Step into the world of Princeton Perez, former fan favorite of successful boy band Mindless Behavior and an upcoming superstar in the music industry.
Throughout his journey from his younger days, Princeton has portrayed roles in well-known music videos and toured with multiple R&B heavyweights such as The Backstreet Boys and Jason Derulo, appeared in numerous commercials with McDonald’s and Nike, and even opened up for the legendary Janet Jackson for her ‘Number Ones, Up Close And Personal Tour.’ You might even suggest that he lives in a “Perfect World,” as the track from his debut EP, “Papi Chulo Prelude” would suggest.
With great honor, I had the privilege to hop on the phone with the budding musical superstar for a very open and transparent conversation! I must say, I enjoyed every bit of it! Princeton is a wonderful person, not just a music artist.
Livengoodlivin: Listening to you and looking at you, you remind me a bit of artists such as El Debarge, Prince, and Bruno Mars. However, you are Princeton Perez, a very talented and unique artist! I always wondered, where did your stage name Princeton Perez come from?
Princeton Perez: Well, thank you for your kind words! Honestly, when I came up with my name, I thought about something that would match my mindset as a musical scholar. The greatest musicians study the game, and since I have aspirations of being a legend, I must study the history of music!
LL: What are your biggest influences from the 1980s, 1990s, and the 2000s? Who would you want to make a song with out of each decade, and why?
PP: It’s too hard to think back at every decade and narrow down my influences so I’ll just mention artists who I look up to. I love artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and David Bowie, whom have opened up the door for versatility in music. Latin pioneers such as Marc Anthony, and Ricky Martin paved the way for my stardom today, so I have to thank them as well. Also, I listened to a lot of Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake growing up as well, so I have to pay homage to them as well.
However, my biggest idol and influence is the legendary Beatles musician John Lennon. The transparency in his music and freedom in his public image sparked the artistry in me as a child. Also, he broke off from the band and was successful by himself as I’m aspiring to do the same.
LL: Your style is very unique, it’s amazing! Can you elaborate on your wardrobe and what you wear on a day to day basis?
PP: Growing up, I just naturally always felt in tune with myself, so everything I wear is worn by me, and never the clothes wearing me. When I was younger, I was admittedly a little flashy, but now as I grow into myself and my artistry, I have progressed into the more grown, and sophisticated look. It’s more complexity in simplicity, so I want my look to reflect what the message of my music is about. Also, my advice to anybody picking out a wardrobe, make sure you’re comfortable. Comfort-ability equals fashionable and style.
LL: How has growing up in California influence your music and personality?
PP: During my childhood, I was touring a lot, so I was never home much, but every time I was home, the easy-going life always soothed me and helped curate the laid back and open personality I have today. While admittedly, California has different parts of it and different people, it helps shape people into accepting and loving each other. For me, It made me adept in communicating with a large array of people and helped me expand and communicate to my audience.
LL: Since you’re a well rounded entertainer, can you explain to me your creative process when it comes to making a song in the studio, choreographing dances for performances, and coming up with concepts for your music videos?
PP: I like to start what I finish, when I’m in my “zone,” I got to go through with it until I feel like it’s perfect and nothing else can be added to it to improve it. Everything you do when it comes to music, videos, dancing, etc.. comes down to how open you are to explore new topics and adapt to modern times. The more versatile and creative you are with everything you do, the longer you will last in this industry.
LL: You have been in the industry for a while from appearances in gym Class Heroes’ videos to multiple tours, being apart of successful boy band Mindless Behavior to meeting Barack Obama, and now releasing a debut EP; How have you handled all of the pressure? What have been your favorite moments so far?
PP: Gym Class Heroes saw my audition tape back in 2006, contacted my team, and invited me to portray a younger Travie McCoy in a video for “Shoot Down The Stars,” and another role in “Cupid’s Chokehold.” That experience helped groom me into the composed and hungry artist I am today! Also, my experiences with Mindless Behavior taught me to take things one step at a time and not rush the process. When I found out Barack Obama’s daughters were fans of mine, I was very humbled at the fact that my music was heard on a grander stage. However, when Obama praised me, that’s when I realized I must enjoy the journey I’m on and take things one step at a time. I really don’t have a particular favorite moment, the journey overall has been wonderful, and I’m very blessed to be on it. Pressure only affects you negatively if you let it so use it as motivation to keep progressing and you’ll be fine!
LL: Can you walk me through the making of “Papi Chulo Prelude?” From start to finish, how did you come up with it? It’s very good by the way.
PP: Well, it took me a while because I had to find the sound I liked for it, recorded it until I loved it, and ironically, perfected it. While no piece of art can ever be truly perfect in everybody’s eyes, what makes “Papi Chulo Prelude” special is the perfection in flaws, and thus the track “Perfect World” on it specifically fits the EP. I applied the same mindset to every song on the project! Since I’m so in tune with myself and being transparent in my songs, the flaws of me translate into the music I produce, and it sounded wonderful! The album that influenced this project was the classic album by Usher called “Confessions,” that masterpiece helped me cultivate ideas for this project. “Confessions” embodies the grown, sophistication, and sultry sound I’m transitioning into as an adult, so It was the perfect work to influence “Papi Chulo Prelude.”
LL: Who in the future would you like to collaborate with in terms of branding and making music? Where do you see yourself in five years?
PP: Honestly, nobody will ever know my true intentions because I’m unpredictable, and my artistry for creative genius can be sparked by impromptu occurrences. However, I would love to make music with Usher, Chris Brown, and Ariana Grande. I think we would make great magic together! A band that I must have the opportunity to work with is the legendary Rolling Stones! I’ve been collecting issues from them since I was ten and ironically, the first issue I got featured a cover with John Lennon on it! I feel like it’s meant to be so hopefully it can happen soon! I also want to start a boy band since I was in one. Finally, helping to resolve issues corrupting teenage youth and the homelessness problem in the world.
LL: That’s wonderful! Can you elaborate on more of your community outreach and philanthropy work?
PP: Of course, We are meant to help each other and improve this world together! I want to communicate to teenage youth the importance of multiple issues in the world today, such as world peace, a clean environment, financial wellness, and a multitude of other community outreach projects. One of my personal projects is helping with the homelessness issue in the world because everybody deserves to at least have a home. Also, I want to help groom young Black and Latino minds, such as myself into successful people and to steer them away from trouble.
LL: This has been a great interview; you’re such an amazing artist and person! What are your final thoughts?
PP: Thank you for such an amazing interview! My final message would be to stream my music, specifically “Papi Chulo Prelude,” and just know, it’s only the beginning for me. Nobody has seen anything yet! I have big plans for my future!