Practice makes perfect. That is the mantra that Atlantic Records recording artist Jovanie repeated to himself every day as grew up in the busy city of Brooklyn, New York with only one thing on his mind – music.
With just a few years left until he reaches the fresh age of adulthood, the 14 year-old singer/songwriter is focused on taking on a far-from easy career in an industry that many kids his age are probably scared to go after.
On the eve of the release of his latest 11-track project, What’s the Move, Pt. II (Oct. 29), VIBE had a moment to sit with R&B artist and talk about his beginnings, influences and more.
I hear you’re from the Concrete Jungle known as NYC?
Yes, Brooklyn, New York, born and raised. It’s pretty interesting. A lot of people are really in love with Brooklyn. I just recently learned more about my home city and now I love it way more than I ever did in my life.
When did you realize singing is what you wanted to do?
I grew up with 10 brother and sisters, including myself. We would all play in a circle and just start singing different songs and figure out who’s the best singer. I would always lose, but then over time I got better. They got worse [laughs] and then I kept reminding myself that ‘Practice makes perfect.’
Whose music did you listen to and practice your vocals with?
I used to practice singing to Backstreet Boys, B5, *NSync, just a lot of artists from the time groups were popular. Backstreet Boys and B5 both had a certain sound that I really loved. I loved singing Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and B5’s “All I Do.”
We definitely remember those days. Boy bands were it not too long ago.
They’re who really made me want to do R&B. Especially Chris Brown. They all started so young and just watching their growth and seeing how big they became over time. It just made me think,’If they can do it, why can’t I?’
True. We noticed you’re a pretty dancer.
Yes! I got a few moves [starts dancing]
Who’s would you say is your favorite dancer?
I have a few. Michael Jackson, of course. I actually learned about Fred Astaire through Michael Jackson. Growing up, people would always say, ‘Learn who inspired whoever you’re inspired by.’ I always did research.
Who do you look up to now musically?
I would have to go with Chris Brown. Only because, I feel like his music is so upbeat and fun, you know? I feel the same way about Justin Bieber. I’ve always looked up to them and I will always have a certain amount of respect and love for their music. They’ve influenced me most of my life.
Have you met either of them?
No, hopefully soon.
Tell me about the 3 doses of music for your fans.
Yes, I dropped 3 parts of a 4-part video. It’s a story of me trying to get a girl. I’m not going to tell you all the details, because I want you to watch them. Part 4 “Who Knows” comes out tomorrow (October 30) with the project, so make sure you watch it.
What do you like to do when you’re not doing homework or working on music?
I play sports, like basketball, football, table tennis & pool. I really love basketball. I’ve been practicing on the low.
What are 3 interesting things your fans don’t know about you?
On an average day, I eat about 5 bowls of Frosted Rice Krispies. I’m not a good swimmer, but I’m in the process of learning. Oh, and I’m double jointed.
Where do you see yourself in 4 years?
I don’t really know. I just let God figure out the way. I’m just going to work as hard as possible. As you know, music also opens other opportunities, but I really just love music. I guess we’ll just see where I am at 18.