Javi is here to put on for the younger generation, while repping that catchy West Coast sound we all know and love. With his most recent singles “Misunderstood” and “Air Force 1,” the Riverside native proves he has exactly what it takes to make it in the rap game. Read more…
Describing himself as “that n*gga who can really do it all,” Javi prides himself in his versatility to both rap and sing. The only thing he’s not doing is country and rap, he jokes. Most recently, he unleashed his new EP titled Joint of the Year which sees him humble bragging and shit-talking, getting everything out from deep within.
Being from Riverside, what were you seeing growing up?
There are two sides I grew up on: there’s downtown then there’s the other side. I don’t want to call it the uptown, but that’s low key what it is. The uptown part of it is all suburbs, these little white kids were there at the same time. When I lived in the suburbs, I had friends who didn’t live in the suburbs parts. They were coming from the little hoods, I was always there. I saw little shit as I was growing up like petty thievery. But then I moved downtown, that’s when I started seeing crackheads and all that. I was hanging out with certain people I shouldn’t be hanging out with, but that all comes with just growing up.
Were you in the streets type thing?
Nah. For me, my mama raised me better than to be around that if I’m not really from that. If I was raised actually in it, it’d maybe a bit different. But I wasn’t raised in the streets.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
I’d say early last year. Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to do music. I just didn’t know how I wanted to make it or what I wanted to make, none of that. Last year, I started taking it more and more serious. I found my own little sound with it, that’s when I took it forreal forreal.
When did you notice a shift?
Shit started moving… but how I used it to my advantage, I’m on Youtube too. I used my own Youtube to make my music popping at the same time. I’d make a playlist video and I put my own songs in it. The videos get 100K views, so it was easy for me to do that.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Okay, I eventually need to change it to 4l Javi because the name Javi all by itself is so vague. When you Google it, it says Javi: the Mexican n*gga from the Teen Mom show. I’m like yeah, I gotta change that. But then if you Google “4l Javi,” my music still pops up too. I’m about to change that on my Apple Music, Spotify, etc. Make it easy for everybody.
Best memory from the “Lucky” visual?
We had one scene where we’re all with each other in a group. We were already drinking, it’s the last scene we shot. Everybody had their shirts off, we were drunk just having fun. That was the best part.
You’re only 21. Did you finish school?
Yeah. I finished school for the most part. I didn’t drop out. I didn’t do all my work, but I made it somehow.
Saw your Lit Summer Playlist! Saw you supporting CONRADFRMDAAVE.
That song (“Vintage & Adventurous”) was the song for the summer, easily. It was numbers on that. We weren’t even sure how much it was about to get, we were just making a regular video and it got to 10K hella fast. The making of the video was hella fun, we had hella fun. We were drinking too so it was more lit.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to get that we are all low key in the same boat for how we feel. The stuff they’re feeling is the exact the same stuff that most people feel too. No one wants to talk about it so I don’t mind being the one that has to talk about it.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
In the long run, I definitely want to have my own tour. But on a big level, on some Drake type shit where you tour for 3 months. Each and every stage is set up perfectly with the best background lights, dancers, all that. At the end of my music, in my mid-30’s is when I retire and invest in different businesses. I also want to act — not right now but later on. I definitely want to get into acting, that’d be cool.
How important is social media for your career?
Right now, it’s really important because that’s what everybody is on. If you can find a person on Instagram, you can like their stuff and see what they’re doing. It makes you like them more. It’s the ones who are popping but they’re still lowkey, I still don’t know how they are. I always wanted to know how is PARTYNEXTDOOR still so poppin’? We haven’t seen him in months.
Like Frank Ocean status.
Yeah, he went MIA on n*ggas and nobody knows where he went. That’s the only thing, it helps you as an artist as far as growing your fanbase. I don’t need it for my daily stuff unless I’m pushing stuff. If I don’t have to promote nothing, I wouldn’t even need to be on it for real.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I get up, pop open my computer, check my phone, check my emails. Eat something somewhere in there. Shower, get ready, all that. It’s always something different. We shoot videos on random days so I’ll shoot a music video for half a day, then a Youtube video. By then it’s probably 5pm or 6pm. After that, I’m at home. I take a nap from 6pm to 9pm maybe. Then I wake up and I’m on my computer thinking about shit, either writing, watching interviews, or listening to beats. There’s always something to learn.
3 things you need in the studio?
Quietness, I don’t like be in an environment with hella people as I’m trying to work. Because they aren’t taking it as serious as me, so I don’t want to personally talk. I don’t like any other females in there twerking — I don’t mind it but in my own, I don’t like it. Second thing is my phone because it has all my lyrics on there. Third thing would be a person who’s music opinion I trust. Because if I’m in there all by myself, I’m not thinking of all the ways to make that song better. But if it’s a person in there I fuck with tough, they’d be like “hell yeah, that’s hard” or “no.” That’s how I know whether the song’s going to go or not.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I’d be doing something in film, it’s why I really learned to do music videos. If I could, I’d be a producer for a bigger person who shoots videos all the time.
Best encounter you had with a fan?
We were at the mall one day, I was in Champs. There was one girl who had walked up and she was shaking. She’s like “I was wondering if I could take a picture?” We took it, she’s like “I watch everything, I listen to everything. I have your merch.” I’m like “oh shit, thanks.” She walked off but she was just ecstatic as hell. That was the weirdest thing because I’m still a regular person. But there’s people who think I’m kind of not, that I’m famous or whatever.