Atlanta is what’s popping right now, and as debated as the notion may be, it’s steadily becoming a fact.
So naturally in 2014, when a then 17-year-old Tre Trax got word of a song he produced making its well-deserved rounds through the Southern mecca, moving down to the city seemed like the only plausible thing to do.
Born and raised in the state of New York, it was at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day that the budding DJ and producer would look his name up on Twitter, a routine that previously bore nothing of consequence, only to find Atlanta rapper Lil Donald making waves with the record “Juice”, with the words “produced by Tre Trax” in glorious accessory.
“I was like, ‘Yo, what is this?” I felt like somebody stole my beat, and I woke up my dad like, “Yo, somebody stole my beat,” explains the now 19-year-old.
Tre’s first exposure to making music came at the age of 12, equipped with dreams of being an emcee at the time. In need of some beats to rap over, he took it upon himself to take up production as well.
“It got to a point where I was like, ‘Forget that. I don’t even want to rap anymore. I just want to make beats.'”
Growing up, he explains, the experience of listening to music wasn’t to listen to the actual artist, but rather the production behind it, citing Kanye West, Jahlil Beats, and Ryan Leslie as proper influences.
It goes without saying that the fateful November morning was a long time coming for the Atlanta transplant. In a candid chat with him during a studio session, the young musician, outfitted with an excessive amount of humility and a toothy grin, spoke openly about positioning himself towards the path of becoming one of music’s greatest names.
The Source: What part of New York are you from?
Tre Trax: Long Island.
You’ve lived there all your life?
Yep. Bay Shore, Long Island, New York. All 18 years.
What exactly made you want to come to Atlanta?
In New York, Atlanta was popping. “Juice” went crazy in Atlanta, and I was like I have to come down here. It was always on the radio, and people would tag me. I saw it was lit at schools and I was like ‘Yo, I have to be down here. If this is what’s going on then I’d probably do way better down here than I’m doing up there”.
How different has the scene been for you?
It’s a way different scene. I went back to New York for the summer to work and be with my family, but it was different working up there. I wasn’t really on my grind everyday how it would be down here. To me, it’s a lot harder working with artists up there than it is down here.
It’s like—New York wasn’t really doing that well. Now it is with people like A Boogie and Young M.A.
Being up there, I couldn’t find rappers I could really work with that would actually make hits, or give me something. Down here, it’s easier to work. Everybody’s just willing to get in the lab, get something going, and just be productive.
So, what was it like when you first heard “Juice” on the radio?
I still, to this day, have not heard “Juice” on the radio. I swear. I’ve seen videos. Everybody catches it before me. I remember being here for a visit and I heard it in a commercial on the radio. But, I’ve never heard the song just drop on the radio.
How does that feel, though? Going from the ‘listener’ to the ‘doer? It’s no longer people coming up to you saying ‘Did you hear that track?’ It’s ‘I heard your track’.
Honestly, it’s weird to me. Like I really don’t try to put myself out there like too much. It’s just weird to me because I know the background story behind how the track was made.
I made the beat when I was 16-years-old. I made it in high school. Like literally in high school during lunch. Knowing that and how it came to be the song it is now, it’s like crazy to me, basically.
Are you usually the youngest in the room?
Yeah. By far. Always the youngest.
How does that feel?
At first, it was intimidating. But then, I realized that as a producer, I control the session. A lot of producers just send out beats, but I’m usually in the session.
At a point, being the youngest in the room really doesn’t affect me anymore because they’re going to listen to what I have to say. I’m the one making the beat. I know what I’m doing. I know how the track should sound. They value my opinion.
How’s the experience been like being down here, overall? Do you prefer it?
Yeah. The transition that I’m struggling with is school and handling music because that’s a lot. Music and school is a struggle. It’s hard not to have those drop-out thoughts. Because you know everybody drops out. Mike Will dropped out. Metro dropped out.
Dropped out of school. Now, they dumb rich.
What’s been the most surreal moment for you by far?
There’s many moments. I could give like maybe three. I remember watching a video of Future, Esco, and Metro Boomin’ at some club hype and singing every word to “Juice”. I was like ‘Oh my God. This is my beat.’
Then last year, I got a text that one of the beats I made was playing at a Falcons’ game. They were like, ‘Yo, I heard your track in the Georgia Dome’. They were in South Carolina watching it on TV.
Then I have these producers that I used to look up to, now texting me, hitting me up, trying to work with me.
What can you tell us about future plans—what you’re working on, who you’re working with, your goals?
Right now I’m working Coco Vango. He’s like my brother. The New Boyz—I just got out of a session with them. That was really dope. We cut a few songs. Other than that, it’s just what I’m working with my publishing company—who they’re sending to me.
My real goal is to be considered one of the greats of the music industry–who’s touched and mastered many areas of music. I don’t want to be known as just a beat maker that makes Hip-Hop or Trap, but a music producer who makes hits in numerous genres.
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