Trai’D born Joseph Aschalew in Dallas, Texas nineteen years ago. Trai’D grew up in the City’s rough and tumble Oakcliff district, a place where poverty, drugs and violent crime walk hand-in- hand, often claiming the lives of many young Black and Latino males. But thanks to his parents who encouraged him to excel in academics and cultivated his love of music, Trai’D was able to avoid the pitfalls that life in Dallas roughest area had to offer.
Trai’D‘s passion for music was stoked by a steady musical diet of R&B and hip hop. While he loves R&B it was hip hop that would prove to be his ultimate passion. As he likes to put it he didn’t discover hip hop, hip hop more or less discovered him. “Hip Hop is everywhere,” says an excited Trai’D. “You just can’t deny the impact that Hip Hop has had on the world. I love the culture.” Trai’D loved hip hop culture so much that he started rapping at the tender age of 9, rocking mics both real and imaginary with a favor and talent that belied his youth. By the time he was 17 he was recording his own songs and sharing them with his friends and family. Everybody was impressed by how he was able kick an aggressive lyrical flow with a tenacity of a hip hop vet. It was hard for many to believe that he is just 19 years old.
In this exclusive interview with UrbanBridgez.com, as apart of our anniversary interview series! Trai’D talks to Aries about his upcoming debut album, his style of rapping, growing up in Dallas, facing obstacles in the game and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: Explain your name, I was reading your bio?
Trai’D: Yeah Trai’D is actually short for Trademark. That’s where that comes from and of course I spell it different. A trademark is a logo that a business would put out to represent them self. So basically I’m saying everytime I step out, I’m representing for my city & my peoples to the fullest!
UrbanBridgez.com: Gutta Chick really opened alot of doors for you, did you expect it to take off so fast the way it did?
Trai’D: Honestly nah, I had no idea man. I was 16 years old at the time when I wrote that record. I put it on MySpace and it just took off, know what I’m saying. Specially at that time in my life, it was crazy. I was going through so much, so it was really crazy to me how it got in the right peoples hands. One record can change your life, I’m living proof of it. So now after that introduction, I’ve just been perfecting the album. So now I feel like I’m really going to set the world on fire!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about your debut you’re working on with Hitz Committee and Jive?
Trai’D: The album is going to be called TraiDMarK, which is self-titled, but not self titled, know what I’m saying. Because Trai’D is the abbrevia. It’s my baby, I’ve been working on it for the last 9 months, so it’s going to be crazy. It’s one of those CD’s you can pop in from track 1, to wherever we’re going to stop it. It’s gonna be bangin, you’re going to be able to ride all the way through it. I’ve been working with some big producers, but at the same time it’s really the young humble ones. The big ones, since I’m a new artist tend to hold out for those big names. It’s been the young humble producers that’s really been giving me that heat. I got no problem working with them man, whatever gives me goosebumps. I have a couple features on the album, but I don’t want to leak no secrets or whatnot. You’ll have to stay tuned!
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of the people you worked with as far as production?
Trai’D: Dough Boy, who did Gutta Chick. I think he got like 4 songs on my album that’s crazy. Just to be a kid from Mississippi, we linked up through the internet. We linked up and just started working together. It just happened, it is what it is. I got him, my partner named Young Sean on some beats with me. He’s did some things for me in the past. Lil Woo, I did a video called X-Pill(http://vodpod.com/watch/1327383-traid-x-pill) he did that. We got some beats from my hometown also, some big producers. Like Insane Wayne did a few tracks, I been working with Play-N-Skillz, you know they from the hometown. I was just in the A fuckin with Zaytoven, so we got some big names too.
UrbanBridgez.com: When can fans expect the album and video to the first single?
Trai’D: The first official single for the album is going to be called iDoobie featuring OJ Da Juiceman. We’re actually putting together the treatment for the video now. I don’t have the date, let alone do I know when the video is going to drop yet. The album, I don’t want to jump the gun and give a date that’s not official. I don’t wanna give a false date. If you have to ask that question when the album is getting ready to drop, then we’re not doing our jobs. Know what I’m saying, so when we do have a date for it, people are going to know before you have to ask. We’re going to make sure the marketing is right, we’re going to do it real big!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about your latest mixtape?
Trai’D: The latest mixtape is with DJ Drop, he’s out of Dallas. It’s crazy, it’s a Thundacats mixtape that’s the life I’m branding. Young thundercat is being young, energetic, being out there man, just being foolish wit it, all the girls love you. It is what it is, young flashy fly, know what I’m sayin. So that’s what we go by, it’s called Young Thundacats, I think it’s like 22 tracks. I’m thinking it’s going to be the first of a series that I’m going to put together. I’m in the studio right now working on a mixtape. I got a couple of them out there right now, look me up on DatPiff. I’m definitely working, I got some features on there but I’m just really letting the fans know me. I feel like right now, I gotta get some loyal fans in this game. You gotta give out free music, that’s the only way you’re going to sell you know. If your fans know you and feel like when the album drops, they’re going to buy it to support. Not just because they don’t have those songs, because 90% of the stuff you hear on the radio, is already out. So you just have to get those loyal fans.
UrbanBridgez.com: How is your style different than other MC’s out right now?
Trai’D: Honestly right now, I’m using bait. Right now I’m giving the people what they want to hear. I just turned 19, so specially to be this young I got some series content. I got some serious things like I’m bringing back some meaning into music. I know you hear like Gutta Chick and be like okay, okay this nigga. But I really got some serious things. And y’all are going to hear it sooner or later. I just gotta give people what they want to hear now so I can bring them to my attention. Then I’m going to hit them with the real, they’re going to be like this little nigga got something!
UrbanBridgez.com: You grew up in Texas, how do you think growing up in Texas played a role in your music career?
Trai’D: Big part. I don’t listen to alot of people when I’m recording, because I don’t want to sound like alot of people. I grew up in Dallas, so the top two people tell me I sound like are Pimp C and Boosie. I mean sittin in Dallas, I’m right in the middle of where both of them are from. At the same time, it’s the whole lifestyle. I’m going to take this to the fullest, so I rep it to the fullest. I really try to put it down for the city of Dallas, which hasn’t really been well compared to ATL. An artist that has came out like a Jeezy or T.I. out of our city. You have the groups like D4L, big ups to Dro he definitely doing his thing. I’m just really trying to be one of the forefathers of this city man.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s been your biggest obstacle as a recording artist so far?
Trai’D: Not really an obstacle, but just being young and this my first time around. With the promotion tour, all this and all of that. You know I really didn’t know the politics of the game. I didn’t know what I needed to be doing. This whole game and the relationships. It’s really about politics, it’s like you’re running for president. You gotta make sure everybody love you and whether you don’t like the person or not, they’re vote still counts! So it’s just like you gotta make it happen, you gotta be loved by all. So that’s really been the biggest thing, just knowing the game. I feel like I crammed so much knowledge into my brain. So this time around it’s most definitely going to pop.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some artists you would like to work with in the future?
Trai’D: Hip-Hop artist, Kanye of course, Drake he’s a big one. Eminem, the list goes on and on. I grew up listening to it all man (laughs). I’m a big fan of John Mayer, I want to do some crossover things. I definitely want to do something with him. Alicia Keys, the list goes on. I’m a fan of music before I’m an artist myself. So it’s like I listen to it all.
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
Trai’D: Follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/traidHITz), MySpace (www.myspace.com/traidmark) – Stay tuned, stay posted man. I got a lot of music coming y’all way. I’m out here and I’m going to be coming near you. Let me know what’s good, hit me up on Twitter, I be on there. I’ll come to your city, I’ll come to your school and we’ll definitely get it poppin!