We had the pleasure of speaking with Texas Hip Hop artist Johnny Cocoa to discuss his journey in music as he released one of his latest singles “Free Bird”. Produced by Tago, the track imagines a liberated world where people fully embrace the free-spirited nature to seek out what is theirs. Through his smooth lyricism and captivating flow, Johnny emphasizes the power of breaking free from the limitations of our minds and a tough, restless mentality. The The single follows the Beaumont artist’s recently released spiritual single, “On God” which has racked up over 1.9 million views to date. As we discussed his career, Johnny gave us insight into how his music has transformed him, where he draws inspiration from, and how he hopes to influence as he progresses in his career.
Q: Describe the transition of your music from when you started to now.
Johnny: The most widespread change was through my spiritual journey. I took my spiritual journey to new heights and it played a major role in my transition. On “Thuggin’ By My Lonely” I came from a sore place and so far I’m wiser and more clear-minded.
Q: Who are the artists who have inspired the work you have created and will create in the future?
Johnny: RUSS, Smino, James Brown, Ray Charles, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Drake, SZA, Schoolboy Q, the list goes on.
Q: What impact do you hope to have on musical culture?
Johnny: I really hope to have the power of persuasion to create more unity and love within the culture. Personally, as a black man, I hope to inspire love within the black community.
Q: What is one thing you wish someone had said to you before pursuing a career in this industry?
Johnny: I wish someone would talk to me about politics and the importance of relationships because I’m naturally introverted. Coming out of my shell was tricky at first, but it was fun and part of the journey. I took it head on as I do everything. I would just tell them to be present in the journey because each step is very important, each relationship is invaluable. Everything about travel is imperative. It is very important to stay present because without the present there is no future.
The southern entertainer has garnered the attention and public support of music and pop culture icons such as Drake and Kanye West who have recognized his adept at cross-genre fusion of hip-hop, R&B and reggae tones. Beyond recognition, Johnny is driven by his passion for telling stories through his music and positively influencing those around him through his artistry.
Johnny’s steady stream of singles and projects over the years culminated in his first project In the world in 2021. Throughout the project, he showcases his versatility as an artist, delivering bars and fan favourites”Thuggin’ through my loneliness” and “man in the mirror.” The project also includes the popular song, “Itachi’s Letters” – inspired by one of the artist’s favorite anime series, Naruto. Be sure to follow the works of Johnny Cocoa as his latest album “I AM WHO I AM” is now available on all streaming platforms!