Tuesday, 20 September 2011
AS I AM: Chevaughn serves notice with vibrant debut mixtape
If there’s a particular conclusion to be reached after taking a few spins of Chevaughn Clayton’s newly arrived debut mixtape, This Is Me, it’s that the rising singer-songwriter has the necessary talking points to carve his own little niche in an industry that could use another spirited and optimistic vocalist with real chops. Plus, it’s made entirely clear that the instant buzz about his gift as a writer that came in the wake of 2009’s smash collabo “Holiday” with Ding Dong was justified.
Dealing with issues as varied as family, women, love’s saving grace and social responsibility, This Is Me (hosted by the Champion Squad sound) provides a solid introduction to an on-the-rise reggae talent with something important to say. The highlights here are numerous, too, from the sobering opening track “No More,” spiked with soulful R&B melodies and a catchy hook, to the eternally hopeful “Believe,” which sounds like a number that would fit in the book of some whimsical stage musical.
Among these tracks (more than 30 in total) there is no shortage of guest appearances, featuring the likes of Assassin, Chris Martin and T.O.K’s Flexx. Unfortunately, they are not all memorable. Chevaughn is at his best, however, when sharing the spotlight with Ding Dong, Wahwa (“Come My Way”) and Busy Signal, who shows up for the reflective cut “Those Days”.
Throughout, Chevaughn’s tremendous enthusiasm and vocal appeal shine through. So here’s hoping that This Is Me is a reliable indicator of great things to come. Tyrone’s Verdict: B