WOW! What a fresh ass album you have to showcase to all of us underground heads! Josh Breezzyy, it’s really refreshing to know you’re a dope up and comer in the game today holding the indie/underground Hip Hop torch nice and high! For the music junkies who don’t know who you are, let them know? Where are you from? How did you become a Hip Hop artist?
I’m from Long Island, NY and I’ve been rapping for about 12 years now, since I was 10, but really getting serious about over the last 4 and half years. Being a mixed kid in my area you never really had your spot to fit in. Was always too black for the white kids and to white for the black kids, but my home life was geared more away from the white side of my family, so I adopted more of the black culture from my Dad’s side. I heard, LL Cool J for the first time on a car ride to see my dad on one of the weekends he picked me up and I knew then I wanted to be the next Cool J. So I dropped the J and added an ash Breezzyy to the end of it haha.
Where does your artist name Josh Breezzyy derive from?
Back in um, like 5th grade, when I started rapping a few friends of mine that I had met through rapping on the playground and at lunch, gave me that name because I always would try to rap fast, and my real last name started with a “Bre”. It’s transitioned over time though, it started as “JbR33zZyY” then after the AIM days wore off is went to JBreezzyy, then I created it into a just Josh Breezzyy.
We recently conducted a review on your new album “Tortured Artist“, and Kevin, one of our main contributors really covered your album well! Please give us a brief background story on the creative process behind this body of work! Also, whats the idea behind your album artwork cover?
So the album started originally as a EP I was going to put out as a 3 part series. I finished it, played it for my close friends in college and it was TRASH. I scrapped the whole thing and started over. I was so depressed that I just didn’t care. There was like some Drake singing tracks on there, and they looked at me like bro, you’re better than this. SO I scrapped it. Took some time to really relax, write and get it together and then I Went back. I was in the studio EVERY DAY. I skipped class to finish songs, I wrote songs in class, I stayed past closing hours to finish songs, it was crazy. I got about 15 songs done and then said you know what, I’m not stopping until I get to 100. So I took over the whole White Board we have in the studio and started writing track names/ideas down and would check them off as time went on. I realized that “Tortured Artist” needed to be bigger than anything I had done before. I wanted it to literally be a semi-autobiographical story about what my future life could potentially be like. Sounds Crazy right? I was writing these songs about myself, in third person but in a future that I completely created in my head. My friends would come in and be like why you rapping about a kid that you don’t have, and I’d be like because this is me when I do have a kid, if I become a fuck up and fall victim to my own thoughts. Then they’d be like well shit, this why you’re the GOAT!. So eventually 6 months later all the songs were finished, Tortured Artist was done and I really found myself at time like damn… My kids hate me lol Even though I don’t have any haha. The track Pick Up The Phone, actually was a freestyle over the Piano, where I envisioned myself in that moment, sitting at my window, not being able to go outside and play with my kids because of how bad I let my health get. I hit record, and started going off the top of my head and actually ended up in tears, it was crazy.
As far as the album cover art goes, I had this idea, of like being in a theatre, how you’re in the seats watching whats on stage. So i thought, well what if the stage act is in the seats, watching himself perform. That’s essentially what its like, almost like an episode of Black Mirror or some shit where like you can watch your potential future play out in different ways. It was dope to me. So then I found this old abandoned theatre on a beach about 10 minutes from my college and knew this was where I wanted to shoot it. Me and my girlfriend walked a good 2 miles down this beach from the parking lot to get to this old abandoned theatre in Connecticut. It was winter, it was cold as hell but we did it. Then we crawled in through an open door and it was pitch black, it had gotten dark, so I only had a short amount of time. So we couldn’t get the camera to focus on me from the stage because of the lack of light so I actually used my phone’s flashlight, in my hand to get the camera to focus on me. So if you look close you can see the phone in like the crease of my arm lol
We noticed you have a great tone, style and originality behind this album. How do you manage to stay creatively dope and maintain pushing dope material? As you know the majority of rappers can’t stay consistent on an album.
With this album it was easy to stay consistent and on topic because it was just see reflection and truth. I didn’t have to talk about things I didn’t know about in order to make a song. Everything really wrote itself. Other than that, I just try to stay intone with the culture. I notice what a lot o rappers are doing and try to stay different but modern. I wanna bring that Rakim, KRS type rapping to these modern Hip Hop beats but still be original and bring new things to the table. Who has put out an album, in the last year or 2 maybe even 3 that’s been this open and this raw? Maybe 4:44, if we can go to stretch, but even then, I would’ve said names about who becky was lol But hey, that was great album! and I don’t need Charlemagne blowing up my notifications again!
Being an indie artist, how do you feel about having the power in your hands, not having to rely on a label or company to push your music?
It feels almost bitter-sweet at times. I love the flexibility and control but I just feel like it’s so hard to get anything of the ground without the budget of a label behind you. Yeah I can put my songs out on the same platforms, but Spotify isn’t putting my face on all the playlists… they aren’t spinning my records on the radio even if they should be getting spun, just because I don’t have the reach that a label has. But then again, I don’t think a label is going to OK some of records on this album, which I think the public needed to hear from me. So, I love being independent, I don’t have to pay anyone else, I can control what I put out and what I don’t, but hey if a label comes with a budget, and I can keep creative control, I’m for it!
How does social media play a role in the brand Josh Breezzyy? How are fans / supporters helping your movement?
Instagram has been pretty huge in my brand. It gives my audience a nice way to easily get to everything that is me. It’s got my links, you can see my pictures, I’ve got the story section for when I’m doing shows, its overall good. I’ve got 10K followers on my twitter, but I ind my tweets getting lost in timelines based on those algorithms that Twitter uses, but on Instagram I think I’ve understood it so well at this point that even my 2K followers I get about 75% of them to see it and interact, which isn’t a bad stat. Facebook is cool for events, and stuff but doesn’t have the power it used to and snapchat is a fun way for fans to connect with you! So it helps but I’m still working to improve that factor.
With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Underground Hip Hop to me, is like, alright picture this, you’re walking through a forest surrounded by nothing but suit loop colored trees with vines hanging down, looking or a way out. Theres two paths, the darker one, that’s longer, but at the end is a beautiful island with everything to keep you comfortable you’re whole life, but the other path is short, bright and colorful, but that has a cliff that if you go to fast you fall and die, but if you don’t you get a high-five and a gold grill lol. Underground Hip Hop is the first path, the one that I’m ready for. I’ve got my Flava Flav clock, my Wu Tang T-shirt and a backpack with my favorite LP’s and a notebook ready to go down that dark road.
Where can people find your music? Drop all the vital links.
All my music is available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Tidal and anywhere else you can consume Music. Also on my website TheJoshBreezzyy.com
Lastly, any shout outs?
I just want to thank everyone who has been down this road with me the last 5 years. Especially Cait, Justice, Sakorey, Xavier, Larry, Bill Sperl, Frank Martignetti, Jeff Johnson, Katrell, Da’von, Flashyy, Faith, Scooby, and my mom and dad. Wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for y’all!