Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Artist Spotlight – T-Money

T-Money was born Tristan Steffon Jacobs in Washington, D.C., in 1985. He grew up in Shepherdstown, and the T-Money nickname came from playing on the Jefferson High School Cougar basketball team. He would yell “money” after every shot he took for a basket.
He started writing rhymes in his junior year of high school and, along with close friend Ethan Curtis, began rapping out loud in his senior year. After graduation, he stopped rapping for a while, but resumed writing and performing in April 2009, when he got access to a home studio.
With a passion for all types of music, T-Money grew up listening to many different genres, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Elton John, the Beatles and Lil Wayne. His versatile and creative output encompasses subjects that are both biographical and imaginary, and he takes inspiration from the current scene.
T-Money’s first extended play, “Unleashed,” was produced to attract attention from fans and score a record deal. He has done numerous shows and is often asked to perform at area nightclubs. He is currently working on his second extended play and is in the process of forming the Skyline Music Group, an ensemble consisting of himself and several other artists who have worked closely with him or are part of his crew.
Looking to God for the energy to work and perform, T-Money said that he feels blessed for his experiences thus far. He feels that his next project will be his most special and personal work to date. He places his future in God’s hands and looks forward to more success in the hip-hop industry.

1.) When did you start making music?
April 2009 is when I decided that this is a passion that I’d like to pursue.

2.) Where are you from?
Originally from The District… Currently Reside In The Eastern Panhandle of WV.

3.) What attracted you the most to hip hop? What elements and/or characteristics made you say to yourself that you wanted to do music for a living?
I’ve always been a huge fan of hip hop, But RnB Is My First Love. When very young my mother would try her hardest to keep me from rap music, so I would listen to mostly older RnB and Jazz, as I got older she became more lenient on what I could and couldn’t listen to. She still only bought edited CD’s Though!!! No swearing at all in those songs but it was cool I knew what they was saying. Into my teen years I pretty much declared hip hop as my favorite genre of music. But once I got to my late teens I was pretty versed in all genres, hip hop, rap, RnB, Country, Pop, you name it I was listening to it. Which turned out to be a great thing because now I write songs for other artist in all those Genres. I have a passion for them all. Music is so Universal in my eyes.

4.) Do you think that hip hop is dead? Why or why not?
I don’t consider hip hop to be dead. I think it’s just not popular by the masses right now, I feel it’s made some strides back to the forefront. Hip Hop was looking like it was bending for a few years there. I don’t think hip hop will ever die. There will always be hip hop heads out there to keep it alive.

5.) Who are your influences/heroes/role models?
I’m not really influenced by people as much as I am by things, events, emotions, sounds. People are very fickle and its hard to find any that hold any merit. So my faith is in god, not people. Don’t get me wrong I’m a very positive person and I’m a big people person, but the only way I generate influence from people is if they make me feel a certain way, which is me being influenced by my emotion that was triggered by another. My younger brother Tehron Jacobs Is my biggest hero. three time cancer survivor before the nigga turned 25… Bad MuthaFucka!!! Role Models… I grew up looking up to drug dealers and what society would classify as thugs. Luckily for me they saw more in me and pointed me in a direction to not be like them, but to be better.

6.) If you could compare yourself to an already established artist, who would that be and why?
I honestly struggle with this. I get this question all the time. I just go by what I hear other people say. I’ve heard everything from Kanye West to Black Eyed Peas, Lately I’ve heard Flo Rida comparisons a lot.

7.) Who are your favorite rappers?
I listen to Everyone Drake, J. Cole, Big Sean, Tupac, Biggie, LL Cool J, 2 Chainz too many to name. My homie Jay Shaw though… Best rapper I know hands down!! I tell you what though I had to stop listening to Jay Z and Kanye for personal reasons… Too Fuckin Much!

8.) What do you think your listeners will get out of your music?
I make music for me to like first off, then I just hope that whoever is listening to it likes it as much as I do. I feel like I’m a technical Words man. I try to make sure my words and phrases always rhyme but I still try to entertain as well as say what I mean…. My recent album Titled “No Doubts” I had people really applaud that I got personal with the project one lady told me. “Tristan you rapped from your heart, told us some of your story and we have benefitted from it… Thank You” Shit like that makes all this worth it man. A guy told me that my music literally helps him get through the day. How much bigger of a compliment can you get than that.. ya know?

9.) Do you think that music is enjoyed more for the beat or the lyrics, and why? What do people like most about your music, the beat or the lyrics?
I think it’s a case by case answer… I know now days to me. It seems that people are gravitating towards the beats. They just want a beat that can make them go dumb. Which is fine if that’s what they want. Hell I like that shit too. But I always personally been a fan of lyrics, rhyme patterns, punch lines, content, everything about a song doesn’t matter the genre has the potential to attract me and make me like it. I think that’s why when I don’t like a song. I can distinct what I don’t like about it pretty quick because I can tell what I like even quicker.

10.) Is America so superficial that the best lyricists are surpassed and outsold by generic mainstream artists?
Superficial I wouldn’t say that. I heard Jamie Foxx say one time that if you don’t move along with the world of music you will get left behind. I think it really all depends on yourself. I have friends that are doing music and they are willing to adapt and venture out into different genres of music like I do myself and we do it together and it’s incredible. I also have friends that don’t understand why we do that and consider it not being true to ourselves. I’m a artist before all I create something out of nothing. I believe in opening your horizons and letting inspirations come from places that you least expect.

11.) How do you prepare yourself to write certain songs?
If I’m aiming to write a certain song. I just find a beat that matches the feel of what it is that I need to create. Then I think of a hook and that’s followed by the verses.

12.) What made you want to get into the music business?
I always loved music. I started out just doing this as fun. A hobby of sorts. Shortly after that, I realized that people really like this shit and they are listening. Within in a year of me even trying to do music it became to where I couldn’t go anywhere without someone bringing it up to me. Thanks Social Networks!!! lol

13.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your music and if so, why?
I have a younger brother that has defeated cancer 3 times. There was a really rough patch during his 2nd stint where honestly till this day I don’t really remember much for those few months, Because I totally was disconnected from so much and so many. I just wanted him to be ok. I couldn’t do music at that time. Due to that my album “No Doubts” Came out a year late. But people are starting to say it’s a classic so hopefully it was well worth the wait.

14.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in the music industry?
The most difficult thing I’ve endured in my short 3 years doing music, is by far when my team dismembered. We weren’t on the same page when it came to goals when it came to this entire endeavor. So we went our separate ways and its probably the best thing that happened as well cause as a result of it all I found Jesus and The Lord… (Long Story) We all Still friends till this day though.

15.) How do you feel when you see that people enjoy your music and are affected by it?
It’s humbling because they think I’m somebody and I know I’m just a guy that works like them, has bills just like them, struggles day to day just like them. But I do something that makes them feel good, or inspires them to acknowledge me. It’s an unreal feeling… especially when someone says they listen me and it makes their day better, or when kids come up and ask for autographs or when I get invited to kids birthday parties as their present. All A 13 year girl wants for her birthday is to meet me? Words can’t describe that feeling. That’s why I can’t stop. I have to go harder. For Them!

16.) What do you hope to do with your music?
At one time I used to want to be the best rapper in the world… I’m not even the best rapper in my Power Circle lol, But as of late with doing a lot of songwriting for other artist and genres I know that I’m not a rapper, I’m a songwriter and recording artist that happens to Rap lol. Besides I live by faith. I’m just a part of the plan from the man above. #Amen!

17.) Do you plan to branch off and pursue other endeavors outside of music when you make it big?
I already am branching off and am doing other things. Just started my own clothing line called Tristan Steffon. Hoping to launch that soon. Got the #TeamFuckIt Movement Going. I’m into party promotion now and of course the Songwriting for other artist is taking off as well. So I’m hoping to make something out myself real soon.

18.) How do you plan to help change the world?
The Kids. I want to inspire them to be themselves but do the right things and stay positive. Alongside HomeTeam Sports and Ent. We are hosting events very often to give the community an outlet to do something positive. It’s a good feeling to be apart of that. I feel like I have a lot to offer the world. I’m just starting with my community.

19.) What is your ‘vision’ for your songs and music overall? If your music has a message, what message are you trying to send and why?
My vision is to be where I’m suppose to be. I dream big man. But I know that in this business going big causes for big consequences. So I’m just going to get in where I fit in. As for a message. I’m not trying to send any message in particular. I’m just trying to entertain the masses hopefully they listen because I have certain songs that do say things. But I make those messages Clear. You just gotta Listen!

20.) Are there any questions that your were expecting that I didn’t ask and want to answer?
This was great man. Thank You a lot Take Care and Stay Blessed

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