Tribune-Courier features editor
Marshall County native following
his dream of becoming a hip-hop artist
From Benton, Kentucky to Orlando, Florida and now in Hollywood, California, Jeff Johnson has gone from small town to big city and is definitely making his name known. Johnson is a hip-hop artist who started making music and firing out albums when he was a freshman at Marshall County High School in 2000.
Never pushing aside his passion, he continued his music career and education and went to Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla. Full Sail has a reputation as one of the premier art, music and film schools in the world and this is where Johnson obtained his bachelor’s degree in music business.
November 2009 is when Johnson continued his calling and moved to Hollywood, Calif.
“I’ve never been nervous about my decision to follow music” Johnson claims, “I’ve been in it wholeheartedly.” And that is what Johnson believes it takes to make it in the music industry, along with any career of one’s choice. “You have to do what makes you happy,” he stated.
Johnson has performed on numerous stages with many different artists, including, Akon, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and fellow Kentuckians, Nappy Roots. The Glove, who is the executive producer for Dr. Dre, is definitely Johnson’s “mentor” in the industry.
Being an artist for over ten years, Johnson feels that, “The music industry is folding. I remember there were two big CD stores in Kentucky Oaks Mall, not to mention all the Ma-n-Pa scattered around and now it’s hard to find one.”
More than ever people are producing their own music and calling themselves artists. Johnson feels it’s all about making your name known, hence his drive and album entitled “Making My Name.” It is also what Johnson is currently busy working at. “I’m very happy with where I’m at right now,” Johnson said “It will be time to move on soon but right now I have to spend at least 14 to 16 hours a day just meeting people.”
This summer Johnson will begin a US Tour, which will hit 160 to 170 different cities all over the states. “They are all new places; I’m excited to show myself, to play live shows - interact with fans.” Johnson said, “That’s what it’s about.” Which is also what he believes is his biggest accomplishment, not the tour, but his fans. “People look up to me and my good energy.”
Over time Johnson has learned quite a bit and has had a long journey with still much more to come. “I wouldn’t change anything, paths I’ve chose are either successful or a good lesson. It’s all a good blessing.” Johnson stated.
Find Jeff Johnson and his music online at www.makingmyname,com; www.facebook.com/makingmyname; www.twitter.com/thenameyouknow and at www.youtube.com/jeffjohnsontv.