God bless TT the Artist. Pretty much everything about this Bmore-based multi-disciplinary artist is exciting. Have you seen what's going on in the pictures above? So many reflective surfaces, so many colors, so much damn attitude. We've been bowing down to TT (a.k.a. Tedra Wilson) since we barged into producer Mighty Mark's home studio in Baltimore this past summer. These two turn out out DIY beats and TT spits sick lyrics from the comfort of a foam-lined closet and it comes out pro. And speaking of those lyrics—from the trash talking, braggadocio of "Lavish" (which features a whole bar about cabbages and carrots, surely a thinly veiled reference to both money and genitalia), to the oral sex anthems "Pum Pum" and "Pussy Ate," to the straight up "Pump Up the Jam"-styled "Fly Girl," and "Let Me See Ya," her songs are serious bangers. TT's a boss.
Below is the premiere of her full EP, Art Royalty, which officially drops on 2.17 (pre-order it here). Plus we catch up with the whirlwind girl to find out more about this collection of straight up bangers.
Noisey: Before we even get into it, let's talk about "Pum Pum"—clearly another super sexual, super fun song.
TT The Artist: "Shake the pum pum / Lick the pum, pum…" Owwww. "Pum Pum" was a produced by rising producer Hit$o based in Baltimore. I looked as "Pum Pum" as my "Pussy Ate" Pt II anthem. I knew I wanted to make a record that would make the ladies go crazy on the dancefloor. Lately, I've really been into call and response songs, records that direct the listener to do an action. These types of songs work well in the clubs and feel interactive at live shows. "Pum Pum" is about being confident and demanding what you want sexually.
Let's talk a bit about how Art Royalty came about.
The project itself was created over the course of a year. Creating the EP involved collaborating with producers and ooking for unique sounds that would enhance the mood of the project. For me, I wanted to make a project that showcased more of my skill and versatility as a performer and songwriter. Most of my supporters know me for my Baltimore Club hooks and chants and some of the new music introduces more traditional song structure with club influence. I'm always thinking about how my music feels. I have a dream to make bigger records that can be heard on larger platforms. As an independent artists, the challenge is how do you compete in the industry when you have a shoe string budget for production? How do you stand out when being an artist is so trendy nowadays? How do you stay relevant when you have to balance personal life with a career that has nogurantee of real success? At times, you begin to doubt yourself and wonder if any of the energy is worth the potential of rejection. You put your heart and soul on the line anytime that red button blinks and you open your mouth to let out words that may impact the world someday. Creating this project was a release for me. It was my moment to take ownership of who I am as an artists and trusting in my voice and influence!
When is the best time to listen to this record?
Art Royalty is overall a get up and go type of project. Best times to listen to it is when you are headed to work and you need a quick turn up, when you're headed for a night out, or even when your at the gym! As always, I feel my music does well in the clubs and gets any party going. I personally love listening to my music when I'm riding my bike through the streets of Baltimore it starts to feel like a soundtrack to a movie!
Who out of your collaborators really added flavor to this record?
I think everyone brought unique sounds to the record. One record that put the final touches to the project was "Freaky Life" featuring Blaqstarr produced by Mighty Mark and French producer Big Dope P. The original beat had more of a Chicago Baltimore infused rhythm to it. We sat on the record for almost a year and then decided to send it to Big Dope P to see if he could add some bigger sounds to the track. The final song ended up being amazing and one of my favorites on the EP.
I know you're also a visual artist. What's going on with art side of this project?
With all my projects visuals are a key component to my production. Presently, I am gearing up for the release of my "Thug It Out" music video—one of my more Bmore club street anthems and the EP.
What's your mission statement for 2015?
My 2015 mission statement "Work harder and operate smarter." Being an artist in Baltimore I have felt very overlooked and very much so like an underdog. The Baltimore music scene is rising yet resources for artists are very limited compared to other major music city hubs. My goals this year are to break myself as an artist/ If I could give any artists on the come up any advice it would be make a commitment to yourself and your work first. Don't let "No" stand in the way of your progress. If no one wants to give you the key to the doors of success, build your own doors.
If you're in Baltimore, or anywhere near, join TT The Artist at Metro Gallery this Saturday, 2.14. Space Is the Place Records are celebrating TT's EP release with performances from TT, Debonair Samir, Bond St. District, Ellie Herring, TT The Artist, Normaling, Kate Boss. Get ticks here.
Kim Taylor Bennett is an Editor at Noisey and she's on Twitter.