When you think of R&B, your mind might jump to Frank Ocean, who expresses his version of rhythm and blues with melancholy, introspective songwriting and a wide vocal range. Or maybe you think of Drake, who has mastered combining hip-hop and R&B and is widely known as a lyrical genius. And there is also SZA, the alt-rock rebel. These artists have done wonders for the R&B genre.
Although Giveon was probably not someone you thought of, Giveon is a talented, up-and-coming R&B artist who has a gift of expressing his feelings in each and every song he creates. Most R&B singers of the last few years are often gentle tenors, such as 6lack, Brent Faiyaz, and Daniel Caesar. However, Giveon isn’t like most R&B singers; his voice is unique in that it can be smooth and serene or it can boom with an authoritative tone. His baritone voice is his most distinctive feature and allows him to stand out amongst other R&B artists. His pensive lyrics and the colorful landscape he creates for listeners is the reason that he has succeeded in the music industry thus far and why he deserves more recognition.
In 2020, Giveon managed to release two albums, “Take Time” and “When It’s All Said and Done.” All together, he has 12 tracks, and only half of these have over 20,000 plays. With these statistics, you would probably think his music isn’t that popular because most people don’t listen to it. With this in mind though, Giveon released a third album, combining the previous two with a new title, “When It’s All Said and Done…Take Time.” He also added a new song, “All To Me.” With this new release, Giveon was on our radar once again this year. “Take Time” was nominated for best R&B album at this year’s Grammys, and on both records, Giveon uses his deep tone and cinematic songwriting to create a masterpiece of an album. If you enjoy his most popular song “Heartbreak Anniversary,”on “Take Time” I suggest you listen to “Like I Want You,” as well as “Stuck on You.”
Giveon had a major breakthrough last year with his appearance on “Chicago Freestyle,” one of the most popular songs on Drake’s album “Dark Lane Demo Takes.” The song made its way up to #14 on the “Billboard Hot 100” charts in the US and allowed for Giveon to finally be noticed for the great artist he is. Giveon opens the track in an emotive voice: “Two-thirty, baby, won’t you meet me by The Bean? Too early, maybe later you can show me things,” he sings before Drake launches into the song. At first, many believed the singer was Sampha – Drake’s frequent collaborator – yet Giveon made sure there was no more confusion. “That’s not Sampha!! That’s me!! Spread the word!!,” he tweeted. Not only did Drake notice the talent that Giveon has, but Justin Bieber also had Giveon appear in his latest hit, “Peaches.” “Peaches” is currently sitting at #4 on “The Hot 100 Chart.” Giveon stepped in to show off his vocal prowess, his voice moving with a subtle grace to the groove. From being featured on these songs, Giveon was able to show snippets of what he’s capable of. Additionally, Giveon carved out a loyal fanbase for when he later released his three albums.
Recently, TikTok has turned Giveon’s “Heartbreak Anniversary” into a popular sound. The song has been used in over two million Tik Toks and has even been incorporated into a dance. The recognition from TikTok has influenced people who enjoyed “Heartbreak Anniversary” to listen to more of his music. The song depicts the story of a relationship from finding love together to the breakup and its aftermath. This emotionally charged song finds Giveon still missing his ex on the first anniversary of her walking out on him. The heartbroken singer wonders if his former lover still thinks about him, and he hopes she might still return.
In Giveon’s interview with Genius, he was able to talk about what inspired him to write his song “Heartbreak Anniversary.” “What would that anniversary look like if all the things you bought — like chocolates [and] flowers — if it’s just been sitting there for a year collecting dust in a corner,” he said. “Every time this [day] comes around, I feel a little sting.” On the track, Giveon was able to speak about the day he got his heartbroken. Obviously, the song has resonated with many people because “Heartbreak Anniversary” is currently sitting at #38 on this week’s Mediabase pop radio chart.
On Spotify, Giveon is currently the #12 artist in the world, with close to 50 million monthly listeners. When I first started listening to him in January, he was at a measly eight million monthly listeners. The growth of approximately 40 million listeners in only three months shows how popular an artist can become in a small amount of time. Inspired by 60’s and 70’s jazz music (especially Frank Sinatra), Giveon’s biggest fear is to be like everyone else. When it comes to his sound and style, there’s truly nobody that defies the boundaries like Giveon does. Originality is key, and that’s something that sparks his creativity like no other.
Giveon is only 26, and he’s just getting started. He has so much potential, and if he continues to release music like his albums, “Take Time” and “When It’s All Said And Done,” Giveon will become an even more successful artist in the R&B community. His distinctive voice is a must-listen for all, and his music will blow you away the second he starts to sing. When it’s all said and done, take time to listen to Giveon because his remarkable vocals and song lyrics are out of this world.