trials can be devastating. But, music can be used as a middleman to help heal & be a blueprint for generations after us to follow.

On a sonic note, I’m working to morph all elements of my musical interests/influences into a personal style. Representing all parts of me. I’m taking my artistry to new heights. Once again it takes time. I’m willing to take it for the art.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?

Yes, I’ll share a few of my favorite music memories & what I like outside of music.

I laugh at this all of the time. At 7 years old, I bought my first CD with the $4 I had to my name. I bought Omarion’s “21” album. You can thank my sister for that.

I played a little bit of alto saxophone in middle & high school.

The first songs I remember hearing were Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights” & OutKast’s “So Fresh & So Clean”

I’m a sports fan and an avid athlete as well. I’m into vinyl collecting, philosophy, agriculture, & a few more things this world offers.

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1 Comment

  1. Melissa

    October 30, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Beautiful story. I love you always and forever! Keep shooting for the stars son!

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