Trizzy Trav is a rapper and producer from Buffalo, New York, but is originally from New Jersey. He is also a member of the hip-hop group Loyalty Life. Before he was known as Trizzy Trav, he was T Dot.
Under his former name, he released his first mixtape, Love For The Sport in 2013. His earlier work The Warm Up, SS Rhythm andTell Me (prod. by Scott Supreme) are three of his most popular tracks on SoundCloud. He says that The Warm Up is the track where he finally found himself as an artist. Once he realized that he didn’t have to prove himself to anyone, he continued to perfect his craft. TrizzySZN, a 7-track EP was released this year (2017) and was accompanied by a visual for the track, Same Ones (feat. Young Maine).
Trizzy Trav is one of the artists keeping the creative culture in Buffalo alive. He stays true to himself and provides motivation in his music. Trizzy gives his opinion on the current state of hip-hop and provides insight on his music and life in Buffalo.
What is it like for you as a rapper in Buffalo, New York?
You kinda feel like you’re in your own area. Your own lane. Almost like a forgotten city or a forgotten artist. The major markets like New York City and Toronto are hours away so you feel like you have to work twice as hard to get recognition like them. But it creates that hunger and that chip on your shoulder that you kinda somewhat need in this industry. Me being from New Jersey originally, there’s a BIG difference in the mindset from the artists here in Buffalo and artists from New Jersey.
Would you say that Buffalo has a thriving music scene or is everyone relocating? How different is the mindset compared to New Jersey?
I would say the scene is thriving now but there’s still some work to do. There’s been some dope festivals and shows for artists like Bueve Flueve and Vibrations. Haute La Vie threw a dope event not too long ago. But I think if you want to expand you have to travel outside of here for sure. Back in New Jersey, there are so many people who have been successful and you see them so you know it’s achievable. It’s right in front of your face. New York City is a 20 minute train ride away depending where you stay. Any given day you can bump into somebody that works at Spotify, Complex, etc. The outlets are more accessible. More importantly, the people LOVE hip-hop! They love hip-hop in Buffalo, too. But you’re closer to the “machine” as they say or the tastemakers who have a bigger reach.
I’ve been hearing about the creative culture in Buffalo. It’s dope that platforms like Bueve Flueve and Haute La Vie are a thing. It’s necessary! Of course it’s a plus to be closer to the major outlets and in the booming cities, but there’s something about the grind in your hometown, right? Some people are able to make those major moves and others are working towards it, but in different ways. What’s keeping you in Buffalo?
I get asked that like every other day, lol. To make a very long story short, my son was born here in Buffalo and I can’t stay from my lil man. So to make things easier I stay here and I travel out of state whenever I need to. On top of that, our whole Loyalty Life brand originated here. The entire team is here. And Buffalo is a beautiful city on the rise. I mean yea you got your grimey parts. You got your places where you shouldn’t be caught at a certain time. But that’s every hood in America. There are dope events here. There’s been some movies shot in this city. I just shot a music video to my next single with the DJ SlimGus by the Freedom Wall, which had incredible art. It’s not a bad place to call home.
Just like that! Listening to your music, I get a real hip-hop, mellow and motivational vibe. Your music is lyrical and you paint a vivid picture with your words.
Thanks T! That’s what I try to do. I look at the hip-hop that I grew up on and they really had something to say. Wayne, B.I.G., Jay and T.I.P. just to name a few. They all really had things that they wanted to say and when you listened you were able to paint the visual picture. One of my best friends use to say “You an ill n**** if you paint a picture with words.” That’s what I try to do. Just tryna be an ill n****.
I think hip-hop is in a great place right now. Whatever you want is there for you to find.
Painting pictures with words is what it’s all about. You named Wayne, B.I.G. and T.I.P., all great lyricists and influencers. Some argue that hip-hop is “dead”. It’s a huge topic of discussion in our music era, particularly with “Mumble Rap”. What’s your take on the state of hip-hop today?
I think the people that say hip-hop is dead just look at the surface and only listen to what’s popular. There’s hundreds of lyricists out there. My team is full of spitters. Even in Buffalo you got Westside, Conway, Billie Esco and L-Biz just to name a few. Cole, Kendrick, Big Sean a more popular scale. There’s tons of them out there! Just because they feed you “Mumble Rap” doesn’t mean you have to eat that. If your taste is lyrics you can find it. I stumble across dope lyrical artists on Instagram everyday. But even with mumble rap, that’s an art form that grew from hip-hop. It wouldn’t be so popular if there wasn’t a market for it. I think hip-hop is in a great place right now. Whatever you want is there for you to find. There are hip-hop cyphers like every weekend if that’s what you’re into. Hip-hop songs top billboard charts all the time. There’s so much variety. You just gotta find what you want.
That’s what I appreciate about music. If you want it, you will find it. Want to turn up? There’s a sound for that! Like trap music? Want straight bars? It’s there! Let’s talk about your latest project, TrizzySZN. Walk me through your thought process.
Yeah of course. So I actually finished this project in about a week and a half, which is crazy for those who know how I operate. This entire EP is based off of the last song which is “This Time Around”. I was trying to figure out how I wanted to approach that track and I got like 5-10 ideas at one time. It was like a five second thought full of ideas, then a light bulb went off and I thought, “Why don’t I create a project about that exact moment?” I know other artists will feel me when I say we forget about a lot of dope sh*t quickly. This was my way of kinda finally putting every idea I had on wax through the content, melodies, sound, all that. That’s why the “This Time” (intro) fades like it does at the end of it. That’s why “Get Em Off” fades into the outro like that. I tried to extend those quick second thoughts and make them into actual songs so you sort of get an idea of what those quick thoughts were. Then it all comes into full circle with the last track because that’s where it all started. At the end of it I was surprised that I even remembered everything. I usually forget, lol.
Very well thought out. “All Mine” and “This Time Around” are two standout tracks. I also checked out your earlier tracks. “The Warm Up” really stood out to me. How would you describe your growth over the years?
Earlier I really was trying to find out what kind of artist I was. It’s funny you say “The Warm Up” stood out because that’s where I think I found myself as an artist. I shed off all those insecurities and I knew this was who I was when I recorded that. I didn’t care about proving myself to anybody or nothing like that. I went on to make a whole album after that called “Thoughts of Ambition” under my former name T.Dot. Very introspective project.
What advice do you have for artists trying to figure out who they are through their music?
What worked for me was I stopped making what I thought people wanted to hear and I started making what I wanted to hear. And I worked on it every single day until I felt comfortable enough to let others hear it. Once you put nothing but you on the track it’s easier to deliver that. There’s nothing fabricated. It’s not hard to remember what’s there. It’s just you in your purest rawest form.
That’s real! Great advice for any creative, really. Be authentic. Are you a hands-on artist when it comes to the music production side of things?
Oh yeah I have to! I mix and master my own songs. I worked with every producer on this EP to add certain instruments if necessary. Most times I ask them to send me the session so I can add or take out what I want. Your favorite “All Mine” was actually produced by DWhite who is from Buffalo. It sounds a tad bit different and I got that beat from him years ago. He didn’t even notice, lol.
I’d love to learn the production side of music. I like to hear that artists are active in all aspects of their projects. Why not learn more and go full fledge. If you could be featured on any artist’s song, who would it be?
Exactly! And when you learn that you can paint sounds around your words. Really giving the song that picture. Man besides my team, I would love to work with Kanye because you really have no clue what direction he’s going to go in. I’d love to be a fly on the wall and see him work. Cole is another I’d love to work with. I’d like to see what his process is.
Kanye and Cole would be dope learning experiences. They both bring different elements to the table. What about those two stand out to you?
Their ability to create a song as a whole. Lyrics, instruments, sounds, cadence and melodies. Deciding who they should put on a song. Who fits the record. Also their projects are put together very well. Cole’s transitions from song to song are so calculated. Drake is another person who has great transitions.
So spot on! It’s so much more than a song when it comes to making music. I say that like I’m a producer or artist [laughing]. I just have a deep appreciation and connection to good music and dope artists.
You’re a fan of good music so you can hear it!
It’s been great interviewing you! So far, I’ve heard all good things about Buffalo and it’s currently on my places to visit list.
This was fun! You should definitely come out! The food is great here! It’s gets cold though so if you don’t like the cold you might want to wait lol. This was dope!