Hailing from the West Indies; Georgetown, Guyana, to be exact, YK Gotti, née Gregory Johns, grew up listening to everything from, of course, Reggae, to R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop and even Gospel music. “It all began in my early teenage childhood…Going to church with my mother, and there was an announcement that the church will be creating a Youth Choir, so I said to myself, ‘Why not join?’ From there, I started singing in church,” Gotti remembers, retracing his earliest roots in music. Continuing, he further reflects, “Then, final semester in high school I needed a music credit to graduate, so I took music class. From there, my voice began evolving more and my music teacher stated to me that, ‘You got talent Greg!'”
Citing Bob Marley, Beres Hammond and Wayne Wonder, in no particular order, as perhaps some of his strongest musical influences, YK Gotti, whose moniker derives from being a self-professed ‘Young King’ combined with his ‘Boss’ status, has one very simple goal in mind…And that is to bring his unique brand of “Positive Energy, and enjoyable but always relatable music” to the masses.
For his latest entry, “Ballin’,” with its ‘stuntastic’ accompanying video clip,the aspiring 24 year old wordsmith recalls the true inspiration behind his future hit composition. “After a champagne spillin’ night at a club in New York City, I came home and I just started vibin’ off a melody I created in my head. Words began to come in my head of real life events that occurred to me,” he says very matter-of-fact, before expounding on said night in question. “I immediately then recorded the chorus idea, and sent the voice note to one of my producers in Florida to build a beat around it. Then after I received the beat, I sat on the song for about a year before I got into the studio to complete the song.” The stand-out track, produced by AYO, comes courtesy of Gotti’s soon-to-be released solo debut, B4 The Fame EP.
On his particular sound and/or style, the ambitiously versatile emcee vividly describes, “Well, I create Riddims in my head, and from there words just start flowing in my brain and I start putting pieces together…Just depends on the mood I am (in). I make different types of music, not just one specifically.”
Although YK Gotti is well aware of the industry and its potential hardships, as well as some of the many pitfalls a lot of artists, especially newer ones, regularly encounter, he remains very well grounded and is fully prepared for whatever may come his way…But, one thing’s for certain, he is DEFINITELY keeping his eyes on the prize. “Those problems are what made me stronger. We all face struggles…The way we handle them is what separates us,” the always uplifting Virgo believes wholeheartedly, when queried as to whether or not he’s faced many obstacles along his musical journey. Gotti, whose two biggest goals/aspirations would be a musical collaboration with Jay-Z and/or performing at the 02 Arena in the UK, proclaims that as long as he has these four; “God, my family, my team and, most importantly, believing in myself,” integral factors in check, then to quote his musical hero, ‘Tuff Gong’ himself, ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright!’
In closing, YK Gotti easily breaks it all down for the faint-hearted, before passionately concluding, “A KING rules with a VISION, as he is CROWNED with DREAMS, as he sits on the THRONE of PASSION! …Stay tuned for what’s in store; my upcoming EP, entitled B4 THE FAME EP, as well as (a) documentary Behind the Making of my EP…And not just my team, but my empire — Young Kings, it’s Game Time!”