Olrick “OJ” Johnson
THIS FORMER NFL PLAYER SPEAKS CANDIDLY ABOUT HIS GIFTS, HIS LIFE, HIS FAITH IN GOD, & THE LOVE OF HIS FAMILY
The presence of this gifted man, his heart & his undeniable love for others is genuine, and absolutely on the front lines of who he really is!
“I knew my wife was going to be my wife from the first day we talked in high school. We talked all night long and I knew she was the one. She just saw the world differently, and she’s still amazing to this day.”
Olrick Johnson, Jr., former NFL linebacker with the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and NY Jets, is a multi-talented singer/ songwriter/pianist from Miami, Florida.
He has worked, written and produced for Tweet, Mario Winans, and Tony Terry. His first album, Bless My Soul, has sold in stores throughout Florida, Georgia and Philadelphia. Additionally, the hit single, “Your Love Has Always Carried Me,” was in heavy rotation on Hot 105 FM and 99 Jamz (Cox Radio) in Miami.
Although Olrick is also a talented motivational speaker, producer and actor, he is most known for his music. Not only does he play multiple instruments, but his commanding tenor voice has caught the attention of some of the industry’s most prominent stars such as, BeBe Winans, Usher, Gerald Levert, Missy Elliot, Musiq, and Johnny Gill. He has been a background singer for artists such as John Secada, Gloria Estefan, and Betty Wright; and has opened for CeCe Winans, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Fabulous, Nelley and LSG. His video performances include: cameos in Kirk Franklins “Brighter Day”, Vickie Winans “Shook” & “Happy and You Know It.”
THE KEYS TO MY SUCCESS
We put GOD first. I tell my wife all the time you just keep praying for me. It’s only because of GOD we are where we are today!
“Being raised in a pentacostal/apostolic church gave me the foundation I needed to not trip too much when I went pro.”
“I believe that teaching is a part of my legacy and definitely part of my purpose.”
The second oldest of 8 children and the oldest boy, Olrick was brought up going to church and school.That was his life. His grandfather had a bit of prominence during segregation and he grew up in a two-parent household, much unlike those in his Miami neighborhood.
HMM: What advice would you give to those young people who feel the strains of peer pressure? Everyone wants to be a part of a click. We all want that and yearn to be accepted. If that is not helping you to express who you are and your expression is becoming suppressed, then you find yourself lost and you’re just following a pack of people who are lost themselves. Sometimes people want to do what’s easy instead of finding out who they really are. Search yourself and figure out who you are. The way you do that is through exploring. Once we’ve done that, we become confident in who we are and about where we are headed. We have to encourage our young men to explore and try different things. Your talent is not always what you see on TV. Your talent is not always being an athlete, a rapper, singer, etc.. You may be that great “behind the scenes” person who may not be getting all of the public accolades, but is earning great money.
TO THE YOUNG MEN:
“THE WAY YOU VIEW YOURSELF IS WHAT OTHERS WILL VIEW AND ACCEPT FROM YOU. DON’T EVER BE AFRAID TO BE WHO YOU ARE.”
HMM: Tell us about your music. As far as my music is concerned, I love showing my 5 octave range and also doing things that others may shy away from. At the end of the day, lyrically, I hope to share with others who the foundation of their relationship in this life should be, who their love really should be, and that’s GOD.
“WITHOUT GIFTS, YOU HAVE NO PURPOSE. GOD HAS GIVEN EACH OF US GIFTS. WE JUST NEED TO TAP INTO THEM.”
HMM: Tell us about your love story. I knew my wife Amirah was the one from the day I had my first conversation with her at a senior high school dance.The next day a friend was having a birthday party and I couldn’t wait to get there just so I could see her and talk to her again.We talked the entire night. I fell so hard that even my coach knew I was different. She stimulated my mind intellectually and she had high goals for herself.That turned me on. God has blessed us. He comes first in our marriage and our lives.
Dr. Amirah Johnson (OJ’s wife) received a medical degree from University of Florida and completed her pediatric residency at University of South Florida. Prior to joining After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care, Dr. Johnson worked in the Pediatric Emergency Department at North Broward Medical Center; as a Pediatric Hospitalist at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital at Broward Health; and in the Pediatric Emergency Department at HCA East Florida Hospitals. Dr. Johnson is a recipient of the University of South Florida Pediatrics Resident Teaching Award.
He has recently shared his talents by building a business that provides NFL based fitness training along with teaching the arts of music, dance and theater to the kids in his community via after-school programs. In addition, he’s a franchisee of Pro Image Sports, LLC in Tampa, Fl. Currently, Olrick is serving as Music Director for an upcoming film to be released this year; and is also in the studio working on his second CD!
“I’VE ALWAYS FELT LIKE THE MORE GOD BLESSES YOU, THE MORE YOU OWE…”
HMM: In your opinion, what could be the remedy to assist with repairing black male/female relationships? The remedy to repairing relationships and ultimately the family would be seeing a father in the home; seeing the interaction and yes even the problems, but the couple working through it and sticking it out for the long haul. For those who have never seen that example, we must teach respect. We must let young men know that it is not okay to do, to think, to speak, and act the way people do on TV.
Some young people, who are without that example in the home, are viewing what they see on TV as the way relationships should be. Those aren’t always the best examples of how to deal with relationships. It’s entertainment not reality. Our young people need to be taught that there are more positive ways to speak to that young lady/man. Young ladies need to demand a certain amount of respect for themselves. These ladies need to know that they should not stay in a relationship with a man who does not know how to speak to them or treat them. They are better than that and there are better options out here. They don’t have to accept that. Don’t think because this is all you see, or is what everyone else is accepting, that you have to accept it too. In the long run, it’s the ones who do not accept being treated like less who win, not the ones who do.