Exclusive Johnny O 2012 Interview – Just When You Thought You Heard It All!!

Alysia: Where are you from?

Johnny O: I was born in Brooklyn, New York. From my dad’s side ( who by the way I never knew).  He was Hebrew and Cuban. My mother’s side was Puerto Rican.

Alysia: Did you have any professional musical or voice training?

Johnny O: Later on in my career I did take professional vocal lessons to improve my abilities in sing.  I was also blessed to be in a church choir who taught me so much about music and control of my vocals that I thank God for them! I also toured with the late and great George Lopez of George Lopez Productions who forced me to sing live night after night at all the churches he booked me! Thank you George. Today George is with the angels in heaven!

Alysia: How and when did you get your big Freestyle “break”?

Johnny O: I sang for a record representative of Mic Mac records, who at the time worked for my uncle as a DJ. He became very impressed and held an audition with me at his home with another gentleman who happened to be the owner of Sparkle productions management. I remember it as if  it was yesterday. I sang four or five songs. Toward the last song, they interrupted me and asked if I would step out of the room for a moment!  After a few minutes they called me in and expressed their amazement! And that started my career as Johnny O.

Alysia: Dream Boy Dream Boy is MY favorite song EVER! What was it like to create a world known duo that held the charts for years?

Johhny O: The story behind Dream Boy, Dream Girl is a happy and sad one. The concept was brilliant at the time to have the two top selling artists on the label collaborating on a duet single that would shake the world of freestyle. That project would be called “Dream Boy, Dream Girl. But what most people didn’t know was I was the original arranger of that song (Juan Ortiz)! The original demo track of Dream Boy Dream Girl was whacked at best, it sounded robotic and dead. I even remember singing it in the studio in different ranges to help the song along. But still it was missing a clear direction until I came and placed my vocals down in about fifth teen minutes.  The producers went ballistic and when the ideas where needed for the end of the song guess who created it? You got it, little old me! By the way, when the producers went ballistic it was because it sounded amazing and they became angry because as they put it “we don’t want to share publishing with you (Johnny), but we loved what you did!” So now after so many years of lying and false stories that one person created Dream Boy Dream Girl it’s time I clear the air. I “Johnny O” was the official arranger of “Dream Boy Dream Girl, even creating all the ad-libs toward the end of that mega hit and never did anyone say thank you Johnny O! Never! Can you imagine the opportunity I missed by not having the music industry know I was the arranger of that mega song…wow! And even today, with all my new underground mega hits and recently writing for others artist. It is about time that people know. They are just now realizing what a multi-talented guy stood before them.

On the other hand, touring in the beginning became a nightmare with Cynthia as Dream Boy  Dream Girl became what is known today as Freestyle’s one and only duet mega hit. The constant arguments and disagreements where over whelming on the road…it became unbearable! To put things into prospective I was a martial artist when I was in my teen years and a very good fighter and when things got bad I would become Mr. Bruce Lee and my pride just fueled more problems than solved them.  It got so bad that one night at a club where we were about to perform, fists where about to fly when a big fight broke out in the basement of this club. And words got back to my manager and we held a meeting between both soloists. The meeting was short because I cancelled the tour for 3 months. It was just two kids with two chips on their shoulders and no one was moving. The decision I made created anger and disappointment but someone had to put a stop to all this abuse. Management lacked experience and a clear understanding on pricing and promoting successful recording artists like myself! After managing my own company for so many years and studying successful recording artists today in many different markets. There is no doubt that my old management (Sparkle Productions) had a limited and remote understanding about true direction and how to achieve the success needed for today’s artists. Now mind you my manager was very kind, sweet and funny…many never knew that he was my Karate teacher for many years also. So that wasn’t the case, it’s just we should have been on a different level with many of our careers if certain steps would have been taken! And regarding Cynthia and Dream Boy… all that is in the past today. We are best friends and have an incredible fun time when we are together touring with Dream Boy, Dream Girl

Alysia: So how did the tour go and why isn’t there a video for Dream Boy, Dream Girl:

Johnny O:      Good question! Just after the studio and start of the tour, which ended up cancelled by me, eventually the tour started up again with conditions which both side had to keep and then came another bomb shell. From the label came a poor decision by the record label that cost and hurt the record because there was no clear leadership to follow! What to do: should we invest in a music video being the song was hitting the billboards and doing amazing or put more money into promotions which was a given. Or not to promote? Made no sense… why not create a music video for the hottest song in freestyle history! But poor marketing and decisions making took its toll and today no music video and no understanding what could have happened if a video and profound promotions would have taken place! And imagine how big Dream Boy, Dream Girl could have become today with these tools. Imagine with these marketing tools…skies the limits!

Alysia: Wow. With that being said, how was your relationship with your record label and what happened to gain your release?

Johnny O: Alysia, when I was given the tape to write my first song, which was “Fantasy Girl,” I never signed a recording contract with Mic Mac Records. In fact what happened was and I remember it as if it was yesterday. The vice president of Mic Mac Record came up to me in his home just after recording the single and gave me a bunch of papers and me being naive and trusting that this person who called themselves my friend would never rip me off. But that was not the case. The papers were portrayed as just to release the song from the warehouse. No this is not a contract, but low and behold, it was the Mic Mac contract. And no lawyer of mine ever saw it nor was I granted the opportunity to know how much I was signing for! And by the contracts contents, which were by the way,  4 cents or 4 points only on whole sale and a my publishing rights taken away. A type deal that never ends, is this legal? I was taken for a ride, so while all these songs were going platinum and gold and making them millions, me and my family gained practically nothing in royalties or anything. Oh let me also point out that for many years after 10 percent of all my road shows for no apparent reason would also go to the vice president’s pocket. And you thought everything was rosy and nice? Do you know that Mic Mac records also stopped paying me royalties? I have not received the little royalties since 1991 the year Dream Boy came out! So I have no clue how much money I made them and me because of the neglect and greed. You see behind every closed door were greedy and prideful and selfish people that hurt my family and fueled my anger.

How we broke the contract with Mic Mac Records was clear…I can remember entering the office of Mic Mac Records and having a meeting with both President and Vice President and telling them how they ripped me off for all these years and how I made them tons of money and now it’s my turn. I ask for 1 dollar more if they wanted me to re-sign with them. Because my contract was up for renewal. Alysia, do you know they offered me ten cents more against whole sale and that was it? I laughed and stormed out of the office and there is where the Vice president plotted to hurt me physically. To make a long story short, at a club called Rick’s Bar located here in Miami, Florida, the Vice President and his thugs tried to attack my dancers (which, by the way, was one of Latoya’s Jackson dancers) and me while hurting my wife Jeanette with a pool stick. I turned into Bruce Lee and kicked all their butts and bloodied many of them including Mr. Vice President, who was later charged with aggravated assault and arrested in the Winter Music Conference location which was held every year here in Miami, Florida. And it took years to get him but the detectives and police officers got him while on a panel at the Winter Music Conference. It was the release I needed: who now can touch me after attacking me and my family? No One!  It’s very difficult to speak about the past without God’s forgiveness. All these experiences makes me stronger in the Lord and my prayers continue for all these individuals and their futures. My prayer is that they make right the wrongs they have perpetrated in the lives of my family and in mine. I have become a testimony and encouragement to some many people in the music industry that it’s become a pillar to the community. People can see how I can relate with their hurts and emotional downside. My future is now in the hands of the Almighty God Jesus.

Alysia: With the exception of Beatstock, do you still perform ?

Johnny O: I tour on a constant bases almost every month through out America.  I am one of the blessed artist that has traveled the world. I hold one of the most exciting shows you have to experience. I just love the stage and my fans. Watching them sing all my songs and seeing their expression on their faces brings me so much joy! And I thank God for Beatstock. They are keeping us alive and letting the New York area know we are and always will be the legends of Freestyle and Pop…did you know we too have many Pop tracks but no one speaks on our behalf about this subject. I myself and many other performing artists have successful Pop tracks which are called “Freestyle,” but the facts are they are clearly “Pop” tracks. Did you know Fantasy Girl and Dream Girl were never considered Freestyle, rather Pop? Makes you wonder  why things are about to change very soon in my career. And the support that I have behind my career is staggering.

Alysia: How and why did you become a Pastor?

Johnny O: With so many attacks and financial troubles from the record label, becoming so famous and having no money was my oxymoron. I was just empty inside and hurting. It was my search for truth that lead me to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I also had a fascination with Prophecy and the end times events that it too drove me to seek the truth and where I realized that God’s Holy word the “Bible,” has every bit of truth anyone could ever want to encounter. You know it was funny because you couldn’t come to me preaching that I needed Jesus in my life because I would rebuke you or even threaten you. There were times that I would just have a blank face and say nothing while someone would share the love of God with me…shameful but true. But I had to find out for myself who He was I thank God for all those bold saints that preached to me the Love of Jesus and planted His seed of life. Then and only then did I give my life to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah Jesus. I became a pastor in the year 2000 and never looked back nor will I. There are so many hurting souls our here it’s unconceivable. And with my music and God’s word I have seen changes in my life and in the lives of others. People enjoy my blogs and writing they can’t wait to see what God is going to preach that day through me. And I love them and God.

Alysia: How did you go from dance music to preaching?

Johnny O: Studying, and more studying and more studying…I think I read about three books a month. And study the scriptures on a daily bases. But the funny part is I am incorporating dance music with the gospel message. A new favor a new style and my fans love it. It’s not boring and it’s new and amazing. I have a new single called “He’s All Right With Me,” created by KlubJumpers and me and the fans are loving it. This is going to be some career? Thank you Lord. Alysia, back around 1997 I was evangelizing with my spiritual father named “George Lopez,” of George Lopez Promotions. He always had a vision to see the people and community come to Christ for salvation. People and Pastors loved him greatly, so did I. once in the summer of 1997 while walking to my stage where we were going to sing gospel songs which was located in a huge parking lot of a huge evangelistic event. The Lord spoke with an audible voice in my spirit. It was the most beautiful voice you can ever imagine. What He said was “I’m I not worthy of Freestyle!” I froze right in my tracks…”did I hear, what I thought I heard?” I said to myself? Now mind you Alysia, before I took my next step I was completely prepared and alert for anything that might happen once I take that next step. I couldn’t have taken one step before this beautiful deep voice spoke again and said “I’m I not worthy of Freestyle,” praise Jesus, He spoke clearly in my spirit it was amazing and I began to weep bitterly and yelled out “you are worthy of anything my Lord God.” Not to mention that once I got to the stage George saw and asked me “what happened Johnny,” once I began to explain to him what just occurred he was convinced the Lord had an huge plan for my life. Alysia, it was supernatural and what I am doing today only solidifies the prophetic word spoken into my life by the Lord Himself.

Alysia: What are your goals?

Johnny O: Unity and love, I still want many Dove and Grammy awards and not for prideful purposes but rather to enter these arenas and to prove to the world that God is also amazing and creative. I want the world to know that I am an evangelist / pastor who is willing to go the mark to let the world know God loves them and He will not forsake them. I want the world to see the talent He has put into my heart! And to share His love in song, and in word, this is a chance of a life time. And I am believing for it? For freestyle and the pop market to understand and join forces with us and help spread His word to make a mark in this world is my goal. We are always going to be known as superstars no matter what! But this particular star has chosen to shine the light of Jesus and His Grace, so let go and let God have His way and recognize us as talented people that we are and don’t disrespected us because I personally can run with their very best and beat them more often than they think. And that is not a prideful saying rather only revealing the talent the Lord God Almighty our creator has injected into my soul.

Alysia: Tell me about “Peace on Earth 2012 and Remedy”…

Johny O: Here I tried different styles to show the fans and the world how versatile I can be. I incorporated gospel with clean love songs and hurting emotional songs. To prove my writing abilities and singing abilities, with the support of my new label “Bug City Records and 316 Records” we are planning to revolutionize the music industry with Freestyle / Pop gospel.  We are now embarking on an EP which is almost done and is incredible. You can clearly see God’s hand all over the projects. Watch out for this in the next few months….by midsummer!

Alysia: Where will we find you in the next three years?

Johnny O: Closing huge Christian events and touring around the world. With many award winning songs and albums for the Lord, I also want to complete my book writing and teach on God eternal love. I want the world to know about His love and soon return. But till then I have huge plans that I have to complete according to His will. I pray that my acting as well would be pickup by Christian film industry and that you will see me on the big screen very soon. Thank you for this opportunity for sharing my heart and letting the music and world industry know that this is just the beginning of my career and the next few years are going to be supernatural and anointed. God richly bless everyone and see you soon on the big screen or the concert or church scene. This is Pastor Johnny O loving you in the Lord.

Source: Article was conducted by online journalist and blogger Alysia Stern for FreestyleMania.com

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About Alysia Stern

Alysia Stern is a multi-published children's book author. She is also a celebrity interviewer for SpotonLongIsland magazine, a restaurant media on Long Island and the host of a new talk show " Rendezvous with Alysia" which airs live on Saturday mornings on MadhouseTV.com (live broadcasting) at 11am. She has been featured in newspapers, and on the radio. She is also a contributing free lance writer for FreestyleMania.com