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Songtrust Spotlight: Smileyface

Rapper and producer, Jahmon Pauling, also known as SMILEYFACE, crafts tunes that focus on good vibes and living right. Born on the south side of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but now based in Atlanta, he established Chophouze Productions with his cousin Jonathan Joyner. The producer duo went on to produce for artists like Jadakiss, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, and more. 

Smileyface debuted his first album, "THC: The Hippy Chronicles," in 2014. He followed this with a prolific burst in 2015, which saw the release of "Lost Luggage," "The Reefer Club," and "Feeling Groovy: For Smoke Sessions Only." In 2016,  he added more of a trap-heavy flavor to his typical chilled-out grooves, issuing "The Stoner Next Door" and "Dank Smoke" that year. In 2017, additional smoked-out mixtapes arrived in the form of "Still High," "The Wood," "The Stoner Next Door," and the double-sided "Stoner Chicks do it Better." Pauling creates tunes all stoners worldwide can relate and ride to. 


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

My father, Kevin, inspired and introduced me to music as a toddler. When I was growing up, my dad always had a reggae band, and they traveled and performed all over the east coast. As I got older I would come and sit in on performances and eventually started playing piano with the band at 16. Later in life, as I continued to produce and dig deeper into music, I started rapping, and Johnathan and I started a production team (Chophouze). Long story short, today, we have produced for pretty much everybody in the game -- Nicki Minaj, Future, Nas, and more.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?

Well, all my music is dedicated to the stoners worldwide and as far as our production side, it’s mainly for the streets.

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?

Self-motivation and the love I have for creating. I could do this for free at the end of the day. Success is when you can pay your bills off your music. Success isn’t being rich, it's being better off than you were when you started.

THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST WITH DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT?

My dad, of course..that’s the master chief.

SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND NOT SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF?

Just focus on what you can control... a "no stress" lifestyle.

WHAT CAN OR SHOULD THE NEWER GENERATION OF MUSIC CREATORS, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY BLACK MUSIC CREATORS, FOCUS ON AS THEY ENVISION A NEW MUSIC FUTURE?

Be original and never follow trends because trends end.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY DO TO TRULY BE A REFLECTION OF THE CULTURE AND COMMUNITY IN WHICH IT CREATES?

Shine more light on the positive side of Hip-Hop, not the negative. There are a lot of positive artists out here that don't get any support or looks.

BLACK ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS, AND CREATORS HEAVILY INFLUENCE MOST TRENDS IN MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SOCIAL MEDIA - BUT THEY OFTEN DON'T RECEIVE THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE. DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR DEVELOPING CREATORS WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING THEIR WORK?

It’s out of your control. Just make it genuinely and don’t worry about the credit, it’ll come. Good music always floats to the top.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ADVICE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS, BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED?

Learn the business and don’t get a manager until you can manage it on your own - save your 20%!

WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP IN 2022?

More music, more hits, more life!

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