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Exclusive Interview: jocelvn Talks ‘terms,’ Coming Out, And New Music

Exclusive Interview: jocelvn Talks ‘terms,’ Coming Out, And New Music

Happy pride month, honey bees! We hope you can be loud and proud not only during June, but all year round. We have a special artist to introduce to you today! jocelvn stole our hearts with her heartfelt and deep r&b music. Not only is the music great, but we have a fellow talented queer artist to share with you during this important month.

jocelvn just dropped her new single ‘terms,’ which is all about her personal coming out and we appreciate the realness. But this isn’t the only song that is a must-have on your playlist, her entire discography is absolutely worth it! Before we get into the interview, make sure to stream the music right here.

Hey, jocelvn. First of all, we are so proud of you and have become fans of your music! Can you tell us about your journey as an artist and how you got started in the music industry?
Thank you so much! I always enjoyed writing but never took it seriously until I first attempted to make “real” music and have my songs produced in 2020. It started off as a trial run of trying different things, and I realized I wasn’t horrible at it. I was inspired by working with Keith Sorrells who has produced for some big names (Demi Lovato, Pink Sweat$, John Legend, Kehlani) and felt like it may actually be worth really diving in and honing my sound. Since then, I’ve worked hard to develop the darker alternative r&b sound that I’ve started to release this year.

Since your music is very r&b-focused, we are wondering who influenced you and your musical style?
Interestingly enough, I used to only listen to alternative rock or indie music in high school. I was definitely the kid that thought they were edgy cause they listened to music that “really meant something.” In college, my whole world completely changed and I fell in love with r&b, ranging from old-school to modern. So, I would like to think that my style is inspired by r&b grooves and modern r&b production but attached to the meaningful lyricism that my teenage self would appreciate.

What sets you apart from other alternative R&B artists?
The alternative r&b space has, for a while, felt like it’s been becoming more and more bland — just with the nature of people influenced by the same sounds and wanting to create similar kinds of songs. I’ve certainly been guilty of wanting to copycat songs I love or trying to narrowly produce a specific vibe that isn’t anything new. All this to say I’m hopefully breaking out of this tendency and pushing myself to create newer, more authentic styles in my music. I think I have a lot more of that in the unreleased vault, so we can hopefully be the judge of that soon.

You just released ‘terms,’ how does it feel to finally be able to show this very personal song to the world?
It feels really liberating! It’s nerve-wracking but so rewarding to release deeply personal songs. It’s also good to remind myself that that’s where authenticity lies. If everyone played it safe, music would all sound even more the same.

‘terms’ is a significant milestone in your career as it openly discusses your queerness. What inspired you to share this aspect of your identity through your music?
I’ve always been itching to be totally open about myself and how I express myself through music. I struggled to do that with my queerness, though, because I wasn’t out to my family and was terrified that they’d hear it. I recently came out to them (it went well, luckily) and feel ever more empowered to be myself in all aspects of my life, including music.

We get the feeling that you’ve had ‘terms’ ready for a while now, how much time has passed since you first came up with the song and its release?
That’s absolutely correct — because I was so scared of releasing it, I had been sitting on it for over 2 years. I wrote this song on the piano at my parents’ home actually, and kept it locked away for the most part. I genuinely thought I’d never release it, so it feels really great to have gotten here.

We love discovering new queer artists and being able to relate to their stories. Do you have any advice for people who have yet to come out to their loved ones?
It’s easier said than done to believe that you should only have those who value you in your life and that those who don’t value you aren’t important. But it’s really true. I felt that I wasn’t really ready to tell my family until I effectively built a life for myself and was able to sustain myself financially, with a place of my own, and with friends to support me because I was really bracing for the worst possible situation. Once you find peace within yourself and fully accept who you are, plus find a safety net to fall back on (whatever that may be), trust yourself to take the leap and know you’ll be okay, even in the worst case.

We are absolutely obsessed with the aesthetic of your Instagram. How do you choose your pictures? What’s your favorite filter to use?
I actually think Instagram is a huge area of improvement I need! I post very rarely and overthink everything, but I am aiming to be more active on there. Most of my photos are related to music, so another goal is to post more personal and random content. I’m not sure I have a favorite filter!

If you had to curate the perfect playlist for pride month around your song ‘terms,’ which songs would be on that playlist?
I love me some Rina Sawayama, Kehlani, Syd, Ambré, MUNA, UMI, Troye Sivan, and Carly Rae Jepsen (duh).

Is there anyone you’d love to collab with if you could? What type of genre would you like the song to be in?
My dream is really to be a songwriter for other artists. I’d love to write for Rina Sawayama. Her latest album, Hold the Girl, is incredible and really resonated with me. She’s mainly done pop with indie or rock elements, which would be a really fun switch-up.

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If you could perform ‘terms’ on any stage or venue, which one would it be? What would your stage outfit look like?
I’m planning on performing at The Goldfish in LA in July, actually. I haven’t performed in a while so I’m really looking forward to it. I will probably try to wear something comfortable to feel good, look good.

And last but not least, after ‘terms,’ what are your plans for the rest of 2023? Any other songs you are dying to release?
There’s definitely lots to come in 2023! I have a single lined up for July 14th, titled ‘delusional.’ It’ll be more upbeat and fun, so I’m excited for that. Aside from that, ‘terms’ is actually part of a larger project that I’m hoping to release this year as well… Stay tuned!

We are definitely staying tuned for more, trust! jocelvn has totally won us over with her dark r&b sounds. So what do you think about ‘terms?’ What’s your favorite song by jocelvn so far? We wanna hear all about it in the comments below. Or you can also hit us up on TwitterFacebook , and Instagram!

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