The official Atlantic Records bio that accompanies Jevon Doe's full-length debut album The Story of My Life gets right to the point about his struggles growing up a poor kid from a broken family in Houston, TX. The multi-talented singer, songwriter and rapper’s personal story of overcoming the odds extends to the polite persistence and work ethic he demonstrated between his initial meeting with Shawn Barron, the label’s VP of A&R, at a music conference in Los Angeles four years ago, and finally signing and recording his album.
Barron was impressed with the few tracks Doe presented, including a cover of Knife Party’s “Bonfire,” but felt that the budding artist needed to up his presence online and grow a solid fan base before pursuing a deal. The two kept in regular touch as Doe worked his social media and blogs, performed more shows and “hustled on the ground doing what I could do.” Barron replied kindly to the new songs Doe sent him, but the artist got frustrated with the continued delay. Still, he appreciated the encouragement, and knew if he was going to sign with anyone, it would be Barron.
“He emailed me and told me to find my way back to L.A. to make something happen.”
Hoping to increase his chances for exposure, Jevon Doe moved from Texas to L.A.––but then hightailed it back when it looked like nothing was happening for him. During this time, however, rudimentary recordings of new songs by the artist recorded on his friend’s phone voice memo app (including the tune that ultimately became the title track to The Story of My Life) inspired Barron to reach out.
“Turns out that he had a whole bunch of these song voicemails I had sent to him and he really liked the new material and appreciated the way I was growing as an artist and really dedicating myself to attracting fans online,” says Doe. “He emailed me and told me to find my way back to L.A. to make something happen. I pretty much knew what that was about.”
Once he signed to Atlantic, Jevon Doe started a year-long development process, working in the studio with various producers and getting his song structures tighter.
“I feel like it’s a good story because, like the title says, it’s based on my story, and as people hear my testimony they’re able to relate what I’ve been through to their own journeys.”