Exclusive Interview With Joell Ortiz

By -

Mikhail Stukov 

Joell Ortiz

Mikhail Stukov: Let's take it back to the beginning...When did you first become interested in music?

Joell Ortiz: I first became interested in music in my Housing Projects in Brooklyn in the early 90's. Taking part in Cyphers and performing in the neighborhood is what shaped me as an artist.

Mikhail Stukov: What has been the key to your success? Where do you get your inspiration from?

Joell Ortiz: I feel like the key to my success is really just sharpening my sword and making sure that Im rapping and performing at my best ALL THE TIME. One thing that no one can deny is grind. For some it takes longer than others, but eventually your grind and determination will give back to you. I'm inspired by the very same struggle that I want to avoid, if that makes sense... I know what it's like to be HURTING. No money, little food, and almost no hope. As a parent, I vowed that my children would NEVER have to go through that. It's all good though. If I didn't go through what I went through, I wouldn't be able to tell the stories that I tell and in turn paint those picture so vivid. My fans love that about me!! 

Mikhail Stukov: What are some things about Joell Ortiz that everyone doesn't already know?

Joell Ortiz: People may not know that Joell Ortiz is a really, really good athlete. I play damn near EVERYTHING lol. Football, basketball, baseball, tennis, handball (hood sport), pool, ping pong etc. Not only do I play these sports though, I compete a high level!! I like to win.

Mikhail Stukov: Whats the best piece of advice that has been ever given to you?

Joell Ortiz: The Best piece of advice in my life came from my mother. It wasn't a "magical statement" or phrase or anything.... Lol. She simply told me to put my faith in God. The minute I tried my best to involve God in my life, the evils were removed. I feel so blessed. Many of my friends are dead or in jail. I could have easily had the same fate. I'm not special. I just worked hard at my dream and kept my faith in God. -Amen

Mikhail Stukov: What do you think of the rap game right now ? and who are some of your favourite artists right now ?

Joell Ortiz: The rap game is fun right now. It's so spread out. One touch of a button on the Internet and you could listen to whoever you'd like. Kids can listen to the music they like. I love that! As artists, we're no longer so reliant on radio play to gain awareness, or promote etc. Its dope!! Some of the artists I like are Wale, J Cole, and of course my SlaughterHouse Brothers.

Mikhail Stukov: Talk me through a typical day for Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz: A Joell Ortiz day starts in the bathroom as everyone else's should lol. Gotta brush them teeth, shower, slide that deodorant on and GO!! 1st stop is the gym. Gotta get that good start to my day... From there it might be my local diner for a bite or back at the house, either or. Then it's off to the studio. A large portion of my day is spent in the studio. That's my livelihood and I don't take that lightly. From there, if I don't have a show or appearance somewhere that evening, I'm headed home to watch "Family Guy" or "American Dad" until I doze off. I wake up and repeat that on a normal basis when I'm not touring. Tour life consists of a whole different regimen. Always starts with the gym though.

Mikhail Stukov: Your favorite movie ? and why ?

Joell Ortiz: My favorite movie changes every couple of years... Lol. But movies that will always remain classic in my eyes are "The Goonies", "The Wizard of Oz", and "Planet of the Apes". Timeless. I just love adventure and imagination. These movies embody that!

Mikhail Stukov: Any new projects coming out soon ? what can we expect from this projects?

Joell Ortiz: I work on new music every day. Album, Mixtape, EP, whatever you wanna name it, it's in the near future for me. I don't have titles or dates at the moment, but those are the last things that are announced when it comes to my business. Music 1st. That's what matters most!

Mikhail Stukov: What has been the most rewarding moment of your career ?

Joell Ortiz: Every day is rewarding. I take care of me, and all my loved ones, doing what I love!!! What's more rewarding than that?!?!?!

Mikhail Stukov: Do you have plans to visit Russia ?

Joell Ortiz: As far as Russia, I'd LOVE TO GO!! I've never been. One of the things I love most about Hip Hop is that it's a universal language. I've traveled the world!! I've never been to Russia though. I have a funny feeling that that will change in the near future!!! Haha Thanks for the interview!! -Yaowa

Mikhail Stukov: Thank you very much for your time Joell

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