Why he’s called Johnny Paparazzi; on the making of motivational street music

South Central, LA’s Johnny Paparazzi recently released his latest song and visual “Hustle Harder”! Below is our convo with him about his come up, where his style is headed, and future intentions for his career. Follow Johnny on IG: @iamjohnnypaparazzi and stream his latest music here. (Artist Submitted)

Thizzler: Where are you from? How was your upbringing?

Johnny Paparazzi: I’m from South Central LA originally, but I moved to the Bay Area in the middle of my 7th grade school year. I grew up in a single mother home with my younger brother, “Big Kaiso”, and had to sell weed and whatever else I could to feed us due to my mom’s crack addiction. I went to Mount Diablo High School, but graduated from Mount Mckinley High while I was in Juvenile hall in Martinez for drug and gun charges. After high school I moved to Denver and then Vegas.

T: How did you begin making music?

JP: I started making music with my 6st grade teacher Mr. Mendez in Hawthorne,CA. I hosted my schools morning show and I was a member of a group called the Cheerio Boys.

T: How did you get your rap name?

JP: When I was In college I became a party and concert promoter and around the time snapchat and instagram were becoming popular I would somehow end up in dozens of photos at each event. One night while pregaming with my team and some female companions my brother from another mother, “DJ”, noticed all our guest wanted to post me on their snapchats and said, “Bro everywhere you go its paparazzi, ima start calling you Johnny Paparazzi”, and the rest is history.

T: How would you describe your musical style?

JP: I make motivational street music and my style is fashionable but gutta.

T: Tell me about “Hustle Harder”.

JP: “Hustle Harder” is a motivational song that was created to inspire every listener to go harder no matter how hard they may be going. I give insight on things to watch out for on the road to success and tips to live by. My aim was to create a record and visual that embodied the spirit of coming from rags to riches while giving an authentic perspective of what the street life truly is.

T: What inspired this new single?

JP: My current life situations inspired the song, Everyday I’m chasing the “American Dream” and I wanted to release a single that depicted me as I am right now.

T: How is it different than previous drops?

JP: This song is more personal and has a very different sound when compared to any of my other drops. I dug deep for the lyrics and presented a narrative that I feel anyone could relate to.

T: Will it go on a project? If so, can you tell me about it?

JP: This record is a single but I will be dropping my first mixtape in March 2021.

T: What message do you want fans to walk away with after listening to “Hustle Harder”?

JP: I want fans to feel inspired to go harder than they ever have and to move smarter while they do it. We only get one life and progress is made by taking steps towards goals, so the message I want fans to walk away with is “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to if you move accordingly and plan for success.”

T: What’s next?

JP: I will be dropping another single at the end of this month and then 2021 first quarter promo for the mixtape will begin. I’ve been stacking up features from mainstream artists and can’t wait for my fans to hear what I have in store for them.

T: Is there anything else you want to say?

JP: I just want to thank all my fans and supporters for the love and I pray all of our 2021 is better than 2020.


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