PRI YON JONI (Musician)

1.) Tell us about yourself and your childhood?

I was born in Sorsogon, Philippines and when I was 3, my family moved to Detroit. I lived in an area near the Polish city of Hamtramck. My Polish American friends introduced me to European inspired music which led to building my career in electronic music. My dad was a musician. He couldn't read notes but could play to anything. There were always digital synthesizer keyboards in the house when I meddled with here and there over the years.


2.) Tell us about a challenging time in your life and what lessons you learned from it? 

    There were many challenges in my life, but I recent one was the process it took me to quit smoking cigarettes. I never even realized the effect it had on my life until I experienced the benefits after I quit. One of the club owners I still work for now told me, "the only way you can quit is if you really truly want to". I promised my girlfriend that by 2014, I would be smoke-free. It was a hard two months towards the end of the year before the new year, attempting to pace down my bad habits. Then after the new year, the first month of quitting was the worst. There was actually physical symptoms of withdrawal. I would be restless and have cold sweats in my sleep. I would have dreams of smoking a cigarette. My mood that month affected friendships. But despite the temptation, I had a clear picture in my head that I truly wanted to be done. After five weeks, I truly knew I was done. The cold sweats slowly went away. My appetite for food started to grow and I actually gained some weight. At that time, that was a good thing since I was underweight. The dreams happened less often. They still happen today but very seldom. A year later, I realized not only did I start to get my health back, but financially the results were unbelievable. I realized I was throwing away money at something that had no benefit to my goals, dreams, or career. That same year, without realizing as it happened was when I started to build my home studio. When I look at the gear and instruments in that room, I can honestly say that was financed by the money that probably would have gone to a pack a day. Overcoming that challenge changed me mentally, because this was one of the hardest things I have ever have ever attempted, and I actually got it. I used to fancy myself as a go-getter, but I don't think I had real tangible results show until after I overcame that challenge. The opportunities that arose and my capability and awareness to grab them became stronger. And it seemingly has nothing to do with killing that bad habit, but I feel like it did.


    3.) What motivates you to follow and pursue your passion?

    Realizing that talent shouldn't be put to the side as a hobby, but more importantly, helping others realize and take the challenge to pursue the same journey.


    4.) What advice would you give to the new up and coming artist?

    Don't be what your title is expected of you. I stopped claiming to be a DJ because I wanted to let go of what other DJs expected I'm supposed to do. Art isn't tradition. Art is creativity, innovation, and out of the box thinking. If you want to be an artist unlike any other, then take the opinions of others who claim the same title, and dismiss any advice that doesn't enhance what your art is from the heart. Only take the advice of those who have the results that you are looking for. If you want to be the next Hollywood film composer, Billy from down the block isn't going to have the wisdom for you to get there. Bless his heart if he means well, but learning that art isn't about fitting into a social club. Sometimes you have to stand alone in your field or craft in order to stand out.


    5.) Have you or how do you do you contribute to the community?

    I would say I am very politically aware and active. One of the things I try to do is volunteer to introduce my craft at schools and colleges. My understanding is that not everyone was blessed with the same opportunities as I have. But my hope is that I'm not too boring that maybe I can inspire someone to try a little harder to chase their dreams. I know it's popular among older adults to scapegoat millennials, but I think that's wasting their potential. Fresh minds are the ones that are going to build the infrastructure of our future. So I try my best to be an encouraging voice towards not only aspiring young artists but all the young folks, whatever it is they try to pursue. If anyone out there is reading this, I am still open to volunteering to make an appearance to schools to introduce students to mixing arts and music production.


    6.) Who do you look up to besides your parents?

    I really look up to successful people who are also humble and made it their habit to help others. Those people are rarer than the arrogant people who step on others.

    "I really look up to successful people

    who is also humble and made

    their habit to help others".


    7.) What are your goals for the next 5 years?

    While my overall journey is to never be in the same place you are today in the following years, I would like to see one of my original tracks chart on Billboard. Not a remix, or being part of a release, but an actual original song. Along with that I want to be more involved with children and introducing young kids and young adults to contemporary art forms in music which include, mixing arts, digital film composition, and electronic music production.


    8.) What is your motto in life?

    "A tomato who decides he is ripe

    is followed by rotting".


    9.) How long have you known Made4Mankind Clothing?

    Almost two years.


    10.) What do you know about Made4Mankind Clothing?

    The three meanings of the M4MC logo. I like what it stands for. Helping others.


    11.) What is your favorite apparel from Made4Mankind Clothing and why?

    It's the red hoodie. I'm a geek and aside from it looking nice, I really like the material and how comfortable it feels. I feel good wearing it and it makes me carry myself in good posture when I have it on.


    12.) If you could do a collaboration with Made4Mankind Clothing, what kind of apparel would you choose and why? (T-shirt, Hat, Accessories, Etc.)

    T-Shirt or hat. I would do something that centers around the theme of self-empowerment through accepting who you are. Not conforming to the social standards and embracing being different.


     Pri Yon Joni is an amazing and diverse turntablist local to the Des Moines area. With his expansive resume of being a producer and club mix artist, he can transcend through classic hip-hop, electronic dance music, breakbeat, dubstep, and progressive dance. His talents can take you on a high with beat juggling, a combination of scratching and remixing. Originally from Detroit, he took his talents to Des Moines and created a sound of his own with techniques that drive you to the dance floor.  

    Instagram: @PRIYONJONI
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    (Pri Yon Joni's Latest Work "Sound of the Sea" Featuring Darika) 

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