Interview with Mc Jonny T(@mcjonnyt)
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
MC Jonny T is the oldest of twin brothers born in Compton, Ca, and raised in Inglewood, Ca. He was raised in a single-parent household and excelled academically by remaining on the honor roll during his middle and high school years. In high school, MC Jonny T began his journey with the Hip Hop culture and his relationship with rap music as an artist. ” A lot of friends started to rap for fun. In the cafeteria, guys would bang out beats on the table. Anyone who wanted to rap would pay a dollar and whoever had the best rap won the money. I wrote a rap, practiced it for a week, and paid my dollar to rap. Given I was pretty much a nerd, it was surprising to my peers. I rapped and won. That’s where it started.” During his time as a college student at California State University, Fullerton, T developed an appreciation and knowledge of the business side of the music industry.
MC Jonny T has an official discography dating back to 2004. He released Square One independently during an era where label deals were still the ultimate goal for rappers. Square one is revered as a rare Hip Hop classic by the Japanese market. In 2005, he formed the Plumpah Humpah All-Stars. He led the group to a record deal with UrbanDigital Records in 2006, where they joined then-label mates Master P & Romeo. The label released its full-length album The Workout in 2008. With MC Jonny T in control of marketing & promotions of the project, the group garnered the distinction of having been the first music video to air on MTV with a “plus-sized positive” focus on the beauty of women of size.
The underrepresented group is still championed by T in some of his current content. Over the last ten years, MC Jonny T has recorded and released songs with Island Def Jam Digital Distribution, Bungalow Records, Universal Music Group, InGrooves, Sonorous Records, and his imprint -Phastlife Media Group (PLMG). He has been a rotating member of groups like Planet Swagger, an act responsible for the official anthem for the Los Angeles Clippers 2010-2011 season. MC Jonny T’s record label Phastlife Media (PLMG), is touted as a celebration of Hip Hop & Plus-Size Culture. PLMG currently releases digital assets via The Orchard – a distribution and marketing company solely owned by Sony Music. T is currently releasing music with partner Lyric Richardson as part of the duo JTLR and a series of solo efforts. Jonny also has distribution arrangements with Universal Music Group and Equity Distribution. Keep your ears open for more music and moves from MC Jonny T.
Can you share the most interest in what exciting happened to you since you started doing this?
Outside of music, I work in education. Several years ago, I released some music independently, and the song garnered some radio play in my local market. I wouldn’t classify the accompanying video as a “viral” hit, but it was well-viewed. When I returned to work in the classroom, there were a lot of high school students who recognized me from the internet and would sing parts of the song whenever I walked by them.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?
Establish your standard of success, and work in that space. We often see others reach a certain level of prestige and create this pressure to match their status without understanding every facet of the situation that garnered THEIR success. Write the goal, and create actionable steps to reach those targets. And enjoy the moments when those successes are attained.
None of us can succeed without some help along the way. Is there a person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Leo Rodgers was the Senior VP for a label at Universal Music Group. I met him at a Grammy party, and we hit it off. A few months later, I was his assistant. I learned so many things about the inner workings of the music industry from a veteran who had accomplished so much in the business. He passed away suddenly several years ago, but I will always be grateful for the opportunities he presented. I mentioned him in my song Where Would I Be Without You. My experience working with him allowed me to create so many meaningful relationships with other executives in the business. I also learn how to structure my record label from an administrative standpoint.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe strongly in tithing. The more success I garner, the larger the levy. I’m not a celebrity, so my name alone doesn’t hold much weight. However, I am always donating something monthly to a cause. Especially anything that keeps the youth off the streets. I also donate generously to causes that help less fortunate families around the holidays.
Do you have a favorite “written Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You can be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both.” There are many ups and downs in the music industry and generally in life. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how much power we own in our choices -who we choose to deal with people and situations, how we choose to deal with them, or even if we choose to deal with them. A deal didn’t work out, and I invested a lot of time, energy, and resources. It felt like a major setback and a failure. For weeks, I allowed it to consume my energy negatively, as I allowed myself to surrender to something in a way that I didn’t particularly need to. I was flipping through the channels and caught this minister speaking when he dropped the quote. And it stuck with me in a way that kept me from feeling stuck.
How can our readers follow you on social?
Instagram: @mcjonnyt TikTok: @mcjonnyt Facebook: @mcjonnyt Website: mcjonnyt.com
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about me. Experience my music on all major streaming services.