Fresh off their latest singles: Cop Car, Bae, and Lose your Mind, Johnie B, & Spadez of PRTTY BOYS took some time out to answer a few questions about their new album The Juice Factory (out today), musical inspirations, and how they aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe is right.
Let’s get to it!
Spadez and Johnie B of PRTTY BOYS tell me about your new single “Cop Car”?
Johnie B: “Cop Car” was inspired by some twisted nights we had in New York, where we went to school. It was actually the first song we did together so it kind of set the tone for the project.
Spadez: It’s about someone who’s got you mesmerized and has you doing whatever they want you to, but they’re wild and that always ends up getting you into trouble.
Can you explain how this song was born?
Johnie B: We live in the same apartment together and Spadez had been working on the instrumental. I was actually in the other room just listening in when I had the idea for the verse melody. Once I got some lyrics down I was eager to show him my top line for it, he digged the concept and we went from there.
What is the PRTTY BOYS sound?
Johnie B: I think our sound is very other worldly. It can put you in a trippy fantasy sort of headspace at times, but then we also got some Palm Tree Pop in there that you just wanna dance to.
Spadez: It’s PRTTY. Literally, in the genre section, that’s how we classify it because it can’t really be put into one category. Also, lots of herbal vape action plus 2-3am hours lit by blacklight. A real vibe ting.
I think our sound is very other worldly. It can put you in a trippy fantasy sort of headspace at times, but then we also got some Palm Tree Pop in there that you just wanna dance to. -Johnie B
Your highly anticipated debut album “The Juice Factory” is out now. What can we expect to hear?
Johnie B: All kinds of vibes. It’s a journey, and it’s not perfectly split down the middle, but the front half is a little more pop and then it gets a little darker as you go. We split it up halfway through with an interlude that takes it in a different direction.
Can you share some of the intangible things you learned at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music that prepared you for where you are today?
Johnie B: Obviously I learned a lot about production and audio engineering, but I feel equally important was the business background our professors were able to provide. They helped me understand the landscape of the industry so that I would be well-informed and could choose to navigate it in the best ways for me individually. Especially as it pertains to my day job and other industry pursuits. I keep that context and analytical approach with me at all times.
Spadez: I definitely increased my engineering skills, but I think knowing about the business side is pretty crucial for artists now. Otherwise you’re depending on a manager or someone else to handle all that and you might not know if you’re getting played without that knowledge.
Do you plan on collaborating with any other music artists that graduated in your class?
Johnie B: Definitely! And they have already influenced my songwriting in many ways. There are too many dope artists to mention them all but I love the writing styles of Phoebe Ryan, FLETCHER, Toulouse, Maggie Rogers, Sizzy Rocket just to name a few.
Spadez: Of course. I’ve already worked with a handful in the past, but I definitely want to make more heat together.
Spadez you have produced for: Ying Yang Twins, Travis Mills, Dem Franchise Boyz, DEV, Riff Raff, KSHMR and many more. How did your journey as a music producer begin?
Spadez: The first instrument I touched were the drums back in middle school and that led to joining a few bands + playing shows around the Bay Area. I was actually planning on buying turntables on eBay but the person never showed up and I spent that money on the production software ‘Reason’. And the rest was history.
Johnie B. hailing from Kentucky; how does your upbringing make your sound uniquely your own?
Johnie B: If I’m keeping it 100 I’m not sure Kentucky has influenced my sound all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I can dig a bluegrass tune if I’m back home cruising a windy country road with my friends, but my mom especially had a very eclectic music taste. I grew up listening to alt rock and hip-hop in the car, and then when Daft Punk blew up I started exploring more noisy electronic music. So there’s a lot in the locker, a lot of influences I can go to for inspiration.
What music (past and present) has influenced your sound?
Johnie B: Bloc Party, Kendrick Lamar, XXXTENTACION, The Strokes. For this project specifically I would cite The Weeknd and Rae Sremmurd.
Spadez: E-40, Traxamillion, Eminem, Nirvana, Drake, T-Pain.
What hardships/struggles have you both had to overcome that makes you appreciate the success?
Johnie B: I would say moving from Kentucky to New York to Los Angeles has at times been difficult, as far as feeling comfortable and like you belong. It’s a lot to get used to at first having grown up in a small town, but I love all three. Also the fact that I have a day job in the tech world means I have less hours in the day for music, but these are decisions I’ve made for myself to accommodate my multiple interests. I would hesitate to describe those as hardships, but challenges certainly.
Spadez: I wear my heart on my sleeve and so it definitely hurts to see people you thought were close disappear when you’re not producing for a headliner just to come back around every time you have a so-called “accomplishment” of sorts. Also, same thing Johnie said. You gotta do what you gotta do to get the things that you wanna have.
What do you know today about the music industry that you would share with yourself say 5 years ago?
Johnie B: Do it yourself, distribute digitally, and promote the hell out of it.
Spadez: Nothing really. Just to trust my instincts at all times because I’ve watched the rise of so many Bay Area artists and have learned a lot from that.
Tell me about the organizations you both support like: Our Revolution and Larkin Street?
Johnie B: Our Revolution is a political organization focused on getting progressive candidates elected, and getting big money out of politics.
Spadez: Larkin Street is an organization that provides housing, education and employment training + health and wellness supports to help get homeless teens off the street and into schools and the workplace.
Why do you feel it’s important to stand for these causes?
Johnie B: We all know big money interests shape the agenda in this country, and at times you feel defeated and want to just throw your hands up, but that would be letting the corporations win. Our Revolution is basically saying to the corporations and individuals like the Koch brothers “ok, if you’re going to throw billions of dollars into our political system to manipulate it in favor of your interests, we’ll just have to raise millions of dollars directly from the voters to fund progressive campaigns,” the eventual goal being you get enough progressives elected so that campaign finance can be altogether reformed.
Spadez: I think everyone deserves the same opportunity at life and without that knowledge I think it definitely puts someone at a disadvantage. Also, a lot of the teens out on the streets are there through no fault of their own.
What’s next for PRTTY BOYS in 2018?
Johnie B: “The Juice Factory” is out, and more on the way after that, follow us @PRTTYMUSIC
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