After Hours with Cade Episode 4: Jvmvr Rashad

Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 5:50 AM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - On After Hours with Cade, we sit with local artists to discuss Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma’s impact on their career and how it’s helped shape their artistry.

My fourth guest is Jvmvr Rashad, a Lawton native Pop/R&B singer with a rich gospel-leaning sound. He attributes growing up in church and one of his favorite childhood films to the beginning of his love for music.

“It’s kind of embarrassing; I used to watch the Goofy Movie, and you know Max had powerline, and I always used to want to be like powerline. I literally used to imitate that in front of my mom. Then in elementary, growing up in church, they always had dances, praise and worship, and I always wanted to be a part of it. I just always liked being in front of people, even when I was shy about it. It just gave me some sense of security.”

“My mom grew up singing in choir basically all my life, and I was actually playing the drums in church. I started off playing the Congos. I couldn’t really sing when I was little, but as time went by, I started getting the niche of making my own instrumentals. I started adding my own lyrics to the instrumentals, and then that’s how it came about. I’d say about 14 to 15 was when I started taking this seriously,” Rashad continued.

Rashad began his music career experimenting with Pop/R&B and deliberately straying from gospel to appeal to a particular crowd, but eventually, he realized that he could mix the two.

“As I got older, I realized I’m really nothing without God, and the more I started to talk about him in my music, I started to see changes in my life and growth. So, I was like, maybe that’s the avenue I need to stay. I don’t have to necessarily be a gospel artist, but I can be an artist who loves the gospel,” Rashad said.

Being from a small town like Lawton makes it hard to blow up without following suit to specific trends, such as explicit music, to garner a more widespread fanbase. However, Rashad sees it as an advantage rather than a crutch.

“Having cleaner music actually opens more doors for me out here. I don’t really be in bars or clubs, which there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m able to get on bigger platforms like the International Festival. I can perform at a local church or a mega-church somewhere, and there are no controversies around it just because my music is clean. I like to keep going in that avenue because it opens more doors and opportunities.”

“There are shows that don’t want raunchy or explicit lyrics and stuff like that. A lot of people can’t go into that category and just make straight clean music, so I feel like I was blessed with that gift to where I can still make clean music and still have an impact on almost anyone. Anyone can listen and relate to it, so I try to stay in that mindset because you never know what doors will open in the future,” Rashad continued.

Choosing to take a less explicit approach in his music is a decision that he made after going through an artistic identity crisis with his first album, and one he doesn’t plan to change anytime soon.

“I was trying so hard to appeal to a certain crowd, and it just wasn’t authentic. It didn’t feel like me. I feel like if it’s not authentic, it’s not really art. It’s not really yourself. So, what are you putting out stuff for if it’s not authentic?”

Rashad said that the youth is the primary motivation for his determination and creativity.

“I won’t lie so many times I’ve tried to escape Lawton and heard, ‘oh, you can’t do this in Lawton, you can’t do that, you’ll never make that,’ but you never realize the impact you’re making on people, especially a child. You don’t have to be in a big city to make a big impact,” Rashad said.

“One of my main things when I sing about something, I’m like, ‘what can I sing that’s not more of me venting, but something that people can relate to.’ I always want to express how I feel, but at the same time, I want to encourage people as well.”

“So, if I’m singing a song about depression or something, instead of singing about being in depression, I’m going to sing about how I can overcome the depression. You know, for someone who doesn’t have someone to talk to. Maybe they somehow stumble across my music, hear it, and it’s healing to their ears,” Rashad continued.

Rashad began 2023 with a rough start dealing with the flu, but he saw it as an opportunity to keep the creative juices flowing. That birthed the idea of a new project he plans to drop sometime this year.

“I don’t know what I’m going to call it yet; I keep thinking about calling it The Flu Files because on the first of the year, I caught the flu, and it took me out for the whole month of January. I couldn’t do anything but record music. I was all stuffy and everything, but the passion never died, so I thought, ‘maybe I’m on to something, maybe this was supposed to happen.’”

Rashad’s latest release and lead single from the upcoming project, ‘Hesitate,’ has seen incredible feedback, urging him to shoot a music video, which he says can be expected as soon as March. He’s also looking forward to collaborating more this year.

“I feel like I’m now on this platform where I have more eyes, more appeal, and people take me more seriously to where I can go out and reach out to more people because there’s so much talent out here. Even up-and-coming talent, like I just did a song with Jaden Pierce, he’s a senior at Eisenhower High School, and he’s so talented,” Rashad said.

According to Rashad, his heart sets him apart from other up-and-coming artists in Southwest Oklahoma. “I feel like we’re in a world where they look at people with kindness as weakness, and I refuse to believe that. I just want to keep walking and be who I am. My main message is spreading love and being positive. That’s all I care about.”

Jvmvr Rashad can be found online on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the same name.