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Long Beach native Giveon Evans got into music as a youngster and first sang publicly in school. Participating in the Recording Academy's Grammy U program at the age of 18, he had a breakthrough when he was encouraged to perform "Fly Me to the Moon" in the style of Frank Sinatra. This prompted him to fully utilize and hone his baritone range. In 2018, he released a pair of introspective ballads, "Garden Kisses" and "Fields," as his first commercial recordings. He then landed a deal with Epic, and in 2019 issued "Like I Want You," a single produced by Sevn Thomas, Jahaan Sweet, and River Tiber. Its release coincided with performances that fall as an opening act on a North America tour headlined by Snoh Aalegra.
In March 2020, Giveon released his debut EP, Take Time, by which point "Like I Want You" had reached Billboard's R&B Songs and Adult R&B Songs charts, peaking respectively at numbers 12 and 20. Shortly after "Heartbreak Anniversary" was released as the second single from Take Time, Giveon entered Drake's network by appearing on Dark Lane Demo Tapes as the featured vocalist on the number 14 Hot 100 hit "Chicago Freestyle," which he also co-wrote. That October, Giveon issued a briefer second EP, When It's All Said and Done. Three of its four songs, including the Aalegra collaboration "Last Time," also charted. Take Time was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best R&B Album.
When It's All Said and Done...Take Time bundled all the material from the like-titled releases and added a new track, "All to Me," in March 2021, the same month Giveon was featured on Justin Bieber's number one pop hit, the Grammy-nominated "Peaches." Meanwhile, "Heartbreak Anniversary" had become popular on TikTok and was his second Grammy nomination that year. That July, the song peaked at number 16 on the Hot 100 and was certified multi-platinum. Giveon soon appeared on Drake's Certified Lover Boy as a featured artist and co-writer of "In the Bible." ~ Andy Kellman