Aria Johnson From Beverly Hills Pawn
July 2015 Cover Star
Ten Things You DO NOT Know About Aria Johnson!
1. Obsessed with rock climbing.
2. She has a music studio in Bend, Oregon just so I can ski all winter.
4. Allergic to spray tans.
5. Loves house music and dancing like a go-go dancer.
6. Never been to Europe.
7. Loyalty is everything to Aria!
8. Scared of sharks even thought she dived with the great white.
9. Favorite food sushi and ice cream.
10. Believes in taking an advice from someone who has what you want.
Click below to watch the video of Aria Johnson.
The July 2015 LA Fashion Judge Cover Girl, Aria Johnson, is not only, CEO and owner of ,”The Golden Voice”, a vocal marketing vehicle which prepares performers in all facets of singing, with an emphasis on songwriting, but she is also the 2012 E-World Music Award Winner for “Best Female Performer”, writer/performer of Bill Board’s “Song of The Year”, and Artist of the Year for both World Music and Dance Awards. Aria is the type of person that elders point to as proof that one can accomplish anything that one puts one’s mind to.
Aria, in a quote from her IMDB’s bio by ” What We do Media”, stated, ‘ “Without a doubt I was put on this earth to create entertainment and music that would positively impact the world. Through hosting television shows and working with the next generation of music stars, I intend to leave a legacy of inspiration, one that proves that dreams do come true.” ‘ Indeed, She is wowing on many angles, having shone as a co host for such shows as Reelz TV’s number one ranked reality television show, “Beverly Hills Pawn”; YouTube’s “Man vs Princess”; and charities like “Hands for Haiti”, “The Albert Schweitzer Celebrity Gala”, and in 2011’s at The Humane Society’ s Celebrity PSA, “Protecting Sharks”, with award winning “Guns and Roses guitarist, “Slash”; Women ‘s Heart Health Campaign; and The 2014 judge position, in conjunction with The Cartoon Channel, at “Comic Con”, an anti-bullying legendary cartoonist Stan Lee production, named “The Kapowis”.
Exclusive interview with Aria Johnson:
Maurice S: Aria Johnson. Congratulations. You are The 2015 July LA Fashion Judge COVER GIRL! Were you a child prodigy, a genius who taught herself to play guitar and piano before your 10th birthday? How does one do that? Is it by trial and repetition or just by watching others or both?
Aria J: My mom says I started singing as a baby and could sing before I could walk. My first real memory of music is being around 3 years old and harmonizing with her in the car to songs that we made up. By 5 I was performing in front of crowds at church and telling my kindergarten teacher that I wanted to be a singer when I grow up. I continued to perform every chance I got until I went pro at age of 15. I was definitely born with music in my soul and the desire to entertain people.
Maurice S: You began training in church at an early age, as the tabloids state, and if so, when you began training with San Ramon School of Preforming Arts in San Ramon CA, and Bedford Artist Development, did you find the additional training to complement your earlier training, in essence a catalyst for your future work or a hindrance?
My parents found their success later in life so although I begged for singing lessons; I didn’t actually get them until we could afford it, when I was about 15. At that point I was so unbelievably grateful to join The San Ramon Valley School of Performing Arts that I worked extra hard to be there. I auditioned and made it into a touring girl group called Sweet and I was also the only child to make it in the adult choir. Everything before that age was self-taught, which meant I could only get so far and had hit a plateau. When I was able to start training professionally I started getting paid immediately for shows. My girl group was getting opportunities to sing at places like The White House, The Vatican and Disneyland. We were also part of a Christmas compilation CD that was in Tower Records, which was a big deal for us at the time.
Maurice S: When you were a member of girl group “Sweet” and the adult’s choir, and your teen group “Reality”, which was the most influential on molding you into the entertainer and person you are today?
Aria J: The group Reality (which happened after I left Sweet) pushed me the most because I was the youngest member. The girls were so much more experienced that it challenged me to quickly improve just to keep up. I went from personally getting 7th place (as the youngest in my category) in the California State Talent Competitions, to winning Overall Grand Champion after a year of intense training. I spent a total of 7 years training for an hour every day and performed every weekend. This definitely prepared me for moving to Los Angeles where I was lucky enough to release an album, tour and live out my dreams as a recording artist.
When I was done touring I decided to create a company to help other artists fulfill their dreams quicker. I felt that I had to learn everything the hard way. The entire time in Los Angeles, I wished for a mentor to help guide me in the music business but could never find one. Life in Los Angeles was pretty tough in my early twenty’s and I was frustrated that there was no step-by-step guide on how to get a record deal. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer you go to school, work hard and in a few years you are almost guaranteed to get a job if you’re good; but the music business is different. The music business was full of hustlers and empty promises, which took a lot of energy to navigate. I decided I wanted other artists and singers to not have to learn the hard way. I would help them meet the right team quickly to achieve their dreams without all the bullshit. Soon after I launched The Golden Voice for singing lessons and artist development, I got a call from Reelz Channel. They asked me to be the music memorabilia expert on a TV show called Beverly Hills Pawn. It worked out great as I was able to run The Golden Voice and work as the music expert on the show simultaneously. Beverly Hills Pawn became the number one show on the network so we got to film five seasons of it, and they are currently in talks about two more seasons, but my passion has always been helping people achieve their dreams.
Maurice S: Are you also reaching out to empower women to go after their dreams and become who they want to be as well? Do you see yourself as a role model?
Aria J: Anytime you’re in a position of being a public figure you are a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. More importantly I want to help people live out their dreams and maintain their artistic integrity so they can be happy along the way. I created The Golden Voice after I realized that major record labels had stopped developing artists. I learned from the inside that labels wanted artists to already be famous (or very developed) before they would even consider a record deal. This was a catch 22 for an artist that felt they needed a record deal to make an album and tour. When I looked into it, I couldn’t find any “legitimate” company offering a solution that encompassed the steps it takes to make it in the music business. I decided to pool my resources of what is now 20 years in the music business to solve this problem. I hired a team of about 20 people who are the best in the business at everything from singing lessons, songwriting, music production, photo shoots, cd packaging, music videos, and ad agency who handles the branding, websites and social media, and A&R showcases where the clients can perform for record labels. Basically we take you from A-Z, from the point the dream of stardom was created, to the point where opportunity meets preparation.
I am passionate about helping girls because I feel that they often don’t get the same opportunities as guys. If you look at the top 100 songs on Billboard.com on any given day, there is a significant higher number of male singers vs. female. I want to help women understand that they don’t have to over sexualize themselves to get a chance in the music industry. It’s really important to me that the music for the artists I work with is authentic with who they are as a person. I like to say, we translate the song of their soul into music.
Maurice S: Beginning in 2007, you sang on NBC’s “Star Tomorrow” for 13 of the 14 episodes. Exciting times but that pales in comparison with what you have accomplished since. Did that experience with NBC affect you positively, motivate and or hone your talent? Did you take not winning, as you tend to wind up in the winner’s circle, hard or just as a matter of fact?
It’s not always about winning or losing. Just having the chance to be on a show that huge was a gift. The show built up my fan base, which was great for when I released my album later and a lot of them bought it. Just like I tell the kids I work with now, everything is just a stepping-stone that makes you who you are. Yesterday one of my clients was devastated over several months of work into a band that broke up and I told her, nothing is ever wasted. She is a better artist now because of that experience!
Maurice S: Aria would you say that your success is a faith dynamic? You are a very positive person right? Is your success more blond ambition coming into fruition or a combination of incredible guidance, training and then your faith taking everything to the next level?
Aria J: I’ve always been an ultra driven person, but as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realize what’s important to me. The only thing that matters is love. You have to find the reason you want success. Is it for your own ego or will it impact the world positively? That reason is what will keep you hanging on when the times get tough. The music we make at The Golden Voice is all about positivity. Even if it’s an angry song, we hope that it helps someone work out their aggression, or if it’s a sexy song, we hope it re-unites love. We strive to make a difference. Faith is the foundation of love and success means nothing if you’re miserable.
Maurice S: Your material has earned you awards and big time accolades that resulted in commercials, TV and reality jobs, right? Do you write all of your materials? Do songs ever come to you already finished in your mind or heart? I am almost sure I read that Michael Jackson said that he sometimes “received” his songs like that. Some of the world’s recognized genius’s have stated that they received info in dreams. Do you get creative information from dreams as well?
I write most of my own material but I have a team of world-renowned songwriters that work for The Golden Voice. I like my clients to have options because their album is one of the most important things they will do; it’s like putting their hearts out on their sleeve. I also teach songwriting classes in addition to singing lessons to clients who want to learn to write. I have definitely received songs in dreams but there is a teachable method to it.
Maurice S: When you write, does your inspiration come spontaneously, or from past or present situations? You stress songwriting as “Golden Voice’s” most important dynamic and it is stated that you feel that words can change the world. Is that why you deem songwriting so valuable? Or is it that also, with a strong songwriting ability it gives the artist more power over their work?
Aria J: I think every artist should learn how to write. As a songwriter you are literally writing history. What do you want to be remembered for? What is your legacy? You can create that legacy through your music and tell your story. A label is much more interested in giving a record deal to a songwriter than just someone who can sing. Do you want to be a jukebox or a real artist? These are the questions singers need to ask themselves.
Maurice S: Which of your hit songs, “If You’re Down”, “Being a Woman”, “Devil in Disguise” is most dearest to you? In the making of each, which ones touched you most personally and was most indicative of your personal life at the time?
Aria J: Being a woman meant the most to me at the time because it’s about learning to love yourself. The reality is, that you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself. You have to accept the good, the bad and the ugly without judging yourself if you want a happy life. Since you can’t bury yourself with your money, you might as well strive for peace.
Maurice S: Working with the very colorful cast on “Beverly Hills Pawn”, as the musical expert is working well for both you and the show, what exactly is the chemistry behind the scenes amongst the cast members? Who on the show, in your opinion is the most dynamic –Cory, Dominique, Yossi Dina, owner of The Dina Collection, or yourself? What makes The Dina Collection so special? What are the most incredible celebrity memorabilia that just took your breath away –who originally owned it and because of the, monetary value, and intimacy of the objects to the past, recent and present owner?
Aria J: I think each character on Beverly Hills Pawn is an incredible person and that’s why the show works. Yossi is dynamic and larger than life, Dominique is a secret genius and Cory has a heart of gold. Together we are just four friends doing what we love! Was makes it different is it’s the most celebrity heavy place in Los Angeles if not the world. We have A-list celebrities walk in every day but we can’t put them on camera. I was blown away when we had a Goldcaster guitar that was made of of real gold. That guitar was worth a million dollars. There are too many items to even nail down one that I love, but the show is running in 83 countries so the re-runs are still on TV every day.
Maurice S: Would you say that you are fearless? I see that, according to accounts in IMDB that you have swum among great white sharks, sky dived and have also walked on 1800 degree coals. Is this true? Is it that drive to do the incredible that makes you such a dynamic entertainer, ever learning and totally pushing the envelope to achieve and snare the moment? What about hiking turns you on? Have you ever played organized sports in school? If so which ones?
Well first of all, thank you for saying that I’m fearless, but I have fear just like everyone else. I’ve always liked the feeling of pushing through the fear, it’s in that moment where I feel the most alive. I am currently obsessed with rock climbing and I climb about 3-4 days a week. It’s a meditative practice to me that forces me to pay attention because if I lose sight of the move for one second, I will fall. Trust me when lead climbing, you do not want to fall because it could be a 20 foot drop before the rope catches you. Rock climbing has taught me a lot about life. If I feel the fear, breathe through it and focus on the moment, I will always find a way to get to the next move even when it feels impossible. My friend Sasha Digiulian is one of the top rock climbers in the world and she inspires me so much! She doesn’t see any obstacles of being a girl in a typically male dominated sport. She pushes through her fear and see’s everything as a possibility. I admire her attitude so much and I hope for my clients to have that attitude. If you see the world as having endless possibilities, then you really can achieve anything.
Maurice S: What are your goals within the next five years, in that you are extremely busy and your interests are extremely diversified? Do you ever yearn to do a late night show, a movie, a musical on Broadway?
Aria J: I recently signed a deal to make a docu-series about The Golden Voice. They will be following my crew and I as we help make the next generation of stars and all the drama that goes along with that. I think this show is going to be like the real life Empire. I am open to the possibilities to do anything creative in the music and TV/movie world.
Maurice S: Aria, considering you are a highly trained musician and actress, do you find some of the critic’s negative take on Reality TV, such as the reality genre “is so fake that it’s unrealistic, and that the reality genre takes a lot of work out of the pocket of trained actors, and writers” offensive? In fact, on the site, www.monkeyjobs.com they said, ” On top of this, reality television shows usually portray people in a heightened state of reality to the point of it almost being fiction. Thus, the premise behind many shows has garnered criticisms based on how fabricated the portrayed reality actually is. Additionally, through editing film crews are able to portray a situation that might have been largely underplayed in real life for the purpose of portraying drama.” Does this view anger you? Does this affect you and does Beverly Hills Pawn even care about what critics and its haters feel about the genre?
I try to take a zen approach to the critics. You can’t please everyone, so instead I focus on what my mission in life is; to create entertainment that positively impacts the world and help others achieve their dreams even if they start with something as simple as one singing lesson. I understand that the tabloid world is also a form of entertainment, if haters wanna hate so be it. Whatever gets someone through the day but I choose not to take it personal.
Maurice S: There have been great success among rappers and singers, actresses and other entertainers with clothing lines and fragrances. When if ever are you going to jump into this industry and which genre are you going to market –clothes, dolls, fragrances, shoes, or foods?
Aria J: I would love to be in the merchandising business. If I get the opportunity to do a brand fragrance or clothing line I would definitely do it. It’s really a matter of the right offer coming up at the right time that is consistent with the message I’m sending.
Maurice S: I read that the Dina Collection, from which Beverly Hills Pawn’s valuable merchandise, via Yossi, consisting of very valuable Hollywood memorabilia, also contains The 10 Commandment prop from the original movie with movie great, the late great Charlton Heston. Do you reflect on your life and say “Yes ,I knew I’d be here, singing, winning everything and sharing my gifts as an actress, model, teacher and host and that everything is coming along right on schedule? What is next on your creative horizon –music, movies, producing and writing and scoring films, books, documentaries and then … kids?
Honestly, there is no way I could have imagined life turning out this way. I always knew I would do music but I never imagined TV. I think as long as you believe in yourself, work harder than you ever thought possible and stay in the game, then you will succeed. My next project is Executive Producing the docu-series about The Golden Voice business. I just bought another studio in Bend, Oregon and will have studios in Los Angeles as well. I’m just taking it day by day and enjoying the ride. I think Bend, Oregon would be a great place for kids to grow up if it’s in the cards for me. Like John Lennon said, “Life is what happens, while your busy making other plans.”
Maurice S: Some entertainers say that the entertainment industry in full of “snakes”. Is that true or rather have you ever had an experience in which someone tried to or did in fact treat you unethically or egregiously during your years as an entertainer?
The entertainment industry is like any other business, there are good people and there are bad people. Dealing with the “snakes” for singers trying to get a record deal can be especially hard because they are so emotionally attached to the music and it’s an extension of them. The positive part of this is that my business was created because of everything I went through. I already know who’s shady and who’s legit in LA and even if I’m at the Bend, Oregon studio, I can help my students so they don’t get caught in the web. It’s really helpful for them to be able to consult with me and know exactly who to hire. Many of my clients are on tour or even live around the world so I consult with them over skpe. It’s amazing that you can do most things digitally these days.
Maurice S: Did you have a network around you while growing up that was full of encouragement and if so who instilled in you your hot desire to learn, become a great singer and songwriter, and also most importantly, who touched you to the extent that you have great empathy for people and have instilled in you a need to help, teach and reach out to the world with your talent?
Jim Bedford gave me singing lessons and was my biggest mentor. He trained my voice for years and taught me that I could achieve my dreams if I worked hard enough and had the right attitude. Jim was like a father figure to me and he is a big reason I am who I am today. Somehow I always believed in myself even when my friends and family thought I was crazy trying to make it in Los Angeles. Later in my music career my mom managed me and that meant the world to me. My dad was always a tough on me, saying ‘when are you gonna get a real job?’ I’ll never forget the moment I knew my dad finally believed in me. I was sitting in my little apartment overlooking the Hollywood sign and I received an email from him. It was a picture with the eBay link to the $30,000 guitar he wanted me to buy him. Being that he could afford to buy it himself, I knew he was joking but also this was his way of saying good job. It was a breakthough moment to finally get my dads approval. I think all you want as a kid is to have your parents be proud of you.
Maurice S: When it is all said and done, how does Aria Johnson want to be remembered not only in history but amongst your family, friends and peers? Also, at the end of each day, what is it that you feel best when you have achieved this?
I want to be remembered as someone who made a positive difference in the world. If I can make people smile through TV or feel passion through a healing song, then I’ve done well. The beauty of helping other people achieve their dreams is that each of them have the potential to touch millions of lives. I hope to help them to be happy and guide them along their path to success, but most importantly I want to teach them love. Success is just one small part of life but above all else, love is what matters.