Born to Panamanian parents in Brooklyn, NY, Johnny Prince grew up listening to Latin grooves that were connected to his roots. His father, who was a local DJ had countless records which allowed Johnny time to immerse himself in vinyl from artists such as The Stylistics, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. It was during this formative time in his childhood that he was quickly able to connect with the soulful sounds of ballads and the allure of rhythms. He found himself listening to songs that were far beyond his years but unbeknownst to him would help in his production aspirations later in life. However, it was in 1988 when he heard Audio One’s hit “Top Billin,” that his love for Hip-Hop was ignited. Could it be possible to incorporate soulful ballads with rap? Of course! “Top Billin” was not only a hit but the beat sampled “Impeach the President” by The Honey Dippers and went on to be used as a sample in many present day Hip-Hop tracks.
With the love of smooth R&B ballads, infectious beats from his Latin ancestry, knowledge of seeing the effects of sampling, coupled with the love of such Hip-Hop groups like Tribe Called Quest, and Leaders of the New School, his creative musical journey began. In 2005, Johnny Prince wrote his first song, followed by purchasing studio equipment and experimenting with the songs he remembered from his childhood.
A self taught producer, Johnny Prince has compiled numerous beats; some of which have been used for up and coming Brooklyn rapper, Boom Pacino and featured on Sarcasm with No Chaser Radio Show. In finding his own love for production, he opened up his collaboration sanctuary to local artists in his neighborhood so they could have the ability to record and do something constructive rather than hanging on the corner.
It was the birth of his son that truly inspired his writing talents as an emcee. With so many negative images in the media and the depiction of black males, Johnny made a commitment to write songs that were full of the values in which he was taught so that his son could be exposed to substance. Johnny thirsted for music that served as a voice for the people and when he couldn’t find that on the radio, he went into the lab and created the message. His music, which speaks about uplifting African American communities and the strength in empowerment, has been featured on mixtapes and albums.