What's your name and where are you from?
My name is John Weldon, more commonly known as James Seville to anybody that didn't go to school with me. I'm from Gentilly originally, but after Katrina I lived everywhere from Algiers, to Dumaine St. in Mid City, and all over Uptown.
How long have you been making music? How would you describe your work?
I've been making music now for about 7 years now. My music is somewhat of conscious mix of cloud rap with some jazzy feels thanks to my background in New Orleans.
What was the moment when you realized you would pursue it seriously?
I think there were two moments that made me realize this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The first was when my dad passed away, I had always told him this is what I wanted to do and he supported it 100%...I almost feel like I have to do it. It's almost like a fire in my heart now – if I'm not chasing this, I'm probably wasting my time. The second moment was during my first semester of my sophomore year in college – I was starting to go to more and more studios and collaborate with some different people. One night I was in the studio with Pell, and he told me I should come up to New York the next week. The next week was exam week. I said fuck it, packed my bags, and went. I missed every single exam. I still smile when I think about it because subconsciously I was telling myself it's time to get serious, this shit is really possible. So day one as a college dropout was when the switch kind of clicked.
What is your favorite platform for sharing your work? Are you more into the studio or the stage show?
I think the studio and the stage both have special places in my heart. Studio is like the warm, relaxed feeling and creativity just flows almost effortlessly. While on the stage I really love the process of planning everything out, you can do so much with design, colors, lighting – and working with a band makes every show so damn fun.
Want to talk about your connection to fashion, style, and clothing? Have you always been into clothing and music together? How does one inform the other?
I feel like it's crazy how I feel a connection to fashion because I'm not the guy that can tell you everything about everything. I was kind of just tossed into this shit. When I dropped out, I was looking for an internship, somewhere that could help me meet people that were as interested in music as I was. A friend of mine sent me to Cody, and I was his intern for about 6 months with Like Sushi. That's when I really got into fashion, wanting to build a personal aesthetic.
Is there anything that you've learned through making art that has helped you grow as a person in some way?
I've certainly grown with the music, every day I grow with the music. I've learned how to be patient, how to be confident in what you make, and self-love. I honestly love the feeling when I make something I was unsure of, then I go and listen to it and say, "damn, this is pretty dope." Without that confidence that I can make this dream happen, I don't think I could chase it effectively. So long story short, I don't think I would ever have this work ethic if I was doing something else, so for that I'm thankful.
What else are you working on right now?
Right now I've started a project entitled "The Seville Show". It will be comprised of 3 EPs throughout 2018. The EPs will release similarly to a TV show, as seasons, where listeners will get a new song every other week until the 'season finale'. The first season is called "The" and the season premiere is January 29th, starting with "The Love". Currently, I'm working on the third EP in this series, and after that I am going to finish working on the debut album which should be sometime early 2019. Also – visuals to go with songs from the project, as well as taking a lot of pictures and working with graphic designers to make some crazy feels. "The Seville Show" will give you something great to put in your headphones, but also shows that feature a full band and a whole new energy for the nightlife feels.
How does living in New Orleans inform your work?
Living in New Orleans is such a blessing, I feel like I have this NOLA-gene where I can have a conversation with anybody from any walk of life. Which is very helpful when you talk to people over beats for a living. It's also inspiring as hell – walk down Frenchman for a little bit and I have to go home and write something ASAP. The friends I've made here are family, so when I'm here it's such a great feeling, which coexists with the music beautifully.