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John Paterini: A Rising Star Inspired by K'naan

Recently, K'naan showered (or Tweeted) accolades on a rising star - John Paterini - for his cover of the dustyfooted philosopher's "Take a Minute."  Without breaching Twitter's 140-character limit, K'naan said, "I found this cover of my song Take A Minute, by a young guy named John Paterini. It sounds amazing."  Hey, if K'naan endorses it....we had to check it out.  And we were so impressed, we just had to chat with John a bit more about his music and how the Somali wordsmith has impacted his view of the world.  But before you read the interview, get a sample of what K'naan's digging these days!!!

 

AT: Last week, K’naan publicly gave you props for your cover of “Take a Minute,” and honestly I can’t stop listening to your version. So, the first question on most people’s minds, what inspired a young guy from Missouri to cover K’naan?

John P: Ha! Ha! I'm sure it's a little different for someone like me to cover a song by K'naan but thats part of why i did it. I like covering songs that arent made to be played on guitar and sung by a guy like me! It gives a lot of room for creativity and changes while still doing the song justice. And how can you not love that song?! Nice flow, sick beat, and powerful lyrics. Thats what K'naan does! Also, I had been covering songs that, for the most part, everyone knew so I wanted to put up a cover that people weren't as familiar with. K'naan isn't exactly a household name in Missouri....not yet anyway. He deserves to be heard by everyone so I figured a cover of his song would be the least I could do for him.     

 

AT: We told K’naan he needs to do a collaboration with you!  A lot of K’naan fans also said they want to see you two share the stage.  Can we expect any performances with K’naan featuring John Paterini? (LOL)

John P: Really? You told him that?? Thanks so much, I've been trying to contact him in the only ways I really can - through Twitter, MySpace, and his website. But I've never had a Twitter or a MySpace before so I dont even know if my messages are even getting to him! I dont want an oppportunity like this to be thrown away, so I really hope we can do a collaboration on a track or something! I feel like we could really make great music, but as of right now I have no way of knowing if thats gonna happen!   

Q: We'll definitely keep our fingers crossed for you young brother!  (And walaal K'naan, if you're reading this...give the kid a shot! LOL!)  Ok, so let me ask you...music is one of the most powerful vehicles of change and the exchange of ideas. And your interpretation of “Take a Minute” was definitely imbued with emotion and feeling.  As one comment noted, you gave the song a much softer tone – yet made it sound very natural.  What influence, if any, has K’naan’s music had on your view of music and the world?

John P: Thank you, it means alot...his music to me is refreshing to say the least. So many big name artists these days sing/rap about things that arent really important. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed listening to how Soulja Boy turned his swagg on and how the Black Eyed Peas felt tonight was gonna be a good night; but K'naan sends out a deeper message. "How did Mandela get the will to surpass the everyday when injustice had him caged and trapped in everyway?..." You just dont hear those kind of lyrics every day, so I think that catches peoples' attention.  And his music has made me even more aware of some of the struggles in Somalia.   

Q: No doubt!  Those lyrics should definitely make people sit back and think.  So let’s get personal, you’re 17 years old now, right?  How long have you been playing the guitar and singing?  Do you play any other instruments?  Who inspired your love of music?

John P: Yep, I'm 17 and I've been playing guitar since late December of 2004 when I got my first guitar for Christmas - so about 5 years now. Back then I listened to classic rock, so I used to jam out on my electric Peavy strat (or least attempt to). As I grew up I started figuring out my own style of music rather than just listening to whatever my dad had on the radio. Artists like Jack Johnson, Dispatch, and Bob Marley began to influence me on guitar. I still always listened to music by John Mayer, The Fray, and Jason Mraz as well though. But the summer before my freshman year of high school, 2007 I believe, I was figuring out I could sing fairly well. I got kinda bored just playing guitar so I gave singing a try. The first song i ever played and sang to was "Collide" by Howie Day. My friends and family told me I wasn't bad, so i kept it up and eventually acquired the voice I have now! I also play a little piano and ukulele...I taught myself how to play both so I only know a few songs on them. Oh and i took guitar lessons for about a year and a half and then quit and taught myself the songs I know now. In short, my love of music was inspired by music. All the artists I listen to make up why i love music! No one person really inspired me, they all did.          

Q: Ok, so let's say we had to nail down a list - who would you say were your musical influences?  We noticed other covers by artists such as Drake and Third Eye Blind.

John P: My musical influences are pretty broad. They range from hip/hop to classic rock. For singing I'd have to say Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Dispatch, Jason Mraz, and The Fray make up my voice. For guitar my influences are again Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and Dispatch. But one of my favorite musicians of all time is John Butler. I believe he is the best musician alive right now. Even though I like listening to Third Eye Blind and Drake, I feel like they're not really influences. Alot of the covers I have on YouTube are requests (with the exception of K'naan - he's a personal favorite).    

Q: What should the world expect from John Paterini in the future?  Any more covers in the near future? 

John P: For me the future I have in music is undecided. Its always been my dream to be a musician and I'm gonna do whatever it takes to get there; but I guess we will have to wait and see where it goes from here! As far as covers go, you're gonna have to wait and see.  There are some coming soon though. I also hope to finish recording my original music. I write and compose my own songs so I can't wait to finish a CD so I can expand my music more from here. 

Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with the world?

John P: Peace and Love.

created:28 Dec 2009 09:10 PM   updated: 12 Oct 2011 10:09 PM   tag: Interview
Comments (20)

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Visitor: Nick (09 Jan 2010 02:59 PM)

Bro your sick

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Visitor: maggie (07 Jan 2010 02:16 PM)

You are so talented! A collaboration would be amazing! Continue to upload your music, I love listening to it!

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Visitor: maggie (04 Jan 2010 06:18 PM)

so talented! keep the covers coming... best of luck with the possible collaboration, it'd be awesome!!

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Visitor: michael (04 Jan 2010 04:49 PM)

john your a beast bro

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Visitor: Sandra (04 Jan 2010 10:21 AM)

Your Aunt Gail in Maryland told me about this. I really enjoyed your video and your article. Way to go!

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Visitor: Crystal Skram (04 Jan 2010 01:11 AM)

John! congradulations you're legit nice work keep it up.
P.S. i want an autograph before you get real big

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Visitor: Molly (04 Jan 2010 01:09 AM)

Your voice is amazingg

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Visitor: Jessica (04 Jan 2010 01:05 AM)

Love you John!

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Visitor: katie (04 Jan 2010 12:43 AM)

john your voice is amazing !!! i absolutely love it !

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Visitor: Stingggg (03 Jan 2010 11:47 PM)

Great work johnny, this sounds sooo amazing.

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Visitor: maddie (03 Jan 2010 11:29 PM)

Wowwww john your cover was amazing!!! You deffinitly need to do some more:)

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Visitor: Dan Kozlowski (03 Jan 2010 11:24 PM)

John since i met you and i heard you play for the first time i never thought you would be at this level. Keep going bro

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Visitor: Sarah (03 Jan 2010 11:10 PM)

My friend showed me this cover, that kid is unbelievably talented. He should definitely be given a shot

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Visitor: sophia (03 Jan 2010 11:04 PM)

When i first heard John Paterini sing his cover, "Take a Minute" i about died. I love K'Naan's version too, can't imagine a collaboration that would be sick and seriously needs to happen.

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Visitor: Jessica Garcia (03 Jan 2010 09:22 PM)

Omg John i love your music! your are AMAZINGGGG!!! :)))

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Visitor: Rose (03 Jan 2010 09:04 PM)

You are absolutely incredible, John Paterini! I'm so glad I found your music!!! :)

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Visitor: Amanda Cofield (03 Jan 2010 07:02 PM)

Johnny Paterini you are a absolutely amazing musician. The "Take a Minute" cover is also amazing, the collaboration between you and K'naan would be a great idea! I hope to hear more covers from you very soon!

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Visitor: Lauren Bright (03 Jan 2010 04:13 PM)

John!!! You are amazing! :) i love it

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Visitor: Chase Frerking (03 Jan 2010 02:56 PM)

JOHNN!! this is amazing brotha your going to the top baby lol i hope you get the shot you have been dreaming of your music is amazing. all the girls are wet for you!

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Visitor: JLC (03 Jan 2010 02:20 PM)

You are amazing! Your music is awesome. Singing with K'naan would bring you to another level. Love love love.

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