From Music to Literature
Bryan and Paul Johnson are brothers born and raised in the Pinelake Village Cooperative housing units in Ann Arbor Michigan. They credit most of their life lessons to their neighborhood, which at the time was a low income African American community that, despite the obvious influences of drugs was a supportive and positive place to grow up. As “80s Babies” they became early fans of hip-hop. As teens they dreamed of becoming rap stars and formed the rap group, “5A2” (pronounced “Five ‘A’ Square”) which was later renamed “Lakwater” (Pronounced “Lake Water) in the late 1990s. They signed with an independent local record label and their group was featured in the November 1998 edition of Spice Magazine alongside well-known artists like Missy Elliott and DMX.
Bryan left the music scene to focus on earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Hampton University and an MBA from the University of Michigan, while Paul completed a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Southern A&M College and University. While in college, Bryan started his first novel and had dreams of publishing books while Paul continued to write, produce, and perform music as a solo artist, under the stage name, “P. Casso” and in an alternative hip-hop/pop group named, “AutoPilot III.”
In 2006, the brothers returned to Ann Arbor where they reunited to form the artist management and promotions company, ProVarMedia, where they help local artists produce and promote their music. In 2011, they joined forces to pen the manuscript IXI: Rise of the King, which combines their love for hip-hop and their experiences in the music industry with their passion for writing.