Hip-hop artist makes “Smooth” return

Anthony O’Reilly

Staff Writer

In late 2010, Wiz Khalifa released his mega hit single “Black and Yellow.” In the following weeks thousands of cover songs were recorded and put on YouTube. One of those covers was written and performed by St. John’s alumnus Will Smooth. The song, “White and Red,” St. John’s students and in the eight months since its been released, it has gained close to 30,000 views.
Since his “Khalifa cover,” Smooth has continued to maintain a close relationship with the University and its students. “I just do it for the school as long as the
basketball team is winning and doing well I’m going to keep coming back here,” he said while attending a Welcome Back BBQ hosted by Lambda Theta Alpha.
Smooth walked in as if he had never left St. John’s, always smiling and sporting his signature “Whas Gooh” chain. Upon his arrival to the Montgoris Strip, fans approached him to say hello and DJ Zeke announced that “Will Smooth” was in the building. Always by Smooth’s side was his entourage, consisting of close friends and his producer, Jay of 718Digital. “I work with a bunch of clients creating different videos online and I can say that Will is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever worked with. It’s like working with one of your friends,” Jay said while capturing footage for an upcoming video blog documenting Will’s trip on campus.
Smooth currently resides in the Bronx, and graduated from St. John’s in May 2010 with a degree in Business Marketing
major. Since then he has utilized his skills toward his dream of showcasing his talents to the public. Since the release of “White and Red,” Smooth’s YouTube channel has continued to release new songs and music videos. Most recently, he’s been uploading vlogs to his channel highlighting his adventures around New York. “The vlogs are a way for us to allow the viewers to get a more personal view of Will,” said Jay who helps to film and produce the project.
Smooth was also on campus attending the “Haraya, Jump-off Party” in Montgoris Hall. “Whenever any of the frats or sororities invite me over, I’ll definitely come if I can. It’s cool because I have a lot of fun and get to perform a little bit.”
“I mostly perform rap, but I try and put a little more of a comedy taste to it,” Smooth said in describing his style of music. “Too many rappers are out there and they’re too serious. I don’t want to end up with gray hair I’m just trying to have a good time” he added while laughing.
Smooth’s focus on business, while still maintaining his comedic atmosphere, is apparent to all who are around him. “Will is the best boss I’ve ever had. It’s not all seriousness and you get to joke around but when you fall short he tries to tell you what you could’ve done differently and try and help you improve on it,” said a long time friend of Will’s who goes by the name of Joey Swag.
There are plans for Will to come out with new music in the upcoming weeks. “We’re hoping to put out a single called “Ballin,” out on iTunes and I have
another mixtape coming out in Oct.” The new hit single, “Ballin,” is his newest St. John’s-inspired anthem.
When asked if he was looking at any record deals, Smooth stated that he’s had a few from various Indie labels. “I don’t think if I signed with any of them it would do me any good. To be honest, I might be giving them more promotion then they could give me,” he explained.
Because he’s not signed to any label Smooth uses his own personal social media accounts to reach out to fans.
“All my promotion is based off of social media. That’s what I’ve been doing since the start.” Not only is Smoothusing Facebook and Twitter
accounts for promotion, but to also engage with his fans in conversation. “I only know about fifty to sixty people that I can recognize by face,
he said. “And now it’s getting a lot harder now though because my fan base is growing. But I love my fans because they’re really what it’s all about.”While hoping one day to land a record deal, Smooth said he tries to keep his business with close friends of his for the time being. “With me and DJ Zeke it’s all
friendship. It’s never been business between the two of us. I just like to keep everything in the family.”
DJ Zeke, a popular performer at St. John’s events has helped Smooth with his music having hosted two of Smooth’s three mix tapes.
Remembering where he came from seems to be important to Smooth, but he’s just as focused on trying to work toward his future. “I was just down in Houston for a while on a business trip and I’m going to London in December for a month.”
Reminding us that his main focus is all about having a good time, Smooth danced with a group of St. John’s students on the strip. He hasnn’t forgotten where he came from, and through it all, he has maintained his humble nature and that contagious smile never left his face.