JACKSON, Ms. (WLBT) – Back then you were hyped just to have lots of friends, but today’s culture is all about followers.
And a young Jackson artist named Prentiss has a crazy number of them who just turned 15.
Nearly 100,000 people follow the self-taught, curly-haired artist on his social media and nearly double that number of monthly listeners.
He also has a record deal and a DM from Justin Bieber, but to Prentiss he’s just an ordinary kid.
“I’m like everyone else, but I love making music,” he said in his bedroom during our zoom.
On April 16, the indie-pop artist headlines his first solo show at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson, but it all started when he was 9, making parody songs on iMovie in his bedroom. .
“I think I once did a parody of a T-Pain song, but [iMovie] didn’t have auto-tuning, and the T-Pain thing is like a ton of auto-tuning, and it sounded awful,” Prentiss said with innocent honesty.
Then it entered Garage Band, an app that turns your device into a collection of touch instruments and a complete recording studio.
“I was rapping a bit and starting to sing a bit more because I always had a high-pitched voice for my age.”
Prentiss admits his music wasn’t great, but he didn’t care – he had fun singing, mixing and composing his work.
“Even when my music was bad, I think I was at the point where I loved it so much that I could convince myself that I was going to do well,” Prentiss said evenly.
As he got older, his hobby became much more important as pressures to fit into Jackson Academy failed.
“I got in trouble like a ton. Um, I wasn’t being disrespectful or anything, I was just making people laugh, and I kept getting in trouble. And I felt like I didn’t feel like a creative, but I definitely knew I was a creative. I got into music because I wasn’t good at anything else,” Prentiss said.
Then he became homeschooled, focusing solely on education and music. And a song called October that he himself mixed with a Youtube beat changed everything.
“It was something different. There was a lot of punk influence,” he told GQ in an interview. “A page of memes [called extendo] tweeted that he was looking for new music. I did not expect good feedback at all. So I come [posted the song] the.”
October was played at Egg Bowl, which aired on ESPN. Soon after, he had a manager, a record label, and a music deal, not to mention more friends.
“It was weird, for sure. People who didn’t know me always said something about it, but people who were my close friends never really acknowledged it.
Then one day, Justin Bieber followed him and even sent him a direct message – five words.
“Brother, go on; you are awesome,” Bieber’s post read.
“I stayed flat. I fell to the ground,” laughed Prentiss. “It’s a motivation I’m going for. It’s crazy motivation.
Since then, he’s caught the eye of Skrillex, Meghan Trainor and blink-182’s Mark Hoppus.
In January, he released a song about high school heartbreak, titled I’ll wait.
The teenager who loves journalism and comedy as much as music is writing his own story and hopes it inspires everyone to find something they love and do it.
“None of these people who make music are special or anything; they love what they do. If you love what you do, go for it,” Prentiss said clearly.
The teenager’s new single, Let Myself Go, is out April 8, and his first solo gig is in April, with local band Pothole Paradise opening.
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