Giveon was all smiles on the 2022 BET Awards red carpet, just two days following the release of his long-awaited debut studio album, Give or Take. The album is a deeply personal 15-track offering, featuring production from Bo-1da, Jahaan Sweet and Sevyn Thomas, among others.
The 27-year-old vocalist says he can finally breathe now that the album is out, but he’s still waiting patiently for fan reactions. “It hasn’t been out long enough for people to really get the exact story because something like this album, it’s gonna take a couple listens for you to really feel it,” he tells Billboard.
Give or Take centers on conversations between Giveon and his mother, who was also featured on his 2020 project Take Time. “My mom is ecstatic anytime she gets to say anything on a song,” he says. “At the end of ‘The Beach,’ there was a part where she said ‘Why is it hard to get in touch with you?’ So this was me finally having that conversation.”
The singer says his mom didn’t hear the album until it was fully complete. Her reaction? “She definitely cried,” he says. “She doesn’t like to text, so over the last two years, she sent me a collection of voice memos and she didn’t know I was keeping them. She didn’t realize that she was even on [the album] until she heard it all at once.”
Despite the album finally being out, the singer has yet to enjoy any downtime. “You gotta get out, shake hands, see the faces. All that work you put into it, you don’t want it to fall on deaf ears. I have a tour and a couple months and it’s double the size of my first tour, venues, dates, everything.”
While Giveon specializes in heartfelt ballads and pop-tinged melodies, the Long Beach native took a moment to divulge his go-to turn-up albums, including Future’s I Never Liked You and Gunna’s DS4Ever.
Giveon was nominated for best male R&B/pop artist and performed a medley of his top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Heartbreak Anniversary” along with “For Tonight” and “Lie Again.” The singer appeared to be met with technical difficulties during his performance, fidgeting with his ear pieces and tapping his mic throughout the first two songs.