Jeon Arvani: Mr. Dushi Bida Interview

Jeon Arvani: Mr. Dushi Bida Interview

Photography: Luis Mejia 

Jonathan Thiel aka Jeon Arvani was born and raised in a tough part of Aruba called Santa Cruz. Many would think that growing up in a rough environment would not really encourage you to do better or even become a better person. Jeon is living proof that this is possible, that one can make something of themselves no matter the circumstances. Fresh of his new hit single “Dushi Bida”, which oozes positivity, Go Weekly spoke to Jeon about life, his career and future plans.

How was it growing up in Santa Cruz?
“I was born in a humble home. The surroundings were rough, but we made the best of it. One thing that kept me going was the music that was always present. My father played the piano and my uncle was a music producer who played several instruments.”

What was the influence of music on your life growing up till now?
“Music has always had a profound impact on me. I feel like I was born with music in my heart. So much so that I would get more exited entering a music store than a toy store when I was younger. Music is an inspiration, a blessing and a refuge for me, especially as a young kid seeing certain things that a kid should never see.”

How were you discovered?
“When I was 14 years old I joined a gaita group where I played different instruments. I made a song that became a hit in Aruba. After our first presentation on TV I received a message from Janiro Eisden saying that he wanted to meet me. I was always a big fan of Basic One so I was honored. We met up the same day at my studio. I played all my songs for him. His reaction was that he wanted to work with me because he thought that I had a lot of talent. The rest is history.”
You combine Aruban cultural music with mostly urban music. Why did you choose for this approach?
“Since I was a little kid I loved folklore music. I participated in many folklore competitions and it always stuck on me. When I got older I was introduced to hip hop. So it was easy for me to combine my 2 loves.”
Did you expect that ‘Dushi Bida’ would be such a huge hit in such a short time?
“I’ve had many hits in the past that were related to others. This hit is my most personal yet. This was from a personal experience, so for people to pick it up and love it this much is truly fulfilling. Janiro told me when I first let him hear it that this would be a massive hit and it was true.”
Explain this personal experience.
“I moved to The Netherlands and it was hard in the beginning. I was a simple island boy trying to adjust in the big world. I was at Nijmegen station when I saw a guy sitting on the ground with his head down praying. I walked up to him and gave him some change for food. He looked up and I recognized this person. It was an old friend from Santa Cruz. I was stunned to see him like that after 15 years. This really had an impact on me and it formed my inspiration to write the song.”
You posted a picture online where you were standing with an Executive from a music label. What was that about?
“I am working on my international career right now. I want Jeon Arvani to become a household name by bringing music of my region (Caribbean) to the masses. I have a song with Sean Paul coming up; I have a project with DJ Chuckie and a remix with Chino y Nacho pending. I am in talks to sign to a major label and big things are going to happen. Good vibes only.”