John Alfredo was born in Queens and grew up in Fort Lauderdale with his mom. He gained the nickname “Pasta” from his friends in school for obvious reasons, and it stuck; he uses the nickname now as his musician name, Ya Boi Pasta. He has been producing music since 2013 when he was in college and started dabbling with FL studios, which he still uses now.
Although Ya Boi Pasta started off producing hip-hop and trap, he’s since aimed to branch out to electronic, lo-fi and other genres because he doesn’t want to be put in a box when it comes to the kind of music he creates. He released his first EP “Feelings” this year which is a lo-fi album and each track is based around a certain feeling, including the single “Driving Home in the Rain.” That track alone has gotten over 100k streams so far, which Pasta attributes to his YouTuber friend putting the track at the end of one of his videos. “I kind of got lucky there, my friend put it at the end of his video and everyone was enjoying it.”
A lot of his tracks can be enjoyed on their own but also give the space for an artist to potentially put lyrics to them if they were inspired to do so.
Some tracks Pasta released are geared more towards the listener experience, like the song “Wake//Up” which is an upbeat electronic song. “I want people to just go crazy, something that people would jump over if a DJ was playing it at the club.” He’s less worried about the songs having a unifying genre or other factor, and cares more about the feeling someone gets when hearing them. “I want to create a soundtrack for people’s lives.”
Q: What made you realize you wanted to be a musician/producer?
Every day before school I’d wait for the bus at my grandma’s house and listen to this little radio listening to rap music. I’d be sort of lip syncing or singing along to the words, not really paying attention to what I was saying and my uncle walks by and says, “do you know what you’re saying?” cause apparently it was really inappropriate for a 12 year old to be saying. And I’m like, “no, not really.” He’s like maybe you should actually listen to the words before you repeat it. And for some reason that made it click for me, I don’t know why it didn’t before, but I started really listening to the words and the meanings in the songs. I loved the stories they were telling, and I wanted to tell stories too, and be the background music to other peoples’ stories. From then on I was focusing on music more than my other classes. I did band in middle and high school, marched in marching band at FSU (played sousaphone). It was solidified that I would be doing music for life.
Q: Do you have any collaborations / Do you actively reach out to artists to collab?
I have one official collab out with The AV8R, who I met back in 2013 doing a modeling thing for a fundraiser. We talked, and found out we were both doing music. Years went by, we’d comment on each others’ posts here and there, and then he heard one of the tracks I was putting on “Feelings” and he hit me up saying he had to drop bars. Two hours later he had a really nice rough draft and then it was released on his debut album “The Emancipation” as Summer Sumtime. Otherwise, no new collabs yet. I’m very introverted by nature and don’t like reaching out, but I have started talking to other artists and producers just to shoot the shit, so we’ll see how that goes. I also put my beats on TikTok for rappers and singers to duet.
Q: Who are your musical influences?
L Dre, Deadmau5, Borgore, David Guetta, BEP, Outkast, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, Tribe Called Quest, Flamingosis, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Slipknot.. I want to have an album in every different genre, I wanna pull from all of them.
Q: how long does it usually take you to finish a beat?
Usually a while. Sometimes it’s like, let’s throw these 8 bars up and see how it clicks, and then everything just comes together. But sometimes it feels like you need to work on something because you have so many ideas for it. I have more finished songs on my desktop right now than I have out on Spotify. I think I’m in my head about wanting them to be “perfect.” I’ll love the mix on my speakers but then play it on my phone speakers and it sounds like trash, so then I put it away and work on something else for a while.
Q: How do you feel about samples?
I love them and use them all the time. Fuck the people who say you have to play all the notes yourself. How far do you take that “purist” attitude? Are you going to record the actual snare drum? The people who complain about samples probably haven’t put anything out. They just like to complain.
If you’ve been looking for a new artist with a lot of variety, go check out Ya Boi Pasta! Musicians, check out his beats and maybe you’ll be inspired to lay down some lyrics to it, or go duet his beats on TikTok @yaboipasta_