Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: J. McCoy

Josh McCoy is a 14-year-old middle-school student who lives a double life in the entertainment biz. That sound familiar?

Hannah Montana he's not -- though under the moniker J. McCoy he has done some work for Disney. He's also a budding rapper and actor, with an album on the way and a TV show in production.

McCoy grew up in Hanford before moving to Los Angeles. He'll be back in Hanford this weekend, shooting the music video for his single "Cute."

We got the scoop:

How did you get started rapping? Listening and mimicking verses while riding with my dad on road trips to Los Angeles. I started taking it seriously though about three years ago at age 11.

Are you excited to come back to Hanford for the video shoot? Man, I'm very excited! I get e-mails all the time from fans and friends living here in the Valley congratulating me. I asked my dad last year when I was on tour if I could shoot my first music video in Fresno and Hanford where my career started, so I can't wait.

What's the video for "Cute" going to be like? Lots of fun. Mostly girls, showing them getting ready for a mansion party/pool party that I'm having. The girls are talking about how confident they are about their appearance and the things they do are cute. There's gonna be about 60 kids dancing and having the time of their life. During the party, there will be water gun battles, dance battles, throwing popcorn in the movie theater at each other, you know, young teenager stuff.

You did the title track for the Disney movie "Jump In!" and earned a gold plaque from it. How cool was that? I look at the gold plaque every day and still can't believe it. They presented it to me at my 14th birthday bash; all my family and a lot of my friends were there. It was an incredible feeling.

When is your album coming out, and what should people expect from it? My album should be out in August. It is an awesome, well put-together album. I've been in several listening sessions while they preview my album, and the people tell me they are blown away, so I pray that's a good sign that it will do excellent.

What's the deal with "The Real McCoy of Beverly Hills?" "The Real McCoy of Beverly Hills" is my own TV show that is basically about my life. My everyday routines, showing me just trying to be a regular teenage kid and juggling the music/acting business, red carpet premieres, performances, interviews, studio sessions with other artists and everything. We are in production.

So are you going to be the male rapping version of "Hannah Montana?" I wish. Miley has sold millions of records, I'm very happy for her. She works hard. It's a little different for a rapper than a singer, though. I just thank God for blessing me with the opportunities I've had and the ability to be successful. People in the industry actually call me the young Will Smith because of the rapping and acting. I auditioned for a role in his new movie, "Seven Pounds," so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,