Successful entrepreneur Antonio Johnz, “A.Johnz,” is taking on the music industry with a big storm using his own unique soulful sound.
Owning multiple businesses: restaurants, and gyms, along with being the co-founder of Sip Soul Entertainment, he knew his life needed more. Mississippi-raised A.Johnz developed a passion for music at a very young age. He would sing in the church choir, which allowed him to perfect his skills and continue on impressing the ladies in his school hallway.
Making himself stand out while building a name, A.Johnz participated in local and regional talent shows while building relationships with local DJs and producers. His first album “Bringing Love Back” gave him a well-known name as the artist “Big Mook,” selling over 10,000 copies (streams and downloads).
A man of many talents evolved into an artist whose life experiences are portrayed beautifully and emotionally in his music. Studying the sounds and melodies of well-known artists before him, such as Luther Vandross, Dave Hollister, Smokie Robison, Guy, Avant, Darnell Jones, and Sam Cooke, A.Johnz wanted to recreate himself as an artist and chase his dreams by getting beyond the Casio keyboard and karaoke cassette player.
A.Johnz had a very strong love for baseball and football. For those of you that don’t know. He was the only MSU football player to be selected in the 2007 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans.
Not only did he have a successful career in the NFL, but he also carried on with his music career while being an active football player. He retired from professional sports while putting a full-time focus on professionally being a successful music artist. Sports and music definitely helped overcome many life challenges and obstacles he had faced.
Released in 2019, A.Johnz's EP "Dreams of Paradise" will keep your ears glued to each song. In his first track, “Walking High With a Love,” you immediately become introduced to his R&B/Soul vibe, which is the common theme throughout the EP. Throughout tracks ”Right Moves” & “On and On,” you hear lyrics such as “need to make the right moves, playing for keeps, it's not a game, go on and on, won't stop till I hit the spot” which shadows his path of never giving up and taking every step along the way wholeheartedly. "Paradise" captures the tone of the EP set on an island with the woman he wants to be with.
You get to hear a different side to his vocal range as he demonstrates a wavering of tones. In contrast to wanting to be with a female partner, A.Johnz tells us how he's sick of all the games she plays with him in track 7, titled “Love Games.” Building on this, track 9, “I Cannot Be Your Friend,” shows his frustration and disinterest in hearing about another man relating to a common theme of being friend-zoned.
One that many may be familiar with. Ending the EP on a lighter and more positive note with “Positive Spirit,” Antonio expresses how we need to rely on each other and then “that's all that we need” to be happy.
Hey Antonio, welcome to BuzzMusic! Given that you're a successful entrepreneur, what inspired you to become a musician?
Music has been a part of my life from the beginning; I started doing music at an early age, and from then on, I’ve been passionate about music. I love the Soul, and R&B feel that goes into your music.
Do you think you will work with or blend other types of genres in the future?
I’m open to working in any genre of music because to me music is medicine and medicine doesn’t discriminate who or what it heals it just does. So I really love all types of music, and it all comes from a creative place which I love.
Can you discuss a little bit about the common theme throughout this EP and/ or the message being portrayed?
The common theme of this album is meant for the audience to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life and Dream of Paradise to relax and feel great while relaxing consuming the great sounds of A.Johnz on this body of work(“Dreams of Paradise”)
The ability to play in the NFL along with continuing as a music artist is very impressive. Was it difficult to be successful in both, and how did you manage to do it?
Well, while playing ball full time, I can assure you that it wasn’t an easy task, but I always seem to make time for the music if it wasn’t anything but jotting down ideas as they come along. I also managed to do most of my recordings during the offseason while being an active ballplayer, but now that I’m no longer an active NFL’er I can focus more on my music full time.
Thanks a lot for your time. As a man with many talents, what can we expect to see or hear from you next?
Well I plan just to continue to try and make strives in the music game, I have a lot goals set so there will be plans to continue marketing my brand and just connecting with the people through my music. I will be dropping a project at the top of the year, like in Feb of 2020 not sure of the name yet, but new music will be coming soon!!! THANKS. God Bless you all and your beautiful families.