“What inspires me to produce my next record is just growth. I’m fascinated with learning new techniques involving sound and music theory. I’ve never had any lessons, but my ear is phenomenal.”
Check out the interview with Champion exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Champion: My big bro Eazy B aka Green Socks because of how musically inclined he is. I was naturally dragged in until I fell in love. It’s because of my brother’s influence I am who I am today. He used to say, “Naw champ, them chords all wrong, and yo drums kool but your 808s in the wrong key. Fix it.”
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Social media definitely. Depending on what crowd I’m catering towards, you might catch me at a political rally servicing a candidate with their campaign music or at your local Gentlemen’s club networking with the DJs and local artists. Wherever word of mouth can be spread I’m there. In this industry, you gotta cater to all crowds.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
Gatekeepers. Just because you know the A&R at Epic Records doesn’t mean you know L A. Reid. This industry is about relationships. It’s not about what you know, it’s still about who you know. That’s how you overcome a gatekeeper. You network above their pay grade.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene in Atlanta is what I describe as The New Hollywood. You can be from anywhere in the world, move to Atlanta, and start a new life. The opportunities are limitless these days because some of everybody is here. What I hate most is the lack of opportunities for the inner city youth where I live, the west side.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
The future of music is going to be amazing as long as they let me in the doorway. The music is heading towards more social democracy due to inequalities and injustices taking place in our country. To use your art platform to raise awareness isn’t anything new, but it’s growing more popular the more big artists speak out.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
My advice is to really believe in yourself no matter what. It’s hard but it does exist. Stop looking for someone else to validate who you are and what you do. Just do you. I find strength in proving people wrong when they tell me no about something. My Pops use to say, “You’ll never have a dream come true if you don’t have a dream.”
What inspires you to write your next song?
What inspires me to produce my next record is just growth. I’m fascinated with learning new techniques involving sound and music theory. I’ve never had any lessons, but my ear is phenomenal. When you hear a Timbalnd beat, a Pharell beat, or a Kanye beat you can tell they made if you’re familiar with their sound. I aim to be modernly Different.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
When producing a song I like to create the music first. I like melodies, riffs, chord progressions, and all that. I gain feeling from just the musical arrangement by itself. Once that feeling is provoked, I add my drum beat or as I like to say “go crazy on them drums.”
What do you think makes a great song?
What makes a song great is the ability to provoke emotion. When my mother and I went through a phase where we struggled and lived from place to place, I remember hearing Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” in the car when we traveled. Mom passed away 10 years ago, that song still reminds me of our times. That’s what great music does. It takes you back.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Facebook: Erion Johnson