Longtime Black Eyed Peas collaborator Printz Board breaks out solo

After collaborating with major artists including the Black Eyed Peas, Printz Board is breaking out on his own.

After collaborating with major artists including the Black Eyed Peas, Printz Board is breaking out on his own.

By Amelia Gilmer   

Everyone knows the Black Eyed Peas.

But someone you might not know is the man who has been with them as a collaborator since the very beginning, Printz Boards.

But you may know his soon, because Printz is breaking out as a solo artist. His EP, “Pre-Games,” was released in 2013 along with music videos featured on MTV.

Printz is a musician, producer, songwriter and recording artist who has won several Grammy awards. He also wants the world to know that he is a Virgo who loves long walks on the beach.

His EP is not the first contribution that Printz has made in the music world either.

For the past year, he has been on tour with CeeLo Green and Macy Gray, working as their musical director. In addition to performing live with these big name stars, he has worked with other artists from all music genres such as Natasha Beddingfield, Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow and the late Michael Jackson.

Though the release of “Pre-Games” is Printz’s first solo CD, he feels that his break into the music industry was over 10 years ago.

“It’s really like, ‘When did you actually break into the industry?’” he said. “When the industry said that you were valid, or is it out of college and you’re in a signed band? Or your signed band is on tour or is it that you get a Grammy?”

If he had to pick one of these, it would be something that happened in 2003.

A defining point, he said, was “writing ‘Where Is the Love’ and having it pretty much go viral as they say now a days while we were on tour with Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.”

The inspiration to start his solo career came with the Black Eyed Peas taking a break in 2011. As the artists each took their own separate paths, Printz took the one that he had been thinking of taking for a while.

“I just started writing a bunch of different songs and ended up demoing a lot of them and found that there was a common thread through it,” Printz said. “There was a lot of stuff about my life and where I was going, where I came from and I was like, ‘Hey this is like a little project that I stumbled on!’”

In addition to being a Grammy-winning songwriter, Printz has also been a musician, musical director and a producer. There’s some big differences between these different positions as well.

“When you’re in the front, you have to say what means more to you. When you’re behind the scenes, you don’t necessarily have to say that. You can help someone else with their story, it doesn’t have to be yours,” he explained. “Another plus or minus is if you’re in the front, and you fall, everyone sees it. But if you’re in the back, people don’t see it.”

And though there are differences from being the frontman and the one behind, as with any job, there are always challenges.

For Printz, the biggest challenge he faces is being able to keep life simple. Some of his best work came from not trying to over complicate it. Writing “Where Is The Love” only took 15 minutes.

“You always want to overthink everything,” he said. “And when you overthink, it just stinks.”

Amelia Gilmer is a journalism student at Pace University in New York and a graduate of our program at Mount St. Mary Academy in Buffalo.

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