Recording artist Truez sits down with Truth TV to talk about his music & creativity.
Onyx: Introduce yourself.
Truez: My Name is Truez. From Newark NJ coming out of Augusta GA.
Onyx: How did you end up in Augusta?
Truez: My mom went bankrupt & my grandmother was down here so we came down here. I ended up in Atlanta for 2 or 3 years. Then I lived with my brother in Virginia, then I came back here.
Onyx: So how do you feel about the local hip hop scene?
Truez: I think Augusta lacks in glorifying my particular style. I feel like it’s not a tradition, so people don’t jump to what I’m doing full fledged & give me what I think I deserve. I don’t get that because that’s not necessarily what’s been done. I’m not saying I’m the only one doing this kind of music…I’m not. I am the only one that has a certain backing to bring it to the forefront. So all I’m trying to do is open that door & try to change the face of Augusta hip hop.
Onyx: Talk about your lyricism as far as you being raised up north.
Truez: I talked to my homeboy about this & I feel like I cheated. I feel like being born up North & being raised around a particular style of music & then coming down South…in the midst of when the South was about to start taking over…you started to kind of realize what people wanted to hear but still staying true to where you’re from. What I do is, I like to keep the lyrics mixed in with some beats that I know my Southern listeners would cater to. I think I cheated. A lot of people can’t do that. A lot of people from up North would try do these Southern beats but they won’t necessarily be too effective because that’s not them. They don’t know what they (Southerns) want. I’m down where, I’m in the box & I know what they want. So it’s kind of cheating a little bit. But it helps me be the artist that I am today.
Onyx: What do you feel the game as whole is missing & what do you think you can bring to it?
Truez: The game is missing people who are less of character as of more of themselves. I feel like it’s an abundance of people who are playing roles, but it’s not really them. It’s not a lot of people who are just themselves. I feel like the more I just be myself whether I’m joking on a vlog site, or whether I’m being super serious in an interview, or in the booth…I got to be myself. I think that’s what the game lacks…is people who are less characters & more people just being themselves.
Onyx: Talk about how you got picked up on the Hype tour. What was that experience like & how well was your music recieved?
Truez: I was just submitting my music to different people you know just getting that internet grind up. I got a call back from Hype saying they chose me first out of 6000 people, then they chose me again out of 100, & I was on the tour with 10 artists. So that right there, this was before Sarcasm, before “Damn My Lifetime” & all of that. They picked me up because they wanted a certain style on the tour. Little do they know I was in the midst of coming to the game with a whole new approach. So that’s why I was saying I cheated a little bit because I was transforming & I was going to get more personal, gritty, & I brought that to the tour instead of what they thought they were going to get. I was just consistent. I dropped 3 videos straight from Art ’91 my first mix tape & I was just pretty much consistent. We got a bunch of calls from different folks & you just know when people are watching when you get a phone call like that saying “you’re invited to go on tour.”
Onyx: Since the tour, has anybody reached out to you?
Truez: I don’t want to name drop at this particular moment. Right now we’re basically concentrating on building the brand. The moment I got off tour, me & my manager was just in the works talking like “what can we do?” I don’t know when people are going to see this but we’re about to shoot a video for the first single to my project “Damn My Lifetime” & get it rolling like that. I really want to put on a concert in my city. A concert, not a performance. I want to put on a concert, that’s currently my goal.
Onyx: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being on the road?
Truez: The biggest lesson would have to be preparation. I feel like if you’re not prepared for the road, for the crowd, for the venue, you won’t make it. What I do in preparation…first of all, you got to have merchandise, gotta have CDs, & you got to have a reason to be on stage. Don’t just be on stage…rapping. I don’t drink or smoke before any performances. I don’t drink or smoke when I write. I don’t drink or smoke when I record. Everything I do musically is in a sober mindset. So with that said, if you had a real job, would you go into your job high or drunk? I treat music like it’s my job and that’s a part of my preparation. I feel like I’m different already when I step on stage. I’m different when I walk into a venue, when I look at a fan in audience…I’m looking at them differently. That’s just a part of my preparation. Once again, you got to have the merchandise & you have to be mentally prepared. I didn’t really get to prepare myself for the tour as far as practice performances or anything like that. But when I got on stage it was just natural. I think that has a lot to do with being mentally prepared. So I would say preparation more than anything.
Onyx: What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for anybody trying to get into the music industry?
Truez: Everything that you write, nobody necessarily has to hear. Everything that you record, nobody necessarily has to hear. It’s all a growing process. I can write 10 songs in one week, write 10 totally different songs the next week, & write 10 totally different songs the week after that; don’t ever feel like people have to hear every record. That’s when you get caught up in dropping free music all day. The way the game is now, free music is cool & all but at the same time we got to make a living too. So my biggest advice is to work, write, just keep writing, keep recording, & when you have a project make that project meaningful. Don’t just put 10 or 12 of your best songs on a CD & give it a title. Make me feel something when I listen to it. Make people feel something when they listen to it. We were just bumping that Rocko mix tape Lingo joint. I was just like, man he stayed true to the title the whole time. It’s not like he said “this tape is called Lingo” & then just put 10 of his best songs on there & they had nothing to do with the title. I feel like a lot of artists need to start doing that. Just write & grow in your music until you feel like you’re at the level where you want to be. If you’re uncomfortable with yourself don’t even record any music. Don’t even put any music out if you’re uncomfortable.
Onyx: What can we expect from you in the next 6 months to a year?
Truez: I don’t like putting timetables on things anymore & I just figured that out 3 weeks ago. If I had to guess, I would want to be on another tour in the next 6 months. In another year, I want to be 1 album in whether it’s a major label backing or independent. I want to be 1 album in. I want to get out there & connect with my fans.
Onyx: Where can people find you online?
Truez: Everything…Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Reverb Nation….anything is Truez Nation (www.trueznation.com). It’s that simple. No zeroes, no commas, no underscores…just Truez Nation on any site.