Down in Maryland
Production is an aspect of music that we often enjoy and it honestly aids in carrying some artists’ careers. While that is true, producers tend not to receive their due diligence. Moving through the underground scene poses as a difficult feat sometimes. Regardless of talent, the other obstacles producers face include stolen beats or not receiving credit for work. It seems that toughest battle to overcome though, is the one with yourself.
Let’s head down to Baltimore, Maryland where the beat scene is steadily booming. For many of us, our perception of Baltimore is what we see in the news. It appears the grips of violence and drugs have a perpetual hold on this city. Travon, also known as Eu-IV (pronounced you-four), is a producer coming out of Baltimore. The 27 year-old composer creates from a perspective that taps into the culture and creativity of the city, an outlook of which we lack awareness. Eu-IV started producing about 12 years ago and recently honed in on his sound.
I caught wind of eu-IV a few years ago when he produced some tracks for a mutual friend of ours and rapper, Duzzo Dave. He and Dave complemented each other effortlessly. I found his SoundCloud and pressed play, listening to countless original beats and dope flips of other artists’s work. His main goal: staying true to self and composing music that comes from within the self. Prior to this project, Eu-IV released Close Your Eyes EP in 2016 which caught the attention of many. Ambient and dreamy in sound, he still combines brooding baselines and snappy snares. Fifteen minutes in length, he cultivated a cohesive project that leaves you satisfied and ready to conquer your next task.
Finding himself in Supernova
The potential of getting tangled into the webs of uncertainty, doubt and ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ runs high. For Eu-IV, Supernova was the project that freed him from those webs.
“A story about a black star’s journey in figuring out self. I made this in 2016 and that was one of the toughest years for me.” – Eu-IV
This album is 14 tracks long, taking us into a cosmic adventure through Eu-IV’s mind and rediscovery of self. As you listen, consider the name of each song. These titles pertain to his journey essentially navigating through different states of mind but also, the quite literal sense of energy. Not only
is there a universal and physical energy with which we interact, but a spiritual energy as well. The intricate combination of these energies are
overwhelming and manifest in a multitude of ways.
Eu-IV’s sound is a combination of J Dilla inspiration, R&B/soul and mystery. I never know what to expect whenever I hear a new beat from him. I believe this is indicative of the type of producer he is because there is a unique expression behind every beat.
“Combined with my fascination with the universe and our place in it, you have ‘Supernova'”. – Eu-IV
A personal favorite, The Feelings is a melodious beat that’ll have you nodding along before you even realize it. What completes the sound for me is the lovely Mary J. Blige vocals in the background. Automatically, her voice elicits a certain nostalgia. However, it also evokes a new emotion; that feeling from which you tried to escape. Mary has a way of bringing what you feel to the foreground with just one riff.
What Eu-IV shows us with Supernova
“Who can really tell you anything if you’re in tune with yourself and your music? The energy you create is for you…” – Eu-IV
Supernova, in astronomy, is the explosion of a star due to a change in its core. This occurs internally at the end of the star’s life or externally from a partner star siphoning matter. In Eu-IV’s circumstances, it wasn’t simply an explosion but a rebirth.
The dust clears and vision becomes less cloudy. Signals reconnect and it was as if he pressed the reset button. A young man from Baltimore finding his way through music, Eu-IV continues to collaborate with fellow artists in his hometown and beyond. He, along with other Baltimore artists, put on majorly for their home and inspire their communities.
It is through the experiences we face and through what other experience that allow us to grow. The “job” of an artist often entails vulnerability, an uncomfortable amount of it. The benefit is that we, as the consumer, get a look into their growth as an artist. Likewise, the release that comes with this baring of the soul for the artist, aids in their growth.