Every six months a new artist rises out of the Atlanta streets. This time around, all eyes are on Trent in Trees –– a 23-year-old with a psychedelic soul.
Although Trent is a brand spanking new talent, something about his sound seems uncannily familiar. Perhaps that’s because his vibe meshes somewhere between throwback 90’s hip-hop and classic ’70s funk.
You’ll thank us later for putting him on your radar. Check out his interview below.
How long have you been doing music?
I have been writing lyrics [writing] poems since I was a kid, maybe five. I started making beats and playing instruments at age 13. I have been seriously working at it and releasing music for five years now.
I know that artists hate being labeled but how would you describe yourself and your music?
[It’s] honestly a fusion of a lot of different genres. I like to broadly label it as psychedelic music, but there are a lot of hints of hip-hop, soul, funk, reggae, and chillwave.
I usually just tell people, psychedelic soul.
You mentioned being heavily influenced by primarily African-American artists, what draws you to their music.
I guess it is just the soul behind it. I haven’t really thought of it and can’t put my finger on it, but it is just something I feel in my spirit. I love the expression and it just seems real. Again, I can’t really put my finger on it…but I just feel it and it registers with my innermost being.
Your biological father was a musician who gave you up for adoption before you had a chance to know him. Although he isn’t present in your life do you attribute any of your musical gifts to him?
I am sure that is where a lot of it comes from. As early as I can remember I have been drawn to music so I feel like it has to be somewhat biological. I have always dreamt of meeting them and learning more about who I am and my history. Maybe one day.
How have you managed to maintain a positive outlook on life after your parents gave you up for adoption and your adoptive parent later passed? That’s some heavy issues to deal with at a young age.
I have always had the outlook that it is for a reason. I have never felt like I am a victim, but rather that I am chosen and things worked out this way for a purpose. I was adopted into a great family with strong values so I have always just felt blessed and chosen, rather than an outcast.
I am actually grateful for all I have been through because it has given me knowledge and perspective that many don’t have.
Last year, you did some time jail time, what kind of songs did you write while behind bars?
Thankfully, it wasn’t for too long. There are some people in there who are stuck and it really opened my eyes to how broken the system is and how it preys on certain people. While I was there, I had a lot of time for reflection and I wrote some about what got me to that point, what I needed to change, and what I aspired to be. It really just caused me to look around at what I was doing and how I was acting. It was an ego-death moment for sure. I wrote songs like “Help” and many lyrics I am turning into songs now.
You turned to spirituality to center yourself, how has growing up in church influenced your music?
It has totally influenced me. A lot of the music there is about struggle and victory, but also about peace and joy. It has always uplifted me and helped me through so much. It has given me a positive outlook, peace, and something to strive for.
Christianity is not typically celebrated in the music business. You are very vocal about your faith in God, do you ever feel like an outcast?
In some ways, yes. A lot of times I see people promoting what I see to be wrong and I’m like, man maybe it would be easier to just follow that route. But as an artist, I have to tell my truth and it isn’t easy. I feel that my entire story is one meant to give glory to God and I would never betray all that I have been brought through. I have always felt my purpose was to change a lot of people’s mind about God and show people what it is really like, as well as give people peace.
I have always struggled with anxiety and depression and God is the only thing that helped me.
I want others to feel that because I know how hard it can be. I feel that organized religion and the American church has misconstrued what it really is about. So many people try to act perfect there, but I am real. I struggle daily. I feel there is so much we don’t understand and see. Our whole world has a spiritual aspect to it and I try to go about religion a different way. It is all so real and applies to everything around us. I am a hippie with it. God is in everything and is everything. Everything is everything. Just being present and grateful for the moment and for life. Nobody is better than anyone else. We are one human race.
Do you feel isolation is necessary to develop as an artist?
Totally. Shamans would require a period of isolation to discover their true selves. I feel that’s what I did and became my own best friend. I really discovered what I want to do and what my purpose is.
Do you feel you would be where you are without the help of Soundcloud?
Soundcloud is amazing, that is where I got my first feedback and first listens. Through that, it led me to use Spotify because everyone would ask for Spotify because it is more accessible. Without SoundCloud I wouldn’t have gotten to that point. Spotify has brought me to ears I never would have reached.
As an Atlanta-based artist who sings r&b and soul music, how do you successfully navigate through a city with a heavy hip-hop landscape?
I try to do some hip-hop to get an ear, but overall I think it differentiates me. A lot of artists I have heard are trying to sound the same and imitate, but I kind of want to be a breath of fresh air and give people something unique from what they usually hear.
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I have been working on what I feel is my best song. I’ve been working with my friend Tonye Ayeba, everything he touches turns to gold. It is super funky in the first half and the second half sounds like a sunny day. It reminds me of some Frank Ocean and Rex Orange County stuff. I am putting it out March 29th.
Any upcoming shows?
My next show is March 28th at the Georgia Theatre Rooftop in Athens. My next scheduled show in Atlanta is May 25th at Smith’s Olde Bar.
BBC Documentary ‘A Fresh Guide to Florence with Fab 5 Freddy’ headed US this Fall
Hip-hop pioneer Fred Brathwaite AKA Fab 5 Freddy has announced that his acclaimed BBC documentary — A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy, which debuted in the UK this past weekend — will be coming to the US this fall. The documentary follows Fab 5 Freddy as he embarks on a quest to uncover the hidden black figures of Italian Renaissance art.
“Not only were Renaissance artists making art that defined high aesthetic ideals but they were also groundbreaking in showing an ethnically diverse, racially mixed Italy in the 15th and 16th century. You just have to look at the art,” he said in a statement.”
The documentary centers the hip hop legend and art lover as he examines the 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance art in 15th-century style – on horseback. Amidst superstar artists such as Michelangelo and powerful patrons such as the Medicis, Fab discovers ground-breaking images of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society that have slipped through the cracks of art history. In a 5-star review, The Financial Times says Fab “visits Florence to insouciantly blow the dust off art history” and The Guardian says that he is “on terrific form.”
A Fresh Guide is just another chapter in the incredible year for Fab 5 Freddy. He released the highly praised 4/20 Netflix documentary Grass Is Greener, which traces the history of cannabis in America and its relationship to people of color. The film takes an unparalleled look at the history of cannabis usage in America through the lens of popular forms of music — jazz, reggae, and hip hop — while also examining the racial disparities and injustices within that world. The film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and just was named to the UK-based Grierson Awards shortlist for Best Single Documentary (International).
A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy will come to US homes this fall, date and other details to be announced later this year.
Brightness’ New Music Video ‘Dallas’ will make your Soul Cry
Alex Knight who launched his career under the moniker Brightness dropped a new tracked, dubbed “Dallas” via I OH U. The mellow song was recorded in upstate New York with producer Sam Griffin Owens (Cass McCombs, Chris Cohen, Sam Evian), the song is – per Knight’s description – “about being spiritually hungry…the volatility and fragility of being in that state.” A heady offering equipped with slanting melody, baritone guitars, and erratic squalls that dunk you in cloudy space for the bulk of its duration, then slowly lifts you out in its final phrases to the sound of rapturous falsetto and luminous French horn.
“I wrote ‘Dallas’ when I was living alone in my brother’s garage. It’s probably hard to tell, but I was listening to a lot of Springsteen at the time, he said. I was inspired especially by his ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ record…the themes etc. I’d pretty much razed my life to the ground, and was intent on looking upwards…looking outwards.”
Knight aﬃrms “the location and pairing (with Owens) couldn’t have been more fitting.” The song was recorded in Spillway Sound, a freshly opened studio nestled in the Catskills, a spread of nature known to stir wonder in those who’ve beheld it, from the addled attendees of Woodstock Festival to 19th-century transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The accompanying visual for “Dallas” is similarly gripping. Directed by Charlotte Evans, the video finds Knight in a state of insomnia-induced disarray, the singer slowly spiraling out in his unkempt bedroom as he becomes increasingly mesmerized by a preacher on TV. The song is the first taste of new music from a forthcoming album following his critically-acclaimed 2017 debut, Teething, and marks a darker shift in sound characterized by deeper contour, contrast, and confidence.
Report: DaBaby to serve 1 Year Probation following Gun Case
Buzzing, new rapper DaBaby has had a successful career run, thus far, with consecutive hits topping the Billboard charts over the past few months, but unfortunately, the 27-year-old’s success may slow down a notch with the bad news he just received.
According to TMZ, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office convicted the hip-hop star Thursday for carrying a concealed gun in a North Carolina case ––a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation and 30 days in jail — the jail sentence was later suspended.
The incident reportedly dates back to November of last year where the rapper was involved in a heated altercation with a man inside a local Walmart, leaving one fatality from a bullet wound. The rapper says his actions were an act of self-defense for himself and his kids.
He was arrested in connection but it’s still unclear as to who shot the suspect, the DA’s office mention to the outlet.
While it appears DaBabay got off easy with this case, he is currently battling a lawsuit over an alleged attack by him and his entourage.
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