When July 7 moved from Manchester to Los Angeles, he put his future in his own hands. The 20 year old's eclectic music taste growing up, ranging from soul to jazz to hip-hop, influenced the music he makes and helped him create the soundtrack to his life. He says: "Prince, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield from Metallica. I could go on for days..."
Other than computers and almost going into a career which involved designing video games before failing IT in college, which he described as "a blessing in disguise", music has always been a big part of July 7’s life. "It’s in my veins. If you cut me open, notes will fly out."
From working alone in his room, doing everything from producing to singing to mixing and mastering, July has always been trying to create perfection. "Seven is the number of perfection," he explains. "It’s something that is true to me. When I was thinking of a name, it’s the first thing that came to me."
It was his self-described "tunnel vision" which led him to the other side of the world to pursue his dream. While in Los Angeles (and also Atlanta), July made sure that he took advantage of every opportunity that was available to him. It was here when social media helped him take it to another level. "The internet is so powerful," he says. "You can send a direct message or comment on a photo and get a significant persons attention. It wasn’t like that 20 years ago. I was sending my music everywhere, exploring every avenue that there was."
This led him to Travis Scott and his breakout project ‘Days Before Rodeo.’Looking back at this release, he says: "I’d say that’s his best work. I’m blessed to be a part of it."
As an only child, who was left to his own devices to discover everything, July prefers to work alone. This is unless a collaboration comes, as he describes it; "naturally. When it comes naturally, it’s always good."
This is exactly what happened when Sango reached out to him to collaborate on the track ‘Out My Way / Around You’ from Sango’s latest album ‘In the Comfort Of’. The song was played on the 58th episode of OVO Sound Radio, hosted by July’s idol Pharrell Williams. "I was sleeping. I woke up and people were tagging me in different posts. I literally said ‘Woah’. Here’s Drake, here’s Pharrell and here’s me. I plan to be here for a very long time, but the fact that I am getting noticed, it’s a nice feeling."
In March 2018, July released his debut solo project. A five song EP entitled ‘Sweets.’ Fans were waiting a long time between the release of the first single ‘Pronto’, a hip-hop inspired track with Latin vocals, in July 2017 and the release of the entire EP. "I’m always tweaking and making changes, putting on the finishing touches," he tells Clash. "I wanted to make something I was proud of. I’m getting so much love. It’s got me excited to drop more music."
WHAT: Atmospheric R&B with hip-hop and jazz inspiration
GET 3 SONGS: Boy, Pronto, Diamond Chandeliers
FACT: He believes Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo changed the way people create and listen to music.
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Words: Karan Teli
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