As someone who didn’t grow up with much, hip hop artist Printz Board found his way to the top living his dream. He has attended SXSW the four times over the past eight years and can’t stop coming back for more.
To start off as an icebreaker, what is your favorite animal if you had to pick one?
Women. That’s all I have to say!
What got you into music?
When music was in school, I was 10 and they said I had to pick an instrument to play, so I picked a trumpet thinking it would be easy. It was definitely not easy, probably the most physical demanding instrument ,but I picked that and fell in love with it. I started playing around on my grandmother’s organ and ended up playing 5 to 6 instruments and going to college for music on a full scholarship.
Your first single was #1 and premiered on MTV US, were you excited to know that your hard work is paying off?
Yes of course! I’ve been pretty successful with all that I have done but I still get excited when I hear that my music and work gets recognized. I work so hard to get my music how I want it and it’s just a good feeling that others can enjoy it.
You’re a multi-Grammy award winner, that’s pretty amazing!
Eh, it’s cool. You know what does that really mean? It means that people just like what you do. It doesn’t mean that the other nominees didn’t deserve the Grammy, because they definitely did, but there had to be one winner. For me, it’s just like ‘okay cool thanks I’m glad you like my music!’ It doesn’t change the way I think of myself and build a big ego.
There is an EP in the works, when does it come out?
Now I’m getting super excited! Pregames is coming out around April or May, depending on how well it does in New Zealand/Australia. I’m starting the release there and working its way to the US. Why we are doing it down there though is because it’s summertime record and the heat is there, then as the heat picks up over here we will bring it over. The EP is 6 songs!
What are your songs about?
Life. Printz Board, Board Games. My life. So Pregames to the full length Board Games, what I put on the EP were songs that I wanted to show all of my angles. Number 1, I wanted to show my dedicated side, I love the women which you know but it’s about sticking by her side. People when they hear it initially they think shallow side, a bunch of different women but when you look at the video it’s the same woman with a wig on and I changed her look for each scene as if it was a different woman. So I’ve got stuff like that then I have Hey You, that is my next single that is big and people to go crazy world wide and party! I do the serious side, I wrote Where is the Love by Black Eyed Peas right, my version of that song for my album, which is called Mountains. That song is about my mom and I, how we grew up in Columbus, not having everything then I found my way climbing to the top of a mountain and being able to take over. It’s like I see you struggling, I was struggling now I’m here so you can get here as well. I have a very wide range of messages. I also did a Rock Star song with Slash, which will turn you into one if you listen to it.
How did you get into the bigger artists?
Well you carry a certain status and carry the same stuff as people in other rooms, so it’s really easy to talk like we are talking now. All of these characters too, came up together. I was at John Legends’ apartment whenever he shared it with three people and we were going through the laptop trying to write song ideas. I was with Katy Perry, she lives down the street from me and she would just stop by and we would just write the weirdest songs. A lot of these people just came to stuff together. It’s easy to click with people who are in the same environment.
As someone who has been to Austin quite a bit, are there things you like to do outside of SXSW?
When I’m here I am submerged into the music part of the city but I do enjoy going to the river whenever I can. We don’t have rivers to float in Los Angeles so I take advantage of it!
Big Picture Media Press Day 2014