Don't [perxeuz.]

BRENDAN WELLS // 8-25-2020

Perxeuz, real name Grant Keller Robertson, is a songwriter and recording artist from Memphis, Tennessee. Despite being involved in music from a young age, the 23-year-old artist first made his official debut as Perxeuz just last year in mid-2019. In this short amount of time, the young artist has already found a media presence on both YouTube, and Spotify. In fact, his viral remix of “Falling” by Trevor Daniel has garnered over 100,000 views on YouTube, but Robertson did not stop there. With production from Draze and Robbe, the Memphis based artist went on to release an EDM remix of “Falling” that quickly became a massive success, accumulating over 2 million streams and counting on Spotify. Do not be fooled though, Perxeuz is much more than a cover artist. Taking influence from genres including, R&B, Pop, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, and Trap, Perxeuz has released a handful of singles, as well as an album. All of which have proven him to be a genre bending artist capable of musical success beyond his wildest dreams. This brings us to his most recent release, ‘Don’t,’ an indie-pop record driven by the demise of a toxic relationship.

Opening with a melancholy guitar riff mixed with a tinge of angst, the tone for ‘Don’t’ is set almost immediately. Even before Perxeuz begins the first verse, the listener already can feel where things are headed as they are flooded with a sense of nostalgia. Moments later, though, this feeling of nostalgia takes a woeful turn when Perxeuz begins the verse, asking “How’d you expect me to feel / When you’re out late & I’m still stuck right here?” He later croons “I can’t keep my plate down / I feel so sick / I’m over the heartbreak.” These lyrics cut right to the bone, and Perxeuz does a fantastic job at portraying his feelings both lyrically and sonically. You can almost feel the unrequited love, and the sickening feeling of betrayal that plague his mind as he sings, a true sign of a skilled artist.

Next, in the hook, Perxeuz belts “Don't say you'll protect me / Then leave me all alone when it's cold / Don't tell me you want me / Then run into his arms when he's home” amid rock/trap-pop inspired drums that are slightly upbeat. This is a nice contrast to the sadness of the lyrics and makes the song very versatile. You could get away with listening to this song when you’re sad, or while hitting the pavement on a hot summer’s day with your windows down. This versatility attests to the genre bending that Perxeuz has become known for.

Later, in the second verse, we hear Zach Crean offer a secondary perspective on the relationship. “I can’t sleep / I can’t eat / I can’t think” he sings, touching on the inability to complete even the most basic and mundane tasks that often feel like a chore when one feels helpless and trapped by the heartache of a break up. Crean’s vocals provide a great change of pace in this second verse, picking up a faster cadence part way through. The use of a variety of vocal layers gives the back half of the verse a rising feeling as his verse reaches its climax, dropping off before passing the torch back to Perxeuz for the bridge. At this point in the track the record is opened up, the production stripped back to its most simple elements in order to give the soulful rasp of Perxeuz’s voice room to breathe. It is here that he speaks some of his most vulnerable lyrics, stating “Don't act like it's all good / I'm not just an option / Stop callin' me lonely / I'm fuckin' exhausted, girl.” This section is well executed, a stylistic approach that allows the final hook to shine once the bulk of the production come’s back in for the last time, sticking the landing on the song altogether.

In the end, ‘Don’t’ is yet another success delivered to us from the studio of the talented Perxeuz. If you take the time to listen to even just a few of his releases on Spotify, it becomes increasingly apparent that he knows no boundaries. The ability to delve into various genres, yet still maintain a unique sound is a feat not many artists can pull off, but Perxeuz does so seamlessly. His versatility is not off putting in the way that many artists crossovers tend to be, instead it feels authentic to his artistry. This ability is few and far between, and for this reason you’d be naive to sleep on his music. Go support ‘Don’t’ and see for yourself.

Support perxeuz. by streaming or purchasing Don’t.