Submitted photo: Jaywave Beats
Growing up, Javon LaFleur remembers visiting his grandfather, a bass player, and catching him playing along with a song, sparking the Houston native’s interest in music.
“Sometimes he would let me try to play in rhythm, and when I caught on, I began to learn music for myself,” said LaFleur.
He also remembers listening to instrumentals and wondering how they created the sounds before the vocals were added, and was captivated. When he saw a commercial on TV of someone sitting in a studio in front of a computer creating music, he knew that is what he wanted to do.
LaFleur, who describes himself as self-taught, spent hours watching videos on how to start a beat and develop a work flow shared online by top producers in the music industry, like Zaytoven, London on da Track, and Metro Boomin.
“I dove straight in from there. I paid for my own studio time, but there were also times where some of my engineer friends would invite me to their studio,” said LaFleur.
After graduating with an associate degree from Houston Community College, where he studied recording arts, he wasted no time in making his dream a reality.
Today, LaFleur, founder of Jaywaves Beats, creates beats targeted at R&B and rap artists and is carving out his own unique path in the music industry one beat at a time. He counts the ups and downs on his journey as a learning experience that taught him how to network and eventually develop a circle of friends who embraced his sounds.
He sold his first beat “Hurt Feelings” to rapper, Young Phenom, and later caught the attention of New Orleans rap artist @deezy_upnext, who purchased his beat “Get It” and went into the studio to record on it. Within weeks both began receiving buzz. “I was a little shocked at first, but then it fueled me to work harder,” said LaFleur.
Since then, the burgeoning producer’s hard work and persistence are paying off as a growing number of artists are reaching out to him on a regular basis for his beats. The most fulfilling part of the creative process is the reaction to his beats, said LaFleur, who aims to create beats that are versatile and appeal to a wide audience.
“I like to start with different melodies first then add drums to make a bounce then mix it all together,” he said of his method. As demand for his beats continues to grow, he says his greatest challenge is coming up with something creatively that the world wants to hear.
His ultimate goal is to have rapper Curren$y to record on one of his beats. “I been a “Jet Life” fan since middle school, and he is almost like an uncle to me, so yeah that would be huge,” said LaFleur of his hopes of collaborating with the multi-faceted rapper, songwriter, and record executive.
He credits his family for believing in him more than he believed in himself at times, and encourages others who have a dream, to work hard to make it a reality. “It’s only one life, so if you find something you love that could change your life for the better, go for it.”
When not making beats, the Houston producer is hanging out with friends or spending time with family, including his mom who he credits for inspiring him to pursue his dreams.
“My mom made the biggest impact in my life by setting the example. She showed me the results of working hard and having faith, and if she can do it, I know I can do the same.”
In the next five years, he envisions opening a studio where artists can “come and go as they please” and hopes to receive a couple of plaques for his work.
To check out his beats, visit Jaywaves Beats on YouTube or follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @jawavebeats.