“As far as big names, I’m trying. I’ve been working with Spose, he’s one of my favorites.”
CerVon Campbell, a direct translation for the comedic personality he embodies. Hailing from the small town of Fountain Inn, South Carolina — where nightlife is seemingly the opposite of Los Angeles — CerVon is a singer, songwriter, musician, actor and comedian all in one.
While entertaining may seem like the be all end all, music has always been at the forefront. The 45-year-old began by writing for others, eventually going on to record himself. In just the last year, he’s unleashed multiple singles and albums, including “brokenpeople” which serves as the intro track to his album “when the moon became a sunset.” The record sees CerVon reminiscing on his own life, touching on both the beauty and the struggle.
We caught up with CerVon over the phone, oftentimes struggling with spotty service. He jokes, “sorry I got Sprint, I might ask you to repeat that few more times.”
CerVon brings us back to the moment he got his start doing standup. “My brother and my dad were really into music. One time, I went to a show with them and they needed 10 minutes. I went out on stage to say what was happening and the story of why we were late, the audience was laughing. I thought ‘this is fun.’”
At that moment, he started writing jokes down and began moving in that direction. While standup comedy originally came first, it was music that “boosted everything up more.” It was junior year of high school when he started taking it seriously, and by senior year he began traveling and touring.
Growing up in South Carolina, of course, comes with his setbacks. He explains, “Doing anything here [SC] is really hard, that’s why I had to branch out a lot more. All of my promotions and stuff is all done outside of South Carolina. The town itself is really heavy, a lot of people doing stuff in SC. But everyone knows that. Nobody tries to networks here, no one works together.”
Which is every reason why CerVon handles his business elsewhere. When he was on the road, he only had one stop in the area — and it really wasn’t close to his hometown.
“I don’t really do a lot from South Carolina. As far as the payouts, I try. I do some shows here setting up for other artists to come, more like a talent show. But as far as me working, the closest shit I go to is Charlotte.
He continues, “I don’t really do a lot from South Carolina. As far as the payouts, I try. I do some shows here setting up for other artists to come, more like a talent show. But as far as me working, the closest shit I go to is Charlotte. I go to Knoxville. Touring now, I went to LA, everywhere. Not saying as far as possible, but I wanted to establish myself before I do my home places for any kind of help. Because starting out, I wasn’t really paid no attention to.”
His biggest influences include Spose (a rapper he super fucks with), Childish Gambino, and Kanye West. Gambino particularly since he did music, acting, standup — everything CerVon is trying to branch off into. Regardless, he put in the work. His songwriting career consists of penning records for a lot of up and comers.
“As far as big names, I’m trying. I’ve been working with Spose, he’s one of my favorites. Reached out to him, he just started messaging back. I’ve really been trying to push people from here. Not start a label, but get more people from this area to do more and reach out. We got spacebari, this girl Lauren Leign, a lot of people from here just doing covers. I reach out to a lot of people on IG. I go to #covers and found a couple of artists who don’t really write, just do covers. I do songs for them.”
His standout single “brokenpeople” arrived 10 months ago, during a time he was feeling extremely stagnant in his life. Wrapping up a tour and jugging all the pressures of life, CerVon was also trippin’ of a friend he was “really into.”
“It wasn’t necessarily a love song,” he states. “We were both avoiding our own problems and trying to focus on other people’s problems. The main theme of that song: the people who help people the most usually have their own stuff. They’re the broken people. They’re trying to fix everyone else to avoid working on themselves. That’s what I was trying to focus on, not trying to think about what I had going on.”
CerVon was actually engaged. Towards the end of that engagement, he just had so much to get off his mind. Eventually, this lead to his 2018 project “when the moon became a sunset”, followed by 2019’s lovely the loser. At the end of the day, he creates music that people can relate to.
When asked what he wants fans to get from his story, he answers, “Just that there are other people who feel that way. A lot of times when I’m feeling depressed, it’s a really lonely feeling. I know a lot of people look at sad music as a way to get a connection. That’s it, trying to connect with people so people can be in a mood. How people go “oh I’m sad, I’m finna go listen to Drake,’ I want to be one of those names. ‘Oh I feel this emotion, I want to listen to this person.”
His #1 goal currently is to perform and be the host/musical guest on Saturday Night Live, what he calls “his life dream.” The second goal he actually accomplished a few months ago: performing at Laugh Factory in LA.
But it didn’t go so great. “The guy who calls up the next people — as soon as I went on, the button was on so I didn’t really get that much of a joke out. It didn’t really go well, but the experience of being there was really good.”
One of his main focuses right now is actually not in entertainment in all. CerVon is currently talking to people about buying apartment properties, in an effort to get free housing for homeless people.
“That’s the main thing I work on where I take out so much of what I make. I go on tangents about it all the time but think about it. If somebody was to give a bunch of money at one time, get an apartment building — a basic apartment fits 3 to 4 people. Get a bunch of different rooms like that, get homeless people in it that way they can have rehabilitation centers, etc. That chain reaction helps get them off the street, to get clean, to get jobs. After maybe 4 to 5 months, 6 months at the most, they’re capable of being out by themselves. Starting that cycle of people putting in money, they’ll always want to donate clothes, etc. We just got approved for a few things, I want to have that at least by next year.”