As his latest project, Thinking Out Loud, continues to circulate, we sat down with Too Trill DM to learn a bit more about the up and coming rapper, hailing from Miami Florida.
CR: Why did you decide to choose music as a career?
T: I chose music as my career because I grew up watching all of my older cousins and homeboys do it. All of my peers. You know what I’m saying’? I was maybe 8-10 years old around the neighborhood watching them rap and being amongst other things. It was something what they were saying and how they were rhyming that caught me. Then at block parties and stuff like that, they used to play their music and I remember people jamming and dancing to it, and I don’t know…It was just such an interesting thing for me to see and it made me want to do it. So yea, my older cousins and older homies, my brothers, motivated me to choose music as my career.
CR: According to you, what is a favorite part of making music?
T: The building process. The creating itself. The beat selection. The playing the beat out loud and letting it talk to you. Or getting in the booth and playing with the flows. Putting the actual song together is definitely my favorite part.
CR: The tracks on your latest project are no doubt great, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such songs?
T: First and foremost, my biggest inspiration for this project would have to be my grandma, who passed away a few years back. My family, also a huge inspiration. Where I’m from. Dade County. But the south. Because there’s really three sides of Miami. South Beach, of course, North Miami and then the south. I just wanted to open up more and show that side if where I come from, because where I’m from is a big inspiration for all of my music.
But there are a few artist that inspired it as well. Because the name of the project, I was doing just that and I was thinking about certain people. People like Nipsey and Big Meech. I thought about some powerful people to inspire the project. That want to empower the people or get people to empower themselves was a goal in this.
CR: Overall in your eyes, who do you believe is the most influential producer to your craft?
T: I would have to say Masego, as far as this project goes. Because a lot of the vibe that went for, came from his sound. A lot of the beats that I selected were ones that he played on.
On the other end, would be my engineer, D Shem. Because without him it wouldn’t have come out as it did. And my man, Barz. With helping executive produce it by helping form it.
CR: So if you had the choice of all of the producers in the world to work with, would that person be your choice?
T: Absolutely. I would be open to it RIGHT NOW. Whatever it would take, I would definitely do that. A whole project with him.
I watched him on a Tiny Desk series that a lot of artist go on and I saw Masego go on there, play his saxophone and he sang at the same time. That’s the type of music that I look forward to moving towards as I progress as an artist. So he’s most definitely on my list to work with as I get bigger. I’m just gonna say if God’s willing.
CR: What skills do you think are necessary to have a successful rap career?
T: Consistency, relentlessness, focus. That want to always keep going and push yourself. Like there’s always work to be done. You need to be more open a lot of people are more closed off and tend to think themselves in a corner, as if things will roll to them. Also, knowing what to say and what not say. Understanding, patience and the ability to adapt. Plus, networking and marketing skills. Let’s not forget that. Things of that nature. I think those are the perfect things have and know for a successful rap career.
CR: How big of a role does life play in your creating process?
T: Life is my creating process, if that makes sense. This is all real life to me. It took a long time for me to get to this small point, even if it is big for me. Because of the lifestyle I live, getting to this point is huge for me. Everything that’s in my music has happened and it’s a part of me. I can go an play a track and relive these moments right there because they really happened. That’s how my music is. So life plays a HUGE part in my creating process. Most of these projects were made here, in Miami and they reflect that. No matter if it was good, bad, pretty or ugly. It was a moment in time for me.
CR: Is any other artforms (paintings, drawings, movies, etc) involved in any way in your inspiration?
T: There’s one movie in particular that kept thinking about, Mobsters. It’s about Lucky Luciano and how they started off small and turned their territory into a pipeline for the Italian and Jewish community. Whenever I watch movies like that it gravitates because I want to be just like that, in a good way. Like how they came together and created opportunities. I wanna be that type of person. So that movie played a big part in the thought process. Not the project itself, but the thought process while I was making it.
CR: How do you stay up to date, or ahead of time, regarding your rap style?
T: By paying attention. It’s not really that hard nowadays with so much music that’s being dropped. You pretty much have to set yourself apart from what’s all out there, since there’s so much. But I don’t really focus on staying up to date. I just focus on perfecting my own sound and craft and becoming the best artist that I can be.
CR: What motivates you to be a better rapper and from your normal life, what kind of ethics do you follow and put up in your work?
T: To one day be at a point where I can say what I want and that’s to be honest and spread love. To help another person out and pick people up. The right things in life. The motivation of knowing one day that I can help my family and brothers still in the streets.
The ethics I live by are loyalty, respect, honor, honest, those things right there. That’s what my work is all about, those few things. That’s what keeps me going. God willing, I’m one day able to say these things, do these things and live by these words on my own platform. Just helping other people out. The unfortunate ones that don’t think they have a way.
CR: What is your philosophy about the art of rap of today’s generation?
T: I can’t even begin to explain it and that’s no hate. If they like it, I love it. It’s not my personal vision of what I think music is to be. But how I view it is, you get a few fake followers, people who think you’re real or that you have money, a few friends around and you have a career. That’s today’s rap generation, in my eyes. In better terms, easy for everyone to do. It’s just a hobby nowadays.
But for me, I’m gonna continue to treat it how it treated me and remind myself why I got in it at the beginning.
CR: What do you consider the important facets of the music industry?
T: Studio time, for sure. And the availability/accessibility to collaborate with other artist. Also the opportunity to transition successfully after music.
CR: Where do you see your brand in ten years?
T: R.O.E. The Movement, an undisclosed label and my brother from another mother, Paintboi Gav. I see these brands being some of the biggest brands walking with the ground work and ethics that spoke on early. It’s already planned out. That’s an important skill that I forgot to mention. But it’s on the way. For sure.
CR: If you had to describe your rap style in three words, what would it be?
T: An undeniable desire.
CR: How do you handle the stress?
T: Simply by separating. Getting away. Sometimes just locking myself in the crib. Everyone has there way to handle stress. But I just get away from people. But to be honest, I haven’t been stressing lately. I’ve been blessed. I’m blessed to be able around family and friends, and doing what I love.
CR: What has been your most memorable challenge so far?
T: Losing my grandmother. Not only is something that I’ll never forget, it’s something that I’m still going through. But with God, I’m healing. I’ve had a lot of time to think and start my healing process with God. I’m getting through it and I’m thankful for that, but it’s for sure losing her.
CR: How comfortable are you with working on projects with other rappers?
T: As long as I know them. Or have some type of personal connection. I can’t just work with anyone. I have to understand you first. Because I’m not trying to get caught up in anyone’s bullshit. But I’m definitely comfortable.
CR: Does your work reflect your personal taste?
T: Now in life, I think yes. I think it’ll take me bringing in more musicians to better mold it. But yeah, I think that I’m getting into the feel of my personal taste in music.
CR: Any last thoughts to the people
T: Honestly, I’m just thankful for this opportunity and I’m ready to make the most out of it. I already have a new project coming. Videos coming, course. I’m ready for people to start watching me and get used to me. I’m just a young cat coming from the hood and projects of Dade County. 305. Imma keep representing where I come from. R.O.E. ENT. DM the movement. Paint. You already know how we coming. Love and respect to all. Everyone continue to keep thriving and pushing that elevator to where you wanna go. Don’t let anyone tell you no.