When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve really been a musician for my whole life. Since I was a kid I’ve played guitar and been in bands, but the moment I knew I wanted to have a career in music was in high school. I had just turned 17 and my favorite artist, Childish Gambino, released his project “Because of the Internet”. That opened up an entire world for me and showed me how much I really can do with music. It made me want to explore different methods of creativity and actually become knowledgeable about art.
Can you talk about the first project you made as a professional musician?
The first project I made as a true professional was my debut album, Vacation Never Ends. It can be described as a tropical/surf-inspired hip hop album, one which broke the floodgates to the sound I am now known for: lush, reverbed guitar licks, heavy, distorted 808 drums, and introspective, pensive lyrics about who I am and my place in the world.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a musician / what is the biggest challenge you have faced as a musician?
The most challenging aspect of being a musician for me currently is time management for everything I want to do. I would describe myself as an ambitious person. I love music, film, and fashion and have a desire to be knowledgeable and talented in all of these fields. I want to know them from top to bottom and excel, however I know this will take some time as I am simultaneously balancing a music career with these interests.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a musician?
The most rewarding thing for me is the final product. Whether it’s a single, album, or video, there’s nothing like working extremely hard on something, going through tribulations with it, and coming out successful on the other end. When I say successful, I mean rendering a project that is true to your vision, unaffected by unnecessary influences.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
As a person, I’d probably say Childish Gambino, Tyler, the Creator, or Pharrell, however, the biggest inspiration to my music is really what just occurs in my life. When I say that, I mean I take direct scenarios that have happened to me and put them over a beat. I do this not only for people to enjoy, but so I can document my life in a creative way. I have a lot of musical inspiration from hip hop/ r&b to alternative rock, jazz/ bossa nova, and even electronic, and these influences often find their way into my music.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would be with either Pharrell or Rosalia.
What project has been your favorite?
Each project I have released means something different to me. They all came from different phases in my life. At this point, I would have to say Digital Native is my favorite because it most accurately reflects who I am right now. If I wanted someone to know who I was in my early 20’s, I would just play that album.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting to be a musician right now?
Whatever “obstacles” are in your way right now will be insignificant in the future. As creatives, I’ve noticed that we tend to take odds that are stacked against us and multiply them into Goliath-like figures when really anything you want to achieve is possible. With time and focus, things start to change and it’s so eye-opening when that happens. Never give up, remain with integrity, and do what you do best because if you don’t, someone else will.
What do you have in store for us this year?
A lot of films. I’ve really been on my shit with that lately I can’t even lie. There will be plenty of music from me in 2021, but the foundation to those ideas is what I have been able to capture from behind the camera.
Keep an eye out for the next jopippins single, "otw", coming April 23rd.