Jonny Farias Interview

New York is filled with a wide range of talented independent artists and we got the chance to sit down with Jonny Farias. We discussed everything from early works, future plans and much more in this Music Mondays exclusive interview.


Blank: First off, I wanted to apologize. I didn’t immediately recognize your talent. You used to hit me up all the time to make music, and not that I wasn’t ready, I just didn’t give you the time you needed, and couldn’t find your sound and attribute that I wanted to accentuate, given it was a bit scattered genre wise.

Jonny: I mean I get it. I don’t have a lot of stuff out. Besides the Speak No Evil EP & eventually our stuff 2 years later, I had next to nothing out. You, Midnight Samurai, and Aqua Coretta were the first people that I hit up to get back into the swing of things. I felt I was in a moment of stasis and wanted to start building again. So, I completely get it. 

Blank: Speaking now through what I’ve found out about you through conversation, you have immense musical talent both on the production and rapping side. Playing instruments proficiently and being able to sing is something I’m a bit jealous of personally. What was your introduction to music?

Jonny: I’ve known music as long as I’ve been alive honestly. I grew up with my family in the church, and music is a big thing there. I learned how to play instruments way before I considered rapping. I played the piano, the drums, and even picked up alto sax for about a year. That was the core for me in terms of my musical understanding. I started to find the passion for rapping around middle school. From there, really making music took a bit longer. I remember specifically that there was a talent show sophomore year, and I had written a rap for it. People were impressed, and that gave me confidence in myself as an artist. From there, it was just about building momentum. My first song, on SoundCloud, was Enemy when I was 16.  Yeah, so I’ve had a lot of practice. 

Blank: What’s your favorite aspect of your musical portfolio?

Jonny: Now it’s definitely rapping. There has been a lot of conversation recently on rappers and whether they should be perceived as "artists" and switching genres. As someone who never wants to feel locked in, I always do things through the lens of hip hop. I feel like hip hop is a lens more than a genre. There’s a certain style and way that you write and think for hip hop, and even back when I used to do more melodic stuff, you can see the influence even through that. 

Blank: Who are some of your biggest influences in terms of your style, and then who are some that just inspire you creatively? 

Jonny: When I was young, Eminem really opened the gates from me. Regardless how I feel about his music now, like a lot of kids in this generation, you hear one Eminem song and it’s a wrap from there. Someone who really influenced me in more recent years was Kendrick Lamar. He really had a pulse on every aspect of his music. I think people label him in a certain way, but he has so many different qualities he’s able to tap into. He’s not sacrificing anything conceptually or lyrically for his massive success. Nowadays, some people that really inspire me to be creative are people like Ka, Earl Sweatshirt & billy woods, who just pack their music with so much content and lyricism. Some people who really influence me singing wise are people like Frank Ocean and the Weeknd. 

Blank: So, you’ve alluded to this project Chaos in conversations with me, I’m curious, what should we be expecting and the process of creating it?

Jonny: Chaos is shorthand for Chaos, At least to me. This started a long time ago, the story taking place senior year of high school. Its summarized, to me, about my experiences from a period from 2019, given some more traumatic things that happened. I had my first real grieving process. It turned into this whole spiraling process that’s been sitting for a while that I’ve picked up recently. To me, there’s a weird paradox. It’s a 2019 project, but it would be dropping in 2023/2024. My artistic style has changed drastically since, but it’s such an encapsulation of a moment in time that I feel the need to get it out. 

Blank: When we created Seasonal Affective Disorder, what was that process like for you? For those who don’t know, it was an EP created by me first with one feature from Jonny, then I gave the whole EP to him, and we released it on streaming platforms in a pretty short process. 

Jonny: It was brief. The last time I made something with that brevity was Business as Unusual. I hadn’t had that feeling of a quick project in a very long time. It really all started with Groundhog. Now I had some doubts about being able to do the track in under 24 hours, but I guess I had a lot to say that day because it was a great verse. We ended up building a lot of momentum. One of the big lessons was trusting the momentum, we already had some stuff coming out soon, but groundhog built it. Something clicked after Blue Note Cypher. The rust was knocked off. It was my first producer rapper project and for that I thank you a lot. 

Blank: Now as anyone who follows you can see; you’ve been on a crazy feature run as of recently. Props of course to everyone else involved in that, but I’m interested in talking about some of our more recent collaborations on Repetition Side A, Winter Break, Into the Garden and My Life Flashed Before Me. Which is your favorite?

Jonny: Honestly this is a tough choice. I’ve been listening to a lot of Blue Note Cypher, but there’s something about the Burning Bridges verse for me. My voice is normally a lot higher in register but at the time I was sick and was able to hit a bit of a different register. All of them are great in their own way to be honest, but I think I got to pick burning bridges. Winter Break was a special moment for real though, it was really crazy to see that shape up and come out. Every track has little things and certain vibes that really tie me into it. 

Blank: Who are some of the people in our scene that inspire your music, or you just enjoy musically?

Jonny: First that comes to mind is definitely Patty Honcho. Obviously, you have some of my favorite stuff from the scene. It’s tough man because it seems like every week a new project drops, and it puts me back into making music because they’re so great. Knowitall, Blaq Chidori, Mourning Run, Unruly, Klwn Cat, Harvey Gold, PHNTMSLM666, Lunar. Lunar especially, you and he are always putting new music out and it really blows my mind. Some more names are 2Rok, Departure & Mayahana. Mayahana especially is a good friend I’ve recently made from music. We honestly could go on and on, there are so many incredibly talented people around us. 

Blank: What are some of your future plans for projects?

Jonny: I have a lot of future producer rapper projects coming out. Without saying too much, I have a stable of talented producers I’m working with, and I’m super excited to see how things come out with them. 

Blank: Anything else you’d like to say?

Jonny: Shoutout to you for being a great producer, friend and having me on here. Big shoutout to Sam Trottenberg who’s been my friend for a really long time and instrumental in supporting my music. Another big shoutout to everyone who supports my music, it truly means the world. One more shoutout to all the producers I’m working with right now for believing in my vision. I have a show this weekend on April 29th in Boston. If you’re in the area, come hang out and see me perform with a live band at Union Tavern. It's 21+, but if you’re in the area then come kick it and have a great time. Last thing being, don’t stress, trust your creative vision and people will gravitate towards you.

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Written By Blank Thought: