Music for making laps round your favourite spot. Music to drive to. If you haven’t gotten in on D&G yet your plain sleeping. Local Van city talent, D-Roc and Gavin Johnson, meet for a fluid rhyme flow on all four tracks that will take you seamlessly to your from spot to spot. Music to drive to.
Silky is back at it. French Montana all leaned out.
Get to know.
Who are ya bud? And where are you from?
My name is Johnson, and I am from Vancouver, CAN. The most beautiful place on earth.
What got you into the rap game initially? Was there a defining moment or has music always been a big part of your life? And how long have you been in the game?
I would have to say just listening to hiphop. I never really had a main genre of music I listened too but as soon as I got into highschool started to get an appreciation for the this type of music and everything to do with it. No doubt in my mind the defining moment when I started using the repeat button hahaa. Song after song that I found I liked would end up becoming the only one id listen too until I got sick of it, then id move on to the next song. The only positive about this is ppl don’t realize it sharpened my analytical skills, which I now use on my own songs so I don’t really mind the repeat stuff. Last but not least I started freestyling and writing about 3 years ago when I would have turned 18 right about now.
Who have been some of the bigger musical influences for you and why?
Class of 10 (XXL) hands down- I try to remain as classy and smooth as I can and those guys are all in the limelight for those very reasons so I definitely look up to them. But for my listening career, id have to say A Tribe Called Quest, Gangstarr, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Jay-Z. and Mac miller. Not to mention the obvious respect to them for their music but their influential business styles. Never to forget to Drake.
Listening to these guys has no doubt influenced your style. Has the city of Vancouver had any kind of role in developing your style into what it is today? Vancouver is a pretty hip hop / rap oriented city.
Yes it has, I love my city and it always loves me back. I wouldn’t say that it is hiphop orientated at all but its up and coming, I just don’t think we have a distinct style or type of sound yet. But that leaves a lot of room for some group/people/person to take that spot. And I plan on taking that spot.
Lyrically where do you derive your lyrics from? Life experience or life expectancy?
A balance of both defiantly, some songs will be heavier on one or the other in a whole: both.
What’s your favorite thing to write about?
Weed n bidges, and the life around all that.
In your recent video’s I’ve seen you reppin alota Drip Beads. What’s your connection to Drip Paint AKA Dylan Pickering?
We had a marketing class together back in our college (Kwantlen) days. But I plan on coming up with this guy, we both got a lot in common considering were both trying sell our products. I ill with this guy on a friend level even when business is too the side but as too the jewelry, I’m real down with all of it and he is always making me custom pieces and treating me with respect so how cant I feel that right?. So it was a no-brainer for us to link and we will continue doing so as our careers flourish.
Who else are you working with to get your name out there?
My boys with Common. They bin hooking me clothing for a minute now and I got mad respect for those fella’s. Pretty soon here actually I want to get DRIPPAINT and the boys at Common to link up ahah, could probably be profitable for the both of them. Cross ‘advertising or something like that. But I hope people start reppin this common stuff- you’ll see them in all my videos. Sweatshirts, crewnecks, t-shirts, touques, you name it. So basically my two main links have to be DRIPPAINT and Common.
Do you like to collaborate very much? And if so what’s the plus on that process from you?
I do yes. I don’t really believe in styles clashing or anything like that so I’m very open to meeting new people and making new tracks. Music is music at the end of the day, there are no limits to what we can create. So basically I just keep that in mind and never put pressure on anything. My process is basically, flick the bic, inhale, exhale, repeat process a bunch of times and let my mind flow on the beat. I used to play drums back in elementary and high school so I love rhythm.
What has been your involvement in the Vancouver scene? Do you agree that it’s a hip hip friendly city?
I did a lil tour with connecturself music back last summer and 1 of the 5 stops was at Republic, which had a very amped crowd. So from that point it is friendly. But in my opinion we don’t get a lot of routine big names, but that could change at any time. I think maybe promoters need to not be so cautious and understand we love our hiphop here in vancity. So once they do that I think the dynamics of the hiphop scene here will change. But other than that I haven’t done too many shows but I think that will change this summer. I have spent most of this winter working and building my portfolio of songs if you will. I’ve been doing so to basically sell myself this summer and hop on any show I can to get my name out there!.
You still rockin a day job / how much of your time is being put into making new music?
Yezzir, two in fact. I work about 6 days a week and then basically any time I’m not working I’m on the computer or writing to a track setting up photoshoots, video shoots and what not. But we all like it busy so it’s not a problem. Money is money, and I’m addicted to the stuff.
And what have you got going right now? Anything people should keep en eye out for? Last I heard you were working on a new new mixtape.
Yes I am my first solo mixtape. All the decision making and creating will be on me. My younger brother (Adam Jay) will be producing the whole thing from scratch. There will be 7-8 songs just to make sure you have enough time to fall in love with all of them. Its gunna be a mix of the classic hard hitting RnB snares with some upbeat tracks and some reflective. Girls and Ganja will be a big part of this project, because they influence me so much. So stay posted, hit up thegavtv.tumblr.com for all the latest news and youtube video drops.
What are your top three sources for new music?
I know your down with fly kicks. Which is your favorite pair?
Definitely Chuck Taylor Allstars but I love almost all Nikes too. One thing people don’t really know about me too much from my music is that I’m a big boot guy. I love fashion so much and I want that too be a big part of my game. So watch out for new pics on tumblr, you might find a pair you like ;)
Sativa > Indica?
Sativa anyday, ish is like coffee. Keep a playa up grinding all week putting in work.
Let’s wrap this up with the quote on the top of your tumblr. “Dreamin big cuz I know somebody’s always tryna dream bigger. One Love.” Can you give us some words on this and what it means?
We just reached 7 billion peeps. Its hard to be different. My plan to stand out consists of me dreaming as big as I can. Not settling for anything. So Ive made my list of goals. Now its time to achieve.
Anything you’d like to add?
S/O D-Roc, Frak, SlyOnTheBeat, Anotsh Cimozsko, James Lee. Imperetiv and anyone I forgot.
**Pretty Latto Video dropping March 2012**
**Feelin Myself (Johnson & Frak & D-roc) song and video release March 2012**
**new mixtape collab with Adam Jay dropping early April**
**new D&G mixtape (Johnson & D-roc) collab with Imperetiv in the works, stay tunned**
Youtube: TheGAVtv – weekly episodes of “That’s Wassup wit Johnson”
Tumblr: thegav.tumblr.com – new pictures daily, check it out.
Thanks for any support. Love yall.
Some words w. skywlkr. Google the man if you don’t know the name, he’s got some honourable mentions around. Check the man out on his soundcloud or tumblr and free DL the exclusive Bruce Lee 2. Read on;
Firstly, thanks for taking the time. Let’s start with a who are you where are you from?
My name is skylar, from Detroit Michigan, and I go under the name skywlkr.
Has the bustling metropolis of Detroit been a big influence on your style and sound?
Being from Detroit, has shaped my music a lot. I mean I grew up in this music scene, so I’m a hybrid of everything I’ve loved from elsewhere growing up, and Detroit as well.
But I used to be part of the metal scene out here and there’s a huge Rave scene in Detroit, and I really like the vibe of hype shit and shit you can listen to while on psychedelics.
I’m totally with you on that, psychedelics can definitely broaden a persons view and experiences with music (not that I’m recommending them to anyone by saying that). How involved in the rave seen are you? Do you even get behind the decks?
I mean, I party. I’m into all that. The rave scene in Detroit is really popping, and I love that atmosphere. For instance tonight, I’m going to this shit called funk night with all the bruisers. And it’s that whole rave scene but the music is will sessions, who did elmatic with Elzhi. It’s a cool atmosphere. But ya, I’m out here. And yeah, I just got a new pair, I play around, but I plan on getting out there, playing my material live this year.
Haha, dubstep is the new cigarettes out here. Like its the biggest fad. And some of these girls out here, just really make me laugh, man. Kinda personal.
Well, I left my band in New York, and when I got home I had an itch to continue making music. I can play guitar, and bass. And I’m very familiar on a drum set. So I would be like my own band. I’d record every instrument and program the drums with reason. I listened to some rap at the time, so in my free time I started just making rap beats I thought sounded cool. They sounded like Jedi Mind beats. Stoupes production of violent by design made me want to make beats. After I made beats for awhile, a friend introduced me to beat battles, and I did pretty well at them, and that’s when rappers started fucking with me. My name got around.
That too much to dream track, that was featured on squadda bambinos back sellin crack (called conversations pt.2) , was definitely created off some nice doses.
Now that your on page 46 of The Fader issue 77 as one of five “To Watch: Producers” have there been more people reaching out to you? People hollering out of car windows and such?
Since the fader, yeah, I have been reached out by a lot more artists, looking for music. My twitter followers went up, my bandcamp stats went up. The cool thing is/was a lot of people who read the fader aren’t just die hard hip hop fans, so people of all sorts showed loved. From all different backgrounds.
On that same page it list’s a bit of whats due from you in 2012 so I’ll skip that question. But I want to know who you’d like to have rhyme on your beats?
As far as who I’d WANT to rap on my beats, that’s a tough call. I feel like the ASAP could do something nice over a track, or like schoolboy q. But I’m really more interested in collaborating with other producers, and artists and musicians. Not to sound a certain way, but I’ve honestly got the chance to work with my favorite rappers right now.
I’ve always been curious to know how big a producers music library is, most people seem to be hesitant or unable to answer. How big is you music library? A track count would be dope.
My music library as in samples and shit, or like music I bump? As far as music I bump I only got like 3,500 songs on my iTunes. But as far as samples, I got gigs on gigs. I’m always downloading shit. Or ripping vinyl. Or listening to old CDs. Movie scores. Anything I can get my hands on. As far as a number though, idk to be exact, I keep my samples in folders, not in iTunes, so it doesn’t show a count or anything.
Production methods. I know in a lot of electronic music producers focus on one part of a new track and then build the rest around it. You have any formula like that?
Production method, I honestly don’t have one. My only thing that stays pretty consistent is blunts. A lot of times I start with just digging through samples and putting a bunch of the mp until I don’t feel like it anymore. Than I’ll just go with what sounds the coolest.
What gear are you working with?
I got a lot of gear. But my main set up is reason 6, and mpc1000, and m audio midi keyboard.
As far as gear I want, maybe a lean prescription, haha. I love my set up right now.