If jev. was a stock, now would be the time to invest
Since the beginning of the year, jev. has been a name on the lips of most underground rap fanatics . From having one of his songs at the number one spot of the Top 50 US Viral Songs to now having over 700,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s safe to say that Jephté Kweto, A.K.A. jev., has been blowing up over the past few weeks.
The African-born rapper spent the majority of his life in Africa, growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa before moving to Canada with his family in late 2019. jev. has been making music since 2009, but it’s only in 2015 that the moniker jev. took form. Despite the colder weather, the move to Canada was actually beneficial for the young rapper
“You find yourself a lot in the house so it gives you time to be creative and come up with ideas, so for me it worked out well especially during the pandemic,” he said.
For those who don’t know jev. (yet) the 22-year-old rapper is an up-and-coming figure in the new generation of young rappers influenced by both old school hip hop and the rap scene from the 2010s. In this era where the boom bap drums and chopped-up soul samples are making a comeback, jev. thrives on this type of instrumental with his varied flows, brilliant wordplay and energetic delivery. You can hear the influence of some of the greats in his music: artists ranging from the likes of Nas to Joey Bada$$ and Kendrick Lamar are only a few inspirations that can be heard on his tracks.
Even before coming to Canada, jev. had already started to work on his last project the color grey. which released in late December 2022. While most of the songs came together over the pandemic, he first started mastering his craft in 2018, recording “aitd – demo,” the final track, on his phone.
jev. has been turning a lot of heads recently, which can mostly be attributed to all the love his song “where’s the confetti?” is receiving. As of now, the song has been streamed nearly 2.8 million times on Spotify since its release in July 2022.
“From 0 to 100,000 was probably the hardest, but from the 100,000 to a million was easy as I think it was two weeks[…] But 0 to 100,000 was like three or four months. It’s exponential growth,” he said.
“where’s the confetti?” is a hookless song that sees jev. celebrate. Once he starts rapping, he never stops, laying clever one-liners after another over a simple drum beat and looped sample. In the past couple of weeks, this track has been circulating everywhere. Whether on TikTok, Instagram, or in various Spotify playlists, this massive exposure helped the song claim the number one spot of the Viral 50 – USA playlist on Spotify.
“I didn’t know how to react at the time, I was kind of in shock, but I’m super grateful for everybody that has played it and added it to their playlists and everything. It’s crazy,” he said.
With all the success he’s having, you may think that jev. gets help from other people or works with a team, right? Well, you would be wrong. Aside from working with certain producers on his songs, everything else he does, he does it alone. From promoting his songs on his different social media accounts, to reaching out to brands, to creating his songs, he does it all by himself.
jev. is his own team, so much so that he has started his own brand: LONER inc., a project that allows jev. to have full creative control of what he does, in every sphere.
“LONER inc. was gonna be this umbrella of me just being as creative as possible. Movies, music videos, TV, film, fashion, clothing, music, and music is the main thing right now, that’s where it was born from,” he said.
Despite being fully in charge of his music career, jev. is much busier than that. Not only is he a full-time student, currently studying marketing at Carleton University in Ottawa, but he works part-time at Staples.
With his combination of skill and a tremendous amount of talent, mixed with a balanced work ethic and a burning passion for music, be on the lookout for jev. as he might be the next big name in rap you wish you had discovered earlier.