Photo Credit: Wendy Hu
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em (or Soulja Boy) took the charts by storm in the fall of 2007 with hit single, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)." Not only did he invent a new dance that was everywhere in the clubs, but the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. A pretty impressive feat for a kid just in high school.
His story is inspiring, having recorded and released his debut album independently, soon after his music taking off on the Internet and then signing a record deal a few months later. With current hits, "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" and "Turn My Swag On" heating up the charts, there's nothing this 18-year-old can't do. Read on for his advice to up-and-coming musicians and his definition of swag.
What to you is swag?
Swag is different for each person. For me, swag is the type of jewelry that I wear, the type of clothes I wear or how I have my hair shaped up in the morning. For another person, it’s your appearance. Your style is your swag.
I’ve heard about your notebook of goals. What’s your advice for other teens?
When I was in high school I had a composition notebook and I wrote my list of goals down that I wanted to accomplish in life. One of them was to have a platinum album, to be successful as a famous musician. My advice to anybody who wants to be successful, I just say; believe in hard work and determination because I am living proof that your dreams can come true.
What music beyond Hip-Hop are you listening to? Any rock artists?
I got Lady Gaga on the iPod right now. I’m got digging her latest album. If you want to count Lil Wayne as rock.
With all the money you spend on your bling, do you find it’s appropriate where there are people that can’t afford to eat every day?
I work hard for the money I got with all the hard work that I put in. Whatever I buy I feel as if I should be able to wear it. It’s like a trophy to me. I actually do an annual event every year in Mississippi to help raise money for the kids, but I had to miss that event to come here and perform.
You started as an independent artist and produced the album yourself. What’s your advice to upcoming artists?
I believe in hard work and determination. Any upcoming artist that wants to be successful at anything that they do, I would just say it is possible. Anything is possible. The sky is the limit.