On a cold rainy night in Greenpoint Brooklyn, Bay Area singer Jonn Hart, was on set shooting the remix video to his West coast smash “Who Booty”.
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter has tapped Harlem rapper French Montana to give his hit some East Coast Flavor.
TheGrio and Hart sat down in between takes to discuss his musical journey, the evolving Cali music scene, and who from the Bay inspires him.
Tell me a little bit about your rise to fame.
I’ve been in the music industry for a long time. I was with a group called Tha Outfit for the last three years. We had some local success from The Bay to LA. This year, things didn’t work out and everybody went their separate way; but I still talk to some of them.
What made you want to go solo?
I actually didn’t to which is the funny part; because four personalities made it hard to get along.
How much is your fan base and social media reaction responsible for your success right now?
I would say it’s big. It’s kind of like what people want. Nowadays with YouTube and Twitter and all that stuff, you can kind of gauge how things are going. You can put out a song independently and get a million views and start making some noise.
“Who Booty” is an interesting title for your first big single. What was some of the feedback that you received?
I think the general reaction was like “what is this going to be about?” Everybody is like tell me your song” and I say ‘Who Booty’ and they’re like “what?” I think it starts a conversation about what it means or what it is about.
Do you considered yourself to be a part of the Cali ratchet music movement?
I’m more of an R&B guy and I didn’t want to be classified as a ratchet R&B singer.
How does it feel having French Montana, Mr. “Pop That”, jump on the remix?
It’s big, it’s huge and I think it’s a great look. I’m honored because he’s doing his thing right now and “Pop That” was a number one record. He’s all over the place and for him to hop on as a West Coast artist; it feels good, especially since it’s been a long history between the West and the East.
How do you feel about Kendrick Lamar and his debut and what it means to the West?
I think it’s great. I heard some of good kid maad city. As far as I heard, it’s a really solid album and people are excited about it because it has been a while since there was some new blood from the West to really make a statement and I feel like that’s what he’s been doing.
Where do you see yourself in a year from now?
Hopefully an album release and maybe second, third or fourth single. I don’t want to stop; I’m having too much fun. It’s a blessing, I feel good, and I feel like this is only the beginning.
Who are some of the Bay area artists that have impacted your career?
As far as the Bay area; E-40 took for the legends and Too Short from the hip-hop side. From the R&B side, Tony! Toni! Tone!; they’ve done amazing things. Goapele and even Keyshia had put everything down for a while.