We had the good fortune of connecting with Gerian Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gerian, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. My mother, Annie Ruth, is an artist and because of her career I was introduced and exposed to a vast variety of art styles from visual art, poetry, and multiple genres of music. This eventually led to the my love of the arts. This also sparked my love for the community and service. Moving forward to the present, this impact inspired my own personal career path.
In 2014, I collaborated with Annie Ruth on a songwriting project. She had the melody but, was struggling with the words. At this time, I was just starting my own writing career so this was one of the first major opportunities that I received. I wrote the song entitled , “My Daddy Reads” which was eventually adapted into the book. The book was the spear head for a nationwide literacy campaign that is devoted to education, literacy, and encouraging fathers of the impact they do have in their children’s lives.
I grew up in a literacy world meaning education and learning were always top priority. I also grew up in a creative world where I was told more often then none that “everyone is creative”. So, from that I want to use my art to inspire the love of learning, to spark conversations, and to offer a perspective that may help to shape their own view of the world and life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My love for music began as a child. I was in a band with my brother and cousins called YPC (Young People for Christ). I was the lead vocalist and occasionally played the bongo. We toured through Cincinnati performing at the local venues like the Cincinnati Museum Center, the annual Black Family Reunion held at Sawyer point, various churches, and community organizations. We eventually disbanded due to management issues.
After that, I would write poems and song acapella, seeing as though I didn’t have any instrument training. Writing was an outlet that allowed me to be free and feel free to speak my mind. I eventually found the courage to release my first single in 2013 entitled “Still I Rise” and performed at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
I would have to say that I am most excited about the release of my single Mys Monét which was dropped on 04/01/2022. The process was extremely rough seeing as though I went through a complete rebranding process. I aim to have my music tell a story. My story. It is my hope that through allowing a look at the tough, vulnerable moments, as well as, the good ones, I would be able to leave a positive impact on current and new supporters. I want though who listen to music to feel like they can relate and that I can relate with them as well.
I’ve learned along the way that not everyone will see or support your vision but, through perseverance and a tenacious attitude, anything is possible. I want the world to know how important art expression is and to be able to take something away from my music or words that lead to growth and positivity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, first things first, we have to eat right! When I first moved to Houston in 2019 I met some amazing people who put me on to amazing places. So, I would start with options like the Breakfast Klub. Then, we can start our day off exploring driving around looking at the random art in the city. There is always something to do with so many great options. We can go to the Improv comedy club for a show. With the vast variety of culture and history, the museum district would be a great option for some fun learning. If you are a vibe and want a chill but fun atmosphere I would take them to Seaside Lounge, Kamp Houston, or Prospect park. Oh and the waterwall! Can’t forget the water wall which would be the perfect background for our pictures.
However, If we take a trip back to Cincinnati, Ohio. I would take them to all my favorite spots. We would definitely have to eat all the food Cincinnati has to offer like Alabama’s Fish, Frisch’s, Penn Station, and Richie’s. There is also the Black lives matter Mural that is in front of City Hall. We could catch an FC Cincinnati game or visit and have lunch at the Square in downtown. Then once the evening hit we could go to Oddfellows for drinks and pizza.
I’m really open to all types of fun new experiences but, my favorite past time may be just “winging it” and letting the vibe happen how it happens.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to definitely shout out my mother, Annie Ruth, she instilled the community values and is a constant supporter of all my endeavors. I would also shoutout Cameron Napier (Timeless Recording Studios), who is my manager and was the mastermind behind the music to “My Daddy Reads” . He continues to ensure that my writing and music gets seen and heard by new supporters everyday.
Instagram: @lilbaddiewithatti @mydaddyreads
Facebook: Mys Monet, My Daddy Reads
Other: email: email@example.com
Jane Bettis, Phil Groshong