The music business is traditionally viewed as a young man’s game. 20 year old Long Island upstart Smirk plays to this advantage with his new single “What I Mean”. His confident delivery and cocksure attitude offer a presence and command rarely seen in new emcees. We spoke with the new NY recording on the day of his single’s release to discuss his influences and his transition from music aficionado to professional recording artist. Study up and follow the moves!
What’s the origin of your performer name?
The first name I originally had was ‘Pattern’ because if you take my last name Paterno, remove the O and double the Ts it spells Pattern. Smirk was just random cause all my friends always say I have a natural smirk to my face and my homie told me “Yo just make your name Smirk” so I just went with it.
Who were your biggest musical influences when developing your sound?
I used to listen to a lot of Eminem when I was younger pretty much cause I could feel his emotion in the stories he told which is why in my music I love telling my stories. Also artists like G-Eazy, Logic, Lil Dicky, Blackbear, Post Malone, Jon Bellion, etc… Basically a lot of underground people who are either just starting to peak or haven’t really peaked yet.
What was the moment you knew you wanted to pursue music as a profession?
When I finished my first song and it had over 5000 plays the first week. The song is now removed cause the quality was ehh but in that moment I was like “Yo I could really do this.” 5000 isn’t much but for my first song with no following, it was hype.
What is the biggest misconception about being a recording artist?
There is no stopping. If you want this, you gotta do this 24 hours every 7 days. You have to be serious about it and you need a good team behind you to really get everything going. There are no excuses in this game and if you make any, you will never get to where you wanna be.
How will people view your brand by the end of 2018?
New merchandise from my clothing line, new music, shows, music videos, etc…So make sure you’re in the look and follow me on all my socials @JustSmirkMusic
Stream Smirk’s Latest Single “What I Mean” below and stay tuned to Keeynote.com for all things fresh!