Johnny Voltik is a hip hop artist in NY who has been recognized by the underground music scene as one of the most innovative performers in his league. Constantly pushing the edge in music, Johnny Voltik has made an incredible mark in his field with boldly crafted songs, a highly unique style and powerful, energetic performances. Johnny currently has been re-inventing himself and is putting out a new release called THE LEGENDARY MISFIT. We met Johnny at Video Producer Roman Bodners apartment and spoke about his work.
Johnny tell us… How did you first start getting into music.
Well ever since I was a little kid, music has always been a part of me. Before I could play instruments, I imitated and acted like I could. My sisters bed room was where I started. I used to get on her bed, take all her stuffed animals and put them around the floor. I would pick up a baseball bat and a belt and that was my guitar! Then I would play her cassette tapes and imitate the artists. My pops got me a guitar when I was 8 or 9. From then on, I knew I was going to do music.
How do keep yourself inspired?
I think changing locations has been really inspiring. I moved from Boston to NY and that has been a real inspiration. I get inspired by everyday things, sometimes small stuff. Lately I have been sampling and I have not done that in a long time. I have been inspired by watching youtube videos and I would be inspired by the music that I hear and I would sample that. I think the person I am now, Is that the music I do is authentically real. Every song I have on the THELEGENDARYMISFIT has something real about it and if you ask me something about any of the songs on that project I could tell you something that is real about it. I get inspired about all types of stuff.
It just hits me. I don’t even know how to prepare because I just write music whenever I have time it is not just a preparation thing. Sometimes influences just come. I prepare for shows by practicing…I mean to write songs. Life just happens and I create songs around that. That’s how I prepare.
Who are your heroes?
I look up to prince, Bob Marley, and Hendrix. I look up to a lot of artists. I think one of my favorite artists is Bruce Lee and he’s not even a musician. To me he has the ultimate discipline. I think that as a musician I want to approach my work with the same caliber as Bruce Lee. Us doing this interview right now has me inspired! I look up to a lot of film-makers. I look up to people who are doing things that go above and beyond .
Whats in your CD Player right now?
My own new project! I have also been listening to a lot of Bob Marley right now. Ive been listening to Thundercat, JJ Doom, J-Tronius, Sky James, I listen to all types of music. Vince Guaralde is one of my favorite Jazz artists. I like to start my day listening to jazz and that starts my mood off right. I listen to all types of stuff. I listen to old school stuff all the time as well.
What makes you creative?
I’m just doing me. Unapologetically! I try to bend the mind musically. One day I tweeted “Anything could happen within the drop”. (Clapping rhythm) Any thing can happen within these notes. So in between the rhythm, I like to stretch things. Say you have a 4/4 beat which goes into a certain pocket, people will say you have to quantitize your music. Sometimes I don’;t like to quantitize the music because I like to have that pull. That helps people expand their minds. When the fourth beat happens, your back at the beginning again and anything can happen between that moment. Inside that constant rotation, that’s how I make music. I can do something within the beat and it might not be right on that beat but it makes sense creatively. That’s what I like to do. I want to challenge the listener and myself to think.
Are there any other artists you have been working with?
I’m looking forward to working with a lot of cool people… I don’t want to say just ye! I work a lot with Oa IM I am working with J-Tronius and hope to work with Nick Brewer who is in the band By The Bull. He is a close friend and I look forward to working with him. I am currently doing a lot of collaborations and I am not going to say anything yet until those projects are completed.
instagram screen name – voltikgram