RESPECT. Interview: Utah Based Artist Joey Braxton Discusses New Project & More

Photo Credit – Joey Braxton

Braxton is unsigned and is best known for his sports influenced songs and passions in vintage sports fashion. Though Braxton has made a name for himself as a hip-hop artist and hip-hop pioneer in Utah, he attended Oglethorpe University, a small liberal arts college in Atlanta, and double majored in Political Science and Urban Leadership, with ambitions of being a sports and entertainment contract lawyer. In 2012, after taking the Law School Admissions Test during his senior year of college, it was at that point that Braxton began to explore other options as a way of bringing into the entertainment business.

From March 2012 to September 2013, he started in Atlanta working as an intern and manager of marketing and promotions with Bad Boy South, Block Entertainment, Rhodon Records, and Meticulous Sound Music Group. In Fall 2013 to May 2014 Braxton focused more time on event coordinating and event producing which eventually inspired him to pursue his career as a recording artist. After gaining two years of experience behind the music business and entertainment scenes, in the summer of 2014 Braxton moved to Utah for personal reasons and eventually concentrated on perfecting his craft as a lyricist. During that summer, Braxton would freestyle for people in his apartment complex and at college functions and social gatherings and generated a following within the Provo and Salt Lake City residential areas. In December 2014 Braxton was asked to perform at Winter Jam with Tyga and during the Sundance Film Festival with Wiz Khalifa. Those two platforms helped break Braxton as a creative person through the Rocky Mountains mold and gain local, national, and international attention within the sports and music world with his “sports rap” style and OG Malone movement.

Every bit a sports enthusiast and vintage fashion fanatic, Braxton embodies the Utah and Colorado sports culture within his daily wardrobes. His “OG” fashion tastes come across as an Atlanta hipster fused with a zest of vintage Fresh Prince. He wears his new household on his sleeve and brands himself with vintage Rocky Mountain apparel like the Utah Jazz, Utah Runnin’ Utes, BYU Cougars, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos and other teams. Braxton’s music comes across with an ice cold, smooth, crisp, soothing and edgy delivery cooled down with fresh and brisk braggadocio flow filled with witty punchlines and concrete concepts about sports, history, fashion, the Rocky Mountain lifestyle and his lovemaking for women in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. The Utah Jazz fanatic, Braxton’s debut single, “OG Malone” was cheered by the NBA Hall of Famer and 2 Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Karl Malone. His songs and movement have enabled him to tour and perform with artists such as Cyhi The Prynce, 2Chainz, Curren$y and Trinidad James and others throughout the Mountain West and West Coast as well as be featured on Utah’s ABC News, BReal TV, ThisIs50 and various sports and hip-hop blog markets. His sound has been influenced by Cam’ron, Jay-Z, Juelz Santana, and Fabolous. Braxton has released one EP: “OG Malone EP” and is currently working on his debut album “OG Malone LP” with the lead single, “OG Malone”.

Joey Braxton recently sat down with us here at RESPECT. to discuss his upcoming tour, project, and collaborate with different universities, business entities, and possibly having NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone in his rereleased to the ‘O.G Malone’ music video.


You are currently on tour can you tell us some of the cities that you will be visiting?

I will be touring in the Pacific Northwest, and those cities are Boise Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah, Missoula Montana,  Bozeman Montana, Park City Utah, Eugene, Oregon, Corvallis, Sundance festival, Aspen for the X games, and Boulder Colorado.

You had the opportunity tour with a variety of different artists is there any advice you would like to share that you incorporated into you tour?

Some of the advice artists I have toured with have shared with me is to keep doing what I am doing. Figure out what lane you want to be in, and how do you want to put your marketing plan together. For example, when I was on tour with Cyhi the Prynce, between five to six dates and he is a songwriter for Kanye West. He said to make the kind of music you want and work on your craft. Your time is going to come you just need to be patient. I went on tour with artists that fit the type of audience, I wanted to align my music with. If your music is not marketed toward the strip clubs, do not go on tour with a strip club artist. When we went on tour with 2 Chainz, we were a part of the business aspect and booked him in Utah, and no one of the states that you would think BYU would be into his music. I was aware that the college students at BYU were fans of his and that made sense. My best advice to all the artists out there is to know your demographic and target audience.

Can you take us through the creation process of your upcoming debut project “Sports Rapper”?

The creation process of this project has been on and off the field. Twenty percent of it has been working in music, and the rest has been traveling. As I was touring through different cities on the west coast, and Midwest, I visited a bunch college campuses, and I saw how much these various places supported their teams. I wanted to tell a story from that point a view, for example; I have a song about the Supersonics, Utah Utes, Montana sports teams, and Colorado. These songs are all about the culture of these cities and the sports team within them. I want to build my brand in these cities by aligning myself with their sports culture.

What will be the featured single that you will be pushing?

That will be hard to say because corporations will use three of my singles and they will be pushing them within their own regions. I will be remaking one of the songs to fit the University of Utah that will be featured on the team that went to the Final-Four 20 years ago. The Utah Grizzlies want me to push something that involves their organization. This is how I want to promote my brand around sports team because of the corporate affiliation of it.

Can you tell us how the opportunity to work some of these brands came presented themselves?

The opportunities mostly came from word of mouth or by Instagram.  Prime example, the Utah Grizzlies who are an affiliate of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and how this happened is I was on tour, and I put a photo up while I was on tour while wearing their jersey. I tagged them on Instagram, and they commented back and followed me. From there on we just created dialogue back and forth, and it turned into a partnership. As for the Utah Utes, they heard my song about them, and that relationship grew into we want you to make a song about this campaign we are doing.

Is there a single off the project you enjoy the most?

The single that I enjoy the most and will be spending the most time will be OG Malone. I also, plan on refilming the video, and I have been talking to Karl Malone and his family about trying to get the Mail Man in the video.

Photo Credit – CamColdest

You make custom jerseys can you tell us inspiration for creating them?

I just have a love for sports, fashion and a lot of the retro gear that they do not sell anymore. So, I decided instead of spending 300 dollars for some of the equipment I need to start making it myself.  I am a big fan of Cam’ron and Dipset and the era when it was a part of the fashion. Sports as always influenced style for as long as I can remember and that in the whole inspiration behind it.

Do you plan on opening your shop at some point?

I plan on opening a shop probably after my second or third tour. I am currently looking at some of the regions to see what make sense for my brand from the location and financial aspects.

How difficult has it been to build your fan base in Utah?

It has been a challenge because I am not the typical recording artist, and I’m from Atlanta trying to build a particular marketing aspect when it comes to my music.

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About Landon Buford Washington State graduate. Past interviews include Grammy Award winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's 'Chicago PD' actor LaRoyce Hawkins, 'Family Matters' actor Darius McCrary, En Vogue's Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA great Lauren Jackson and more.