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NYU Hip-Hop Artist Joshua Pierce Releases ‘Swish,’ Talks Music

The producer, performing artist and YouTube sensation has a surprise planned for fans when he reaches 37 million views.

A Musical Sensibility

The producer, performing artist and YouTube sensation has a surprise planned for fans when he reaches 37 million views.

By Yoni Yardeni, Pierce College

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hopping on the phone with a bright young talent by way of New York, Joshua Pierce.

A Music major at New York University, Pierce has ambitions beyond producing a catchy hit or two, but maybe that’s because he’s already done that.

In addition to making music, Pierce is also the founder of The Diversity Organization, an events and media company that’s focused on uniting all people together to move past biases and make a positive impact on the entire human race. As a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, musician and producer, the New Jersey native has a lot on his plate, but he’s still looking for more.

NYU Hip-Hop Artist Joshua Pierce Releases ‘Swish,’ Talks Music
NYU student Joshua Pierce (Image via Instagram)

Yoni Yardeni: So, where are you from?

Joshua Pierce: I’m originally from Teaneck, New Jersey.

YY: What do you do?

JP: I’m a music artist, producer and an entrepreneur.

YY: Obviously I’ve heard your music, but an entrepreneur too?

JP: Yeah, I run a company called The Diversity Organization. It’s an event and media company that focuses on uniting people of all kinds to make a positive impact for the human race. So far, we’ve hosted over forty events within the last two years, and have been partnered with a handful of high schools and universities as well.

YY: Oh wow, it’s all about making an impact. When did you start doing that?

JP: It was about two-and-a-half years ago, and so far we’ve reached out to thousands of people.

YY: What inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing, whether the music or the organization?

JP: Well, first off, God. Second, I want to make a positive impact; that’s just what I feel my whole existence is for.

YY: That’s great, but it can’t hurt to be in a program where Pharrell shows up on campus from time to time.

JP: Yeah, that’s an icon, man.

YY: He’s definitely a personal favorite of mine. What artists inspire you the most?

JP: It’s a very, very versatile list. I’d have to start off with Michael Jackson, move on to Quincy Jones, Beethoven, Drake, Kanye West, Pharrell—there are just so many. So many artists have made such an impact on me that it’s hard to even know how to pinpoint and start naming them off.

YY: Going off that, what three artists would you most want to get in a studio with if you had the chance?

JP: Wow, this one caught me off guard. Dead or alive?

YY: Anyone.

JP: First off, Michael Jackson, no doubt. Artists and producers, right? I’d have to go with producer Kanye, that way, I could get a beat from him and might as well try and get a verse from him too.

YY: Hell yeah, best of both worlds.

JP: Of course! One more, huh? Probably my man Kendrick.

YY: Such a great choice. How’d you like the new album?

JP: Psh, one word—fire.

YY: I noticed that at the start of all your recent videos you write “37SZN.” What does that mean?

JP: So, my goal is to continue releasing music till my YouTube account hits 37 million views; right now, it’s sitting at around 575,000. The reason for the number 37 will be announced once it happens; it’s all part of the bigger picture.

YY: That newest video you put out for “O’ Jesus” is ridiculously entertaining. Is that lightheartedness the style you’re trying to craft, or do you want to be more versatile?

JP: I just like the music to be a very authentic reflection of who I am as a person. “O’ Jesus” was a moment that I wanted to capture—the music is about the impact, you know? Like where a person is and what he’s doing in that situation; how can I reach out to that person?

For instance, social awareness has been at a high point lately, and I recently dropped “Villains,” a song that embodies that idea. Sometimes you want to get lit and reckless in the car with your friends, sometimes you want to be talking about socially charged topics and other times you just want to toy around and have a good time.

YY: How would you classify the state of modern-day hip hop?

JP: There are obviously some things that are missing from the mainstream. I hate to sound like an old head—I’m only 22—but lyricism is missing. Although, the flows are moving forward, so I like the direction that’s going. Guys like Young Thug and Lil Uzi, they’re really shaping up their own sound. There are a lot of great things going on, but the lyrical ability and the musicianship could be improved, and that’s why I’m coming.

YY: Where do you draw the distinction between an artist and a rapper?

JP: I think the term rapper stands for someone who can rap—put words together with rhymes, on beat. An artist is someone who studies the song that they plan to rap on, someone more in tune with the whole process.

YY: Where do you see your talents taking you in the next three years?

JP: In three years, I want to become much more established, touring and making a name for myself, all that. My goal is to dominate music.

Follow Joshua on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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