We want to thank you for dropping such a dope project recently “SAMO”, please tell us who is Jomi? Where are you from? How did your Hip Hop brand come about? What does the name Jomi mean to you?
First and foremost I just want to thank UndergroundHipHopBlog for this interview and exposure on my project SAMO. My team at Dirty Laundry Records and I are honored and grateful for this opportunity.
joMi is many things. It represents struggle and an innermost battle; not only with oneself, but with our social construct as a whole. “joMi” is an analytical and physical representation of the urban community in relation to minorities and/or poverty. joMi stands for “Journey Of My Imagination”, “Just One More Immigrant”, “Justice On Many Illegals”, the list goes on. Additionally, “J.O.Mi” just happen to be the initials to my full name.
I was born in Oakland California and lived on East 36th St (Near Fruitvale & International St) up until I was 12 years old. Then my family moved out to Tracy California; which is where I completed my High School. Shout out to Tracy High School!
Dirty Laundry Records & “joMi” as an artist came about through simple music passion. Dirty Laundry Records LLC is a company initially started by myself and my little brother G. Cardona. Nick Montalvo came in later to help us legitimize as an LLC. It now has developed into a collective that consists of videography, photography, and pure artistic creativity from multiple artists. The artist under our label consist of myself (joMi), AR The Artist, and G. Cardona.
We notice you style is super original and very creative. Give us a little background on you style and how it cam about?
My “style” and inspiration is just a combination of my influences like Andre 3000, Black Thought, Tupac, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Ab-Soul, Eminem, Del The Funky Homosapien, Hieroglyphics, E-40, Lyrics Born, Zion-I, Calle 13, Juan Gabriel, Julion Alvarez, and artists alike. However, I try to make it as unique as possible by simply letting my creativity be as organic as possible and just letting the universe take control of my vocals without really imitating anyone.
Congrats on success of your latest EP, “SAMO”. Feel free to breakdown the creative process of the project. (features, production, etc). Where can people find the project?
The term “SAMO” is a direct reference to Jean-Michel Basquiat; the great NYC painter from 80’s. Jean-Michel Basquiat used to tag “SAMO” during the graffiti era all over NYC when he was homeless. He used to salvage pieces of wood from homes that had burnt down during the NYC fires. He used these pieces of wood as canvases just to create is art and express his genius. Everything he did was out of pure passion. Fast forward a few years; Jean-Michel Basquiat was the first Hispanic American (let alone American) to sell a painting that cost more than a Pablo Picasso piece… I say all that to say that “SAMO” embodies how I feel about my art at this particular time. No one really knows me yet, but best believe that everything I write is real and genuine. I don’t do this for money just like Jean-Michel Basquiat. I do it because I love it. This is me salvaging pieces of wood so that EVERYONE can listen for FREE.
In the project SAMO; I attempted to capture the most significant struggles that anyone living in ghettos throughout the world could relate to. I.e, drug addiction, purposeful drug placement in minority communities, alcoholism, targeted commercialism, break-ups, depression, love, spirituality, etc. All this stemmed from my own personal life as I lived my childhood in a drug infested block in East Side Oakland in the 90’s during the crack epidemic. With the help of my brother (G. Cardona) and Dopeboyzmuzik; the sounds and production came together to capture that eerie and gloomy, yet lively vibe to help the listener connect to a very specific moment in time.
You can find SAMO at any streaming platform imaginable! Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Soundcloud, etc. And if you don’t have any of those, DM me @officialjomi and I’ll send you a hard copy! I got you homie!
I have already released the very first visual to SAMO. It is for Track # 3 (If Tupac & Selena Had A Baby), shout out to Eric Bui for making my vision come to life through his visual art. It is available to watch on YouTube. Go watch it if you haven’t already! Its dope. I promise. Additionally, we plan on releasing a few more visuals for SAMO. They will be released under my YouTube page @ Official joMi.
With this industry being so fast pace, being so busy promoting yourself, what advice do you have to those who are barely releasing their first record, and trying to break into the business?
Im not sure if I’m the right person to ask for advice; for I am still trying to figure out the industry myself! I guess I’d say to be persistent through trial and error and highlight on great connections through networking. Most importantly, I’d say to focus on your craft and let it speak for itself.
How does social media playing a role in Jomi’s success? How are fans / supporters helping your movement?
Social media DEFINITELY plays a role in ANY artists success, unless you’re THE WEEKND or someone at that caliber who don’t have to post things on their page if they don’t want to, but will still sell out arenas. Social media allows you to connect with people all over the world; all one click/tap at a time. And if people really really like your music, then THEY will share your post/song with their friends. This process then repeats itself 100fold until you got a solid fan base. All because of social media… Social Media is needed (although I hate that it is)
My supporters are definitely die-hard. The people that do enjoy my music go out of their way to wish me success and are eager for the NEXT joMi move. I’ve had a hand full of heart-felt genuine conversations all because of the release of SAMO and its content. Its a conversation starter. My supporters help the joMi movement simply by sharing this project to THEIR friends. I can’t thank them enough.
With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
My definition of Underground Hip Hop is simply; LIFE. To me, underground hip hop has ALWAYS been part of my life. I relate EVERY moment in my life to a song (99% of which are from underground artists). I got introduced to underground hip hop at a very young age, and have not stopped listening since. All because I heard “Silly Puddy” by Zion-I when I was 10 years old.
You can find me at:
FB: @journey-of My-imagination
Lastly, and shout out?
Special shoutout to my brother G. Cardona (@prodgerardo) who helped piece this project together through production and engineering and not letting go of the vision. To Ozzy Torres (@yzzo_ozzy) who did all the photography/artwork content on the project. To Eric Bui (@ericbui) for the amazing visuals on the music videos. To Shane Crislip (@scfoto__) for contributing to visuals as well. To Nick Montalvo (@dlrmanagement) for pushing my music to venues. To Deuce Eclipse (@deuceeclipse) for coming through and giving me an amazing verse for my debut EP although he was busy touring. To Youngin Floe (@younginfloe) for being the homie and contributing to SAMO and giving us insight to the industry. To RAZ (@raz_mgmt) for pointing me in the right direction and putting me in front of heavy hitters. To Jaehavana (@jaehavana) for ALSO pushing my music to industry heavy hitters. To Juan (@jdmez91) for helping me build the DLR studio while I was working on SAMO. To Sinner (@od_sinner) for being a frequent joMi collaborator and contributing to SAMO AND Dirty Laundry Records LLC. To all my friends and FAMILY (ya’ll know who you are). And last but DEFINITELY not least, to Ezren for being the love of my life and for being my main source of inspiration.