Navigating the Come-up: Interview with Rapper, Singer and Student 24kGoldn

Dillon Matthew | Daily Trojan

Daily Trojan: You’re at the beginning of your music career with a bright future ahead of you. What does your music mean to you at this moment?

Golden Landis Von Jones: To me, music is everything. The fact that I’m able to make music every single day and live a lifestyle that I enjoy is all I ever want. Everything else comes extra. Music is my expression, my outlet and my favorite thing to do.

DT: Has music always been something present in your life, or is it something you picked up later?

G: I sang in the choir in middle school and high school, and, with that, its importance in my life has grown with my own growth.

DT: What drives you to make music? Where does your inspiration come from?

G: I’m a little bit more reserved emotionally, and music is an outlet for me to channel how I really feel, and I want to make sure other people can feel that, too. A sense of relatability in melodies, tones and lyrics is channeled and created through the human experience.

DT: Aside from being a musician, you’re also a student. What keeps you committed to school rather than pursuing music full-time?

G: I really didn’t know that things were going to happen so fast when I came to USC. I had anticipated not finishing school all the way through. I could’ve taken a leave of absence after my first semester to focus heavily on music, but I wanted to round off the school year to further develop the relationships I’ve made here. I love being on campus, and I think being a student keeps me grounded. Yes, I might be doing a big show, but at the end of the day, I’m running back to my dorm, just like everybody else.

Dillon Matthew | Daily Trojan

DT: Do you have any other musicians or people you see as mentors, considering you’re entering this industry at such a young age? Where do you turn to when you feel lost?

G: The person who got me my record deal, [producer] D.A. Doman, is an incredible mentor and role model. Although he isn’t an artist and is more of a producer and songwriter, I can always go to him with any question I have. My biggest mentor though has to be Paperboy, who is a rapper, store owner, sneaker influencer. He is the person who got me into recording music. He really helped me grow as a person, and I attribute a lot of my maturity and development to him.

DT: Many of your songs are very high-energy. How does 24kGoldn rewind and relax when he’s stressed?

G: I like to do face masks. I think it’s incredibly important to take time and do things for yourself. For the past two months, I was in the studio every single day writing songs for other people. I felt like I was getting to the point of burning out, so I had to put things into perspective and take a step back. It’s O.K. to sometimes lay in bed, hit the dab pen and watch Netflix all day. Sometimes you need that, and it can never be something you feel bad about.

DT: Do you have certain songs you listen to when you want to destress?

G: Yeah, I have a chill playlist! It has a lot of Frank Ocean.

DT: Do you see those genres inspiring your own music ever?

G: Recently, yes. Before I would only listen to hip-hop or rap all the time. The music that I currently have out is very high-energy, like “Valentino,” but those were recorded over a year ago and don’t exactly reflect the person I have become since then. They’re still important for people to listen to, and I’m glad that they can represent that time in my life. However, I have a new song that will be out on SoundCloud called “Lot to Lose,” which is completely different.

DT: Do you think this evolution of style is reflective of your own personal maturity since entering college and living in Los Angeles?

G: I think that’s definitely how it’s going, but it also has a lot to do with my own personal experimentation with styles of music. I think I’m starting to find my style, but I don’t ever want to be constricted by one genre. You don’t need to just do one thing and stick to it. I’m not that type of person.

DT: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

G: That’s tough because depending on what song you listen to my music can be described different ways. I think it’s something that people just have to decide themselves when they listen.

DT: Finally, where does 24kGoldn go from here?

G: I think the goal is to just have more people hear my music. I believe that what I’m making is quality, and I think that other people who hear my music understand that. I was just as happy when I had 70 people listening to my stuff on SoundCloud. Now, to think that thousands of people listen to what I have to say, is crazy. As long as it’s making other people happy, and me happy that’s all I can ask for.