Prentiss is a 14-year-old artist from Jackson, Mississippi, who blends heartfelt lyrics with modern trap and emo arrangements, coupled with his signature high-pitched vocals that are reminiscent of a young Justin Bieber.
Comparisons to Bieber are not unfounded in that recently, the larger-than-life celebrity has given several high-profile shoutouts to Prentiss on Instagram. Accolades from other heavy hitters soon followed, with everyone from Skrillex to Mark Hoppus of blink-182 showing support for the young artist.
It’s safe to say that Prentiss is on his way to becoming a major name in the music industry, largely due in part to his incredible work ethic, his authentic approach to songwriting and an artistic vulnerability that will feel relatable to all listeners. With the release of “I Will Wait,” a melancholic track with lo-fi instrumentals, paired with raw and saturated vocal inflections, fans will get a taste of what is to come from the young artist and the bright future that is ahead of him.
We caught up with Prentiss as he was finishing up home-schooling for the day to discuss his early influences, upcoming collaborations and juggling a budding music career while trying to stay grounded and true to normal adolescence.
How did you discover music, and what started your journey to create music of your own?
I was always into music. My brother used to play a bunch of Red Hot Chili Peppers and blink-182, and then my dad would always play older music as well. I never played guitar or piano but was always super drawn to music. One day, when I was 10 or 11, I made a joke song, and it was super fun, so I just wanted to keep going, and now here we are three years later, continuously making music.
How did you find your own sound?
I was a huge Juice WRLD fan when I was 11, which, in turn, got me into other people as I got older. Since Juice takes so much influence from blink-182, I grew to really love that band as well. I also got super into underground stuff like hyperpop, but really it’s just been a ton of different influences that have helped me find new sounds and create a new vibe.
Obviously, you have had some pretty incredible co-signs from massive artists such as Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Mark Hoppus. What has it felt like to have these people on board with what you’re doing?
It’s surreal, and it doesn’t even feel real when it happens. Justin Bieber is one of the biggest artists of the last 10 years, and it’s crazy that so many people would love to get a chance to talk with him, and I was actually able to. The best part is that he is such a cool person who is so humble and down-to-earth. Same for Skrillex and Kid LAROI. They are just so down-to-earth and humble.
Can we possibly expect some collaborations with some of these artists?
What are you currently listening to?
What is the story behind your latest single “I Will Wait”?
I was in a session with a producer and was really influenced by nostalgic and euphoric music at the time, so I figured I might as well make a track like that and start from scratch. The producer knew exactly what I wanted. It was super cool to see how fast the song came together. It was made in about an hour, and when it was done, I knew we had made something amazing, and now it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve released to date.
What’s it like juggling a budding music career at such a young age while navigating school, regular life and growing up?
At first, it was a bit overwhelming, but I think I needed that to prepare myself for the future. Recently, I have been super down-to-earth and forgetting about all the distractions and just focusing on music and connecting with my fans. With school, it isn’t too hard since I’m doing home-schooling, so it doesn’t get in the way too much, thankfully. One thing is finding friends and cool high schoolers to hang out with since I don’t want to miss out on the traditional high school experience.
What can we expect next in terms of touring and new music?
I don’t have a tour lined up yet, but I have a lot of shows and festival appearances in the works. Music-wise, I always surprise myself. I don’t even know what is going to happen next, but as far as the new EP that drops in January, it has a super-euphoric sound and is hands down my favorite collection of music I have made in my life. I have these songs on repeat every day. As far as a full-length, be ready for a curveball.