Sylvère Johnson (born June 26, 1974) better known as Sly Johnson is a French singer/vocalist, beatboxer, songwriter, record producer from Paris, France.
Sly is actually one of the major Hip-Hop/Soul/Jazz artist in France, famously known for his incredible live performance on stage where he can combine Soul Music, Funk and Hip-Hop with the art of Human Beatboxing, in solo with his Looper or with his band “ The 74ers ” or his Jazz Quartet “ WEARE4 ”.
After 3 years of touring in France, Europe and other countries and during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Sly during the first lockdown between March and May 2020, stays at home started to write, compose, record and produce his new music by himself, that will feature on his 4th new album that he called “ 55.4 ”, a mix of Soul Music and Hip-Hop.
Sly Johnson is also known for his work with the multi-awarded & worldwide known French Hip-Hop group SAIAN SUPA CREW he was a member of (with the name of Sly The Mic Buddah) and performed with during 10 years until the crew broke up in 2007.
He released with the S.S.C. a first EP (Saïan Supa Land) [indie] in 1998, that will make them signed at Source 360/Virgin Music and released a second EP called “ Saïan Supa Crew ” in 1999. Then will follow the first multi-gold/platinum LP “ KLR ” in 1999 with the hit “ Angela ”.
Then will follow the “ L’Block ” EP in 2000, “ The Stand Out EP ” (featuring Brand Nubian, The Artsonits, The Dwellas & Kymany Marley), a second multi-gold LP “ X-Raisons ”, and the last one LP called “ Hold Up ” (featuring Will.I.Am, Camille & Patrice).
Sly was born in Paris from both African parents native from Congo (Brazzaville), Sierra-Leone, Sénégal and Mali.
He lived in the south of Paris in Montrouge with his father who was a huge fan a Jazz music, Afro-Cuban Rhythms, Blues, Negro Spirituals & Soul Music. So Sly grew up alongside records from top artists such as, Otis Redding, James Brown, Joe Tex, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Fania All-Stars, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and more…
Sly Johnson has started his solo career with an EP called “ Sumthin’ That U Neva Heard Before ” (featuring Dudley Perkins & Wildchild of Lootpack), entirely made with his voice, using the beatboxing techniques where he excels and recognized for it all around the globe.
In 2008 he will released in collaboration with trumpet player Erik Truffaz an album called “ Paris ” on Blue Note Records. In 2009, Sly signed at Universal Jazz/EmArcy, and recorded his first solo LP in Stamford/Connecticut with the producer Jay Newland and great musicians such as Neal Evans & Eric Krasno of Soulive, Cindy Blackman, TM Stevens… Also conducted by Larry Gold.
Sly will released “ The June 26th EP ” featuring remixes of 20syl, Roddy Rod…
In 2010, he released his 1st – Soul/Neo Soul – LP “ 74 ” where feature tracks with T3 & Elzhi of Slum Village and AYO.
After his first LP, Sly signed at the indie label “ Heavenly Sweetness ” where he will released his 2nd LP called “ The Mic Buddah ” featuring the french rapper Oxmo Puccino, Erik Truffaz, Rachel Claudio, 2MORROWS VICTORY and flute player Magic Malik, which is produced and recorded in Paris/France.
This second album will mark a major change in the way Sly sees and how he wants to make music.
During all these years, Sly Johnson has collaborate with many many artists from different musical universes on records and on stage, such as Boddhi Satva, China Moses, Jacky Terrasson, Roy Hargrove, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Erik Truffaz, Sean Price, Dj Revolution, Lucky Peterson, Juliette Greco, Talib Kweli (UNION-Analogtronics), Anthony Joseph, Camille & many more…
With a strong need to be free musically, Sly will start to turn to beatmaking by producing a series of 3 Beats EPs (Wearenotalone, Sumthinizwatchinus, Wearecomingsoon) [Diggin’ The Crates Records] the name of TAGi & Steven Beatberg in 2016 before releasing in 2017 a full Hip-Hop LP called “ Youaresurrounded ” (Heavenly Sweetness Records) where he collaborated with major Hip-Hop/Soul artist such as Rapper Big Pooh (Little Brother), Georgia Ann Muldrow, FINALE, Cleveland P Jones, SAGA, French feMCEE Pumpkin, French Soul singer Lisa Spada, Elodie Rama and French MC called Tiemoko.
In 2019 he released an intimate album called “ Silvère ” written in French where he talked about his lost mother, his father, himself… This album was produced by Ben Molinaro & Jordan Kouby (QDS Studios) and was released on his own label FONIOGRAMME & Just Looking Productions.
Now, Sly is still looking for the next thing that will push him further to create new sounds and new music.