One of the country’s young and most promising music writers and entertainers, Jevaughn John, who is affectionately known as ‘Lil Vaughn,’ is now making his mark in the entertainment industry under a new name, ‘V’GHN.’
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY last Week Wednesday, the energetic and soca artiste, who hails from the village of Coast Guard in St. Mark, spoke of at least one reason for the rebranding, which he believes truly represents who he is as an individual.
“I changed my name for a number of reasons,” said V’GHN, who pointed out. that “there were certain things associated in the brand Lil Vaughn that did not represent me as a person.
“I just think that the name V’GHN better suits the position that I am in now as a young man, as an individual in society (and) as a young artist,” he remarked.
Having worked with several known producers in the Soca fraternity and also of other genres including Mark Cyrus of the Master Room Studios in St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Andrew “Hitz” Phillip, a known and respected Grenadian producer/songwriter/artiste in the genre of Soca Music in the Caribbean, the 20-year-old V’GHN, who has adopted a keen interest in music production said the new brand represents new things to come.
After a very challenging period prior to July 2016, V’GHN took a decision to explore deeper, his love for music and what the industry has to offer.
He has ultimately developed producing skills, which he currently uses to produce his own songs and has already landed a 5-year contract with New York City-based Fox Fuse, a leading digital music label for Caribbean and the largest label worldwide for soca and chutney music.
Fox Fuse has built a strong reputation working with clients such as United States-based recording artists/rappers, Armando Christian Peréz also known as ‘Pitbull’, Jonathan Smith aka ‘Lil Jon’ and renowned Jamaican artist Shaggy, whose given name is Orville Richard Burrell, to name a few.
Speaking of things to come, V’GHN, who has written songs for Trinidad and Tobago soca artist, Dexter ‘Blaxx’ Stewart, including one entitled ‘Ready now,’ which was recorded on the ‘Faze 3 Riddim’ and was released for that island’s recently concluded 2017 Carnival season said his intention is to not just stick to writing and producing soca music, but to adopt different genres of music in the process.
“Production for me is a new experience; it’s an exciting one, you get to explore different things and feel out different sounds for yourself…even though it’s not my favourite, favourite thing, I like doing it because it lets you do more for yourself instead of having to go to someone else to do it for you,” he said.
In keeping with his ultimate goal to compile a new music catalog under his new brand, V’GHN released his first modern dance hall/crossover production entitled ‘Ain’t love,’ last week Friday, which he said is available on over 600 music distributors worldwide.
Written by himself, ‘Ain’t love’ was co-produced alongside Trinidadian artist Seumas Keelan Callendar aka ‘Azaryah,’ who was once known as Flipo.
The 20-year-old V’GHN, who has been singing for as long as he could remember, delved into the Soca Music industry making his first attempt by participating in the St. Mark’s Soca Monarch Competition in 2007 as a duo with his close friend Kadeem Phillip, also known as “Crouchy.”
The two were crowned the Kings of Soca in their village with their first hit single entitled “We Madd” produced by Young Starz Studios1.
In 2013, during his first year of studies at the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) at age 16, he entered the Grenada Spice Mas National Soca Monarch Competition for the first time and placed third, becoming the youngest artiste to have placed in the first three (3) positions in a Soca Monarch Competition in the Caribbean with his first solo single entitled “Charge Up”.
Later that year 2013, the rookie entertainer together with video editor Chevon Francis aka “Madam Editor” founded a television show called “Youth Vybez,” which was aimed at showcasing the talents of young Grenadians, empowering them through positive messages and discussions; a show that was aired in the Grenadian Diaspora within the United States and beyond.
At the age of 17 V’GHN became the youngest person to be appointed Brand Ambassador for Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC).
Looking back, V’GHN, described his 4-year journey up to this point as an “educating and challenging” one.
“It’s (the journey) not what people think, you know (that) as long as you are an artist and you sing songs, people just know you (and) everything’s nice,” he said, explaining that “there are a lot of ups and downs” in the music industry.
“You meet many people that act like they want the best for you and try to trash you (but) at the end of the day you just leave them to God…My Journey has been a good one. I mean, doing music to me is everything so that’s what I do. Every day I try to write (at least) two, three sometimes four songs in one day…I think that as long as I am working hard and keep pushing my music I am going to get the maximum out of what I am doing,” he added.
When asked if he intends to participate in the 2017 Soca Monarch competition, the young entertainer, pointed out that over the years he has been in the competition, however, this year he “wants to know what it is like now not being in competition and just looking at what the music (his unique songs and productions) is doing for me.
“Here in Grenada, we have the tendency to get (make it) to Soca Monarch (competition) and think that (this) is all. So I am making a conscious decision to stay out, even if it’s just this year,” he said.
However, he said, while he is in the process of trying new things, his music is created for the people and if he releases a song and “the people call for a particular song to go into competition then I would do it for my fans.”
Given that he is so young and already navigating on a very fulfilling and successful path, V’GHN expressed the view that one of the biggest challenges facing young people today is a lack of assertiveness and focus on what the self desires.
In giving words of encouragement to young people like himself V’GHN charged, “You have to be assertive, willing and focused on what you really want for yourselves and not just what you see others have. So, I would say to other young persons like myself to remember who you are, know what you want, work towards it, always put God first and (do it) no matter what people think about you or what (negative thoughts) you even think about yourself.