With many unsigned artist vying for the coveted position of being discovered by a major record label, the ultimate struggle is producing a musical sound that can not be overlooked. For Travis Smith, having a full understanding of his identity allows for him to create music that speaks to that unique dynamic.
Southern through and through, this Valley, Alabama native began his musical journey within his community as a pianist, percussionist, and vocalist for his church. Even with such a young musical beginning, music did not become a vital aspect in his life until he began to use music as a coping mechanism. In order to deal with the dark and difficult events occurring in his life, Smith began writing and recording and realized the positive effect music could have on life. From that moment, he decided to branch out of his comfort zone and allow others to hear his story by recording and sharing his music via outlets such as Reverbnation and Soundcloud as well as performing at some local venues and talent shows.
Tired of not having total control of his musical creations, Smith decided to delve further into music by teaching himself music production. With this knowledge, he then founded Top Notch Entertainment (TNE Muzik), a hip hop collaborative/label. To date, Smith has performed, produced, and written for the TNE Music mixtape “The Introduction” as well as countless additional singles and is currently working towards the complete of his untitled mixtape.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
TRAVIS SMITH: I was born and raised in the small Alabama town of Valley.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
TRAVIS SMITH: As I am sure is possible for other Southerners, my music background began by being a percussionist, pianist, and vocalist for my local church, at least until I lost interest.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
TRAVIS SMITH: As a teenager, I began to head down a dark path, especially after the death of my father. Once I started writing, I felt that my feelings had an outlet and realized the positivity of music. I wanted to share my experiences so others could find their own outlet to change their lives.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
TRAVIS SMITH: Majority of my music reflects upon my troubled past, the everyday experiences of the present, and my goals for the future.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
TRAVIS SMITH: My musical influences would have to be the artist T.I., Scarface, and U.G.K..
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
TRAVIS SMITH: Relatable is how I would describe my music. My goal is for my listeners to have at least one song they can relate to.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
TRAVIS SMITH: Versatility is my stand out quality. I do not want to limit myself by focusing on one genre. I listen to other genres like pop, rock, and country for inspiration because each has their own way of delivering the message.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career and how did you overcome?
TRAVIS SMITH: In addition to working as a solo artist, I am also part of the hip hop collaborative TNE Muzik. Of course, I want us all to find our spot in the music industry, but I can’t help wonder what happens if we all do not. This is a scenario I have yet to overcome.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
TRAVIS SMITH: Most of my music has been on a collaborative basis, but I have been working on my solo mixtape. I have yet to find a title that captures to album’s essence, but be on the lookout.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
TRAVIS SMITH: My ultimate goal, specifically 10 years after I have made my presence known in the music industry, is to produce. Many of the greats, even though they may not have released an album recently, are still relevant by placing their mark on others music. I want that ultimate creative outlet as well as trust from other artist.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
TRAVIS SMITH: My current music outlets for fan enjoyment are Reverbnation (TNE Muzik) and Soundcloud (Top Notch Entertainment).
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