Tue | Jul 23, 2024

5 Questions with Govana

Published:Friday | June 14, 2024 | 12:06 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer

In 2020, Govana shared his talent with the world on his début album with a weirdly captivating name: Humans and Monsters Are Not the Same. Not surprisingly, it hit No. 2 on the iTunes Reggae Albums chart and secured a place in dancehall history for the artiste who is affectionately known as Govi. On June 28, Ineffable Records will showcase Govana’s Legacy–the newest project– from which the tracks Dat Mi Seh with Skeng and Pull Over with Jada Kingdom are resonating with fans in a huge way. Govana was happy to sit down with us for this week’s 5 Questions With ... .

1. In 2020 you made a huge statement with ‘Humans and Monsters Are Not the Same’. What message does ‘Legacy’ convey, and what are your expectations for it?

The message that I want people to take away from Legacy is that there is greatness in every single generation of dancehall and that is definitely showcased across this album. And the message for all the ghetto youths is to stay positive regardless of what happens. My expectations really [are that] fans are going to be super proud of this project. And that’s all I want, for my fans to be proud.

2. How did you decide on which artistes to collaborate with and who are some of your collaborators?

I often consider myself as the bridge between the dancehall generations. I am respected by the artistes before me and [I’m] looked up to by the artistes after me. It was important to show that blend on this album. So Jada Kingdom and Skeng’s songs are intentionally released as singles so far. I have three more collaborations and I want to roll them out special and create a whole event around them. I am not sure if there’s another artiste in dancehall who can get these three artistes on one album. And, it just goes to show the respect I have from my peers, and I give thanks that Jah bless me with the talent that mi coulda reach yaso and have this respect from everybody. I don’t want to disclose the names as yet, but mi sure seh dancehall fans going to be happy. A dem kind a vibes yah we miss inna dancehall.. the whole ah we as generals linking up and making music.

3. What was it like working with Jada on ‘Pull Over’ and did you expect the song to do so well?

Linking up with Jada is always a good vibe. She is a tremendous artiste ... one of the best out there currently. From 2018 me and her been a connect from the Better Than That track, so Pull Over was easier seeing that we been a work from dem time. Mi actually send her Pull Over for her to put on a chorus and she sent back two 16-bar verse. And from mi hear it mi tell Jordan [Chimney Records producer] seh me a guh change my idea ... mi a go sauce up one of my verse dem and turn it into a chorus and use dem two 16-bar verse yah cause dem verse yah too bad. Jada loved it, because the week after she voiced it she deh pon Instagram a post it. So we know that it’s a great song, but at the end of the day we can’t decide what works from what nuh work. So we give thanks that it work and the fans dem loving it.

4. What do you want to be your legacy and what is your advice to up-and-coming dancehall artistes?

I want my legacy to be impactful and touch countless lives. I want to change as many ghetto youths lives as possible in some positive way. To every up-and coming artiste: If yuh don’t love this thing, it don’t mek sense yuh even come into it. If yuh don’t love music and love the hard work that comes with music, don’t put yourself in this game. It is super competitive and it is going to be one of the roughest games. If it’s just money and the hype you are going to get bored. It have to be love alone.

5. What would fans be surprised to know about Govana?

Me always deh a mi yard. If mi nah work, mi deh a mi yard. Mi nuh love di road none at all. Every now and then mi jump out and hold a little energy. But 95 per cent of the time a mi yard mi deh. And most times a me alone deh a mi yard. More while mi just lock weh and watch some sports and [listen] some music. Mi nuh wan see nobody.

BRAWTA

Share with us the story behind your real name Romeo. Does it have anything to do with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo definitely had something to do with the Romeo and Juliet story. My father was somewhat fascinated with that story and when me did a go born ... ultrasound and dem tings deh never so prevalent to my parents because dem couldn’t afford it. So it was definitely just ...yuh born. And when yuh born ... yuh born. If a boy a boy, if a girl a girl. And him just tell himself seh ‘If a boy, a Romeo and if a girl a Juliet.’ (Laughs) That’s just it ... not a bag a fancy story around it.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com