24KGoldn is here to hold down the Bay while attending USC as a freshman and living his best life. The singer/rapper brings his West Coast energy attached with an extremely versatile melodic rapping style — one that has taken this new generation by storm. His name stands for 24 karat gold, which he describes as being “the most pure representation of myself.” Read more…
If you’ve heard his buzzing, breakout single “Valentino,” you know exactly who he is. Now, the Columbia Records signee gears up for his forthcoming EP Boutique, dedicated to designer brands, the luxurious lifestyle, and the emotions they evoke.
You’re a freshman at USC. Do the teachers know what’s happening for you?
Some of the teachers know. If it comes up, then I’ll talk about it. Like “yo I can’t come to class today, I gotta shoot a music video” type thing. They’re like “music video huh?” That kinda gets the conversation started. In class, it’s better ‘cause it’s regular school type shit.
I was a guest in a music industry class. Do you take those classes?
I was gonna minor in Music Industry, but now with the actual music industry… nah. We’ll see what happens.
You’re from the Bay, how does that play into your life and career?
I’m from San Francisco, born and raised. Specifically, SF gave me a really unique and diverse perspective because there’s so many people from so many backgrounds. You got the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. Being around a lot of different people lead me to see things from different perspectives and have a lot of experiences to talk about in my music.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Well before this started taking off, my whole plan was to go into finance, be a stock broker, work my way up to hedge fund manager. Forreal. But once “Ballin’ Like Shareef” came out and blew up, I knew it was time to take this all the way.
How did you start recording yourself?
I’d just be freestyling with my friends freshman year (in high school).
So you were what, 14?
14/15, that sweet spot for starting something. My big bro, my mentor, Paypa Boy, he had a sneaker store that was 3 blocks away from my house with a studio above it. I’d known him for a couple years, I was a big sneakerhead growing up. He said “yo if you ever wanna make a song here and get poppin’ at school, we can do that.” I was like “hell yeah I wanna do that,” so I made the song, got it mixed, dropped it on SoundCloud that same night, texted all my friends. The next day, I came to school and everyone was fucking with it heavy.
“Valentino” has a 1.4M views on Youtube in a month. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
Yeah. I really made this song around Valentine’s Day last year, 2018, and just held it for the whole year. I’d post snippets and kind of tease people. Because I knew it was a song, so I just had to hold onto it.
You just dropped “Time For That!” What was the inspiration behind this one?
Sometimes, you just don’t got time for that with these busy schedules and a lot of girls play games nowadays. Sometimes you just gotta keep it real like “yo, I don’t got no time for that.”
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want fans to know that anything is possible. If you pursue your dream to the fullest extent and keep learning and going along the way, keep a positive attitude — you control your attitude and your effort — anything is possible.
What is your take on the music industry?
It’s really interesting being on the other side of the industry as a producer, not making beats but making stuff versus consuming stuff. It’s kind of like a peek behind the curtains. Some stuff’s cool cause its like oh this is how that happened but then there’s other things that, it kinda takes the magic away from it.
You’re only 18. What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Every day, I’m making music. That’s all I wanna do in life is make music, ‘cause that’s what makes me happy. Anything else that comes on top of that is just extra rewarding. If I can just make music everyday and be happy, that’s cool with me.
What did you do with your first advance?
I spent a ridiculous amount of money on Supreme North Face jackets, like the bandana ones. I think they came out in 2014, this one right here. [opens jacket]
How many you got?
3. There’s a black, red, and blue one. I wanted those jackets since I was 14 years old, so I finally got those. Probably gonna get a car, nothing too flashy.
Do you drive down here in LA?
Nah. I sold my car before I left, worst decision. Uber I guess. Uber drivers are annoying though. My Uber driver today took me 10 minutes to pick me up.
How important is social media for your career?
Social media is weird because it’s like a parallel universe ‘cause you have things that happen in real life and then you have things that happen on the internet. They can be two completely different stories but as long as you keep your social media real and it’s used the right way, let people look into your real life rather than being a fake life of its own, then it’s great. It’s a great tool to connect with your fans directly.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
If I go to a different city and it’s someone I’ve never met or seen before, no mutual friends, and they know my music. Every day I get Snapchats of people listening to “Valentino,” “Time For That!”, “Ballin’ like Shareef,” the “Bitch I Go To USC” song goes crazy too on the weekends. People don’t know me, but they’ll fuck with me. I appreciate the love ‘cause we can connect over music, which is the universal language.
What do you parents think?
My parents are super supportive of it. They understand it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I could always go back to school, but you can’t always go back to a career in music.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need tea, I need water. I’m big on hydration if you couldn’t catch a theme. And a good engineer. A great engineer.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Follow me on Instagram @24kgoldn. Peace.