Yons is a rapper and music producer based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He divides his creative time between producing soundscapes for other artists and bringing his own ideas to fruition. In his most recent installment of beat videos on his YouTube channel, he remixes Charlie Brown’s “Christmastime Is Here” with a 2020 lo-fi spin. I got to ask Yons a few questions about his origins, his work as a producer artist, and his lifelong obsession with space. He also let me in on what he’s got up his sleeve for 2021!
Where are you from originally, what brought you to the Louisville area, and when?
I’m originally from St. Petersburg Florida, thats where I was born and raised. Growing up I often came to the Louisville area a few times every year with my family or church community as the church organization we were a part of was based here (in Jeffersonville, Indiana). So its always been like a home away from home for me and where I wanted to live growing up. I made a lot of friends here because of that and met my current wife Stephanie here as a teenager. I moved here in 2008.
How did you get the name Yons?
My stage name used to be Eons D, which a friend’s little brother gave me as a teenager because I rapped about space a lot. But I used to make music/rap from a specific more directly conscious perspective fueled by my religious and philosophical views and within a more narrow approach stylistically so as I broadened in many senses I felt a rebrand was necessary. Jordan Jetson and others always shortened Eons D to Eons in conversation but it sounded more like ‘Yons’ so it kind of naturally became Yons.
Viewers can regularly hear you referencing space in your content. Can you explain your vision behind The Space Campaign?
I’ve kind of always been obsessed with space. When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. Even when my music was more religious in nature, as part of a Gospel band, it always had space themes, my first album was called Galaxies. The Space Campaign is something I started with Jordan Jetson, who’s been equally obsessed with space his entire life. When I look at both of us we escaped being a statistic as our surroundings suggested we should’ve been something else but the allure of space is there’s something more, if you can hold out and hang tough, you can find your place in the sky. I think we try to bring that hope in our music. So I still consider myself the messenger I started out as with music just with a more refined approach.
In hip-hop, a lot of artists are emcees or producers. Can you explain the delicate balance of being a rapper/producer and how you balance wearing both hats?
For me the balance has been tough because I like producing other people. I think for producer artists that only or mostly produce themselves it can be much easier as being an openly collaborative producer (or beatmaker) and being an artist are two completely different disciplines, theres some overlap but you can go down separate rabbit holes with both. I often end up with opportunities where I’d have to pretty much drop one or the other. Rap is my first love and I personally feel I’m a slightly better rapper than producer but because I’ve found my stride as a rapper rather late I know the odds are stacked against me especially with my alternative content, not to mention raising a family—the rap industry is a young mans game, producing is something I’ve invested more in lately. Producing is a highly competitive field, while you’re spending a few hours writing verses the next producer is adding new chords and instruments to his arsenal, tightening up his mixing/mastering skills, etc Even when it comes to marketing, the approaches are different but I feel being a good rapper gives me a bit of an advantage as I use myself as a rapper often as an instrument. I’m not a rapper, I’m a producer with a pretty cool rapper synthesizer ha.
What can we look forward to from Yons in 2021?
I have a lot of great stuff in the works, I’ve fully invested in video content and working more centrally from my website (spaceghostyons.com). I want to help artists become producers as I feel thats the future so I will be releasing a lot of content along those lines to help artists (and up and coming producers). I also have my own music planned, I have albums done, I am just really putting a lot of thought into how I’m going to release them as I am no longer interested in doing things in normal or expected ways, I feel as a virtually unknown indie artist you can easily get lost in the shuffle of the waves of content being released everyday. I have some cool stuff coming with Jordan Jetson. I have sample packs coming. A podcast. I am also looking forward to performing live again, I have some ideas for shows as an artist, producer and have a plan in the works to host live events to showcase young talent that doesn’t have opportunities.
Check out Yons put his spin on the classic tune “Christmastime Is Here” below!
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