Embark on a golden journey through the musical universe of 24KGOLDN and his authentic and endless creativity legacy
Golden Landis Von Jones, popularly known as 24KGoldn, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter currently taking the music scene by storm. In this special interview with DA MAN, the young artist takes us from his earliest memories of his parents singing harmonies to his meteoric rise to stardom.
DAMAN: Can you tell us about your early introduction to music and what eventually inspired you to pursue a career in the industry?
24kGoldn: One of the first things I remember is my parents singing Michael Jackson harmonies to me as I fell asleep as a kid. Growing up, I went to Glide Church in San Francisco, where I sang in an award-winning choir. So, as early as I can remember, music has surrounded me. I think destiny led me to pursue it as a career.
DA: You gained recognition worldwide when your song “Mood” hit the charts in 2020. Did you expect it to become such a sensation?
24kGoldn: I really had no expectations. It was just something I made that I liked and the people around me liked.
“ALL ART IS STORY TELLING. MUSIC, FILM, PAINTING, DANCE … WHATEVER WE CREATE AS HUMANS ARE WAYS FOR US TO SHARE OUR STORIES”
DA: Your songs often have compelling narratives. Can you talk about your approach to crafting lyrics and storytelling in your music?
24kGoldn: All art is storytelling. Music, film, painting, dance … whatever we create as humans are ways for us to share our stories. I loved reading as a kid and my pops had a passion for writing. So, I guess it just runs in the family.
DA: Walk us through your creative process when creating a new song. How do you develop new ideas and what elements are essential in your music making?
24kGoldn: I always start with the melody. No matter what you’re talking about, it will be forgotten if it doesn’t have a melody that inspires or captures the listener’s ear. Once I have a melody that tells a story, I put words to it that either parallels or contrasts the sentiment of the music and the story.
“I THINK IT’S DUMB THAT SOME PEOPLE FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO JUST STICK TO ONE THING. YOU CAN’T PUT A BOX AROUND EXPRESSION”
DA: Your music is known for spanning various genres. Can you share your approach to genre exploration and what motivates you to avoid boxing into one particular style?
24kGoldn: I think people are multidimensional and I’m no different. I’m growing up in the Internet age, where my taste and access to music don’t have to be defined by where I was born or how many CDs I can afford to buy. I genuinely love music of all kinds, whether it’s rap, rock, soul, jazz, classical. I think it’s dumb that some people feel like you have to just stick to one thing. You can’t put a box around expression.
DA: You’ve mentioned the influence of Paypa Boy and 24Kay on your musical journey. How have their mentorship and guidance shaped your maturity and development as an artist and what specific lessons or insights have you gained from them?
24kGoldn: I got signed three days after I turned 18, so I knew from the jump that I would be growing as a man and growing as an artist. And those two things aren’t always necessarily aligned. You hear stories all the time of famous people that blew up when they were young and still act that age decades later. People like Paypa Boy and my manager Stretch are so important to me because they don’t let me get away with that. They put Golden the human and his growth and development over 24kGoldn the artist … and that’s rare in this industry.
DA: Beyond musical influences, are there any other sources of inspiration—such as literature, visual arts or life experiences—that play a role in shaping your music and lyrics?
24kGoldn: Life, in general, is such an inspiration for me. As an artist, that’s all we really do: Take life and turn it into an artifact that people can look back on and get a sense of how we were feeling or what was going on at that specific point in time. It is no different than a photograph, except you experience it sonically. And if you do a sick visual to go along with it, you can capture even more storytelling and emotion.
DA: Performing live is an integral part of an artist’s career. Can you share an unforgettable moment from one of your live performances that stands out in your mind?
24kGoldn: Every time someone asks me this, I always give a different answer, but I found this video of me performing my own songs for the first time at a food fair at my high school, and it’s the funniest s**t watching that and seeing how far I’ve come. I’m just proud of 15-year-old Golden for putting himself out there like that.
DA: You recently collaborated with JIHYO in her debut album song “Talkin About It.” What’s the story behind this collaboration and what was it like working with her?
24kGoldn: Her people had reached out and I listened to the song and loved it. I went to the TWICE show when they performed at SOFI earlier this year and the whole group and their team were so nice. I was happy to do the song with JIHYO. She’s incredibly talented.
DA: Other than with JIHYO, you’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with many other artists. Tell us of a particularly memorable experience from one of these collaborations that impacted your music or perspective as an artist…
24kGoldn: I got to work on some tracks with Pharrell in Miami last year. He was a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood and just the blueprint for everything cool. So, to work with him and pick his brain was rare.
DA: As your career progresses, what moments stand out as key contributors to your artistic growth?
24kGoldn: Time, for real. I’m here for a good time and a long time and the longer I’ve been doing this, the more I just keep getting better and learning. The key is lasting.
DA: Your fans have been an essential part of your journey. How do you engage with your fan base?
24kGoldn: I talk to them all the time on social media. If anybody ever comes up to me in public, I always take a flick and try to have a real convo. Without them, I’m just a dude singing about his feelings.
DA: When you’re not creating music, what are some of your hobbies and interests that fans might be surprised to know about?
24kGoldn: Acting! Before I even knew I could do music as a career, I wanted to be an actor, screenwriter and producer. I’m writing a few different scripts with my dad and have been taking some acting classes. Oh, and I love cars. JDM, classic Euro … all of it.
DA: Looking to the future, what kind of legacy do you hope to leave in the music industry?
24kGoldn: I want to show people how to embrace their authentic selves and let the world know nobody can put them in a box except themselves.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK
STYLING KIMBERLY GOODNIGHT
Grooming Sonia Lee for Exclusive Artists using Balmain Hair Couture
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