Meet T:ME, the Musician Drawing Inspiration from Film

Michael Caloca/ONE37pm/Instagram

T:ME is a Brooklyn-based artist that's looking to push the boundaries of hip-hop and RnB. T: ME's goal within his musical realm is to provide the listener an alternative vibe with a distinctly urban edge - and that's precisely what he delivers. 

In "Off Me," T: ME's most recent single is an exciting, upbeat song over a brassy beat. T: ME's vocals, in particular, are reminiscent of artists such as Don Toliver, Post Malone, and SAINt JHN on this track. While this song is his latest release, and it doesn't have many streams at the moment, the track's exciting theme will make "Off Me" a standout in T: ME's discography for years to come. 

In 2020, T:ME released "Is It a Good Time?", his five-track debut EP. In the song "Good/ Rear View," T:ME draws from a retro wave and synth-inspired backbeat to develop a warm and rich vocal performance. His piece "Same Room" currently sits atop of his tracklist, and it is an impressive vocal performance for the buzzing artist. A filtered synth in the background elevates his suspenseful vocals, awaiting what he is to sing about before he even finished his last bar. The song "Love at 20" contains a percussion-heavy, driving backing. The track seems to be a reminiscent, coming-of-age song that any older listener would appreciate. Be sure to check out the EP below.

One of T: ME's unique aspects is his inspiration and adaptation of music in his career. T:ME strives to give the listener a cinematic experience when listening to his music by being score-minded in the production and execution of his songs. T:ME grasps inspiration from some of his favorite directors. Within all of T: ME's releases, you can hear a unique production and structure similar to films. T:ME's song structure is opposed to typical song structures with an ABABCB song structure. 

In an exclusive discussion with T:ME, we dive into his inspiration, future music plans, and more.

1. Who are your biggest inspirations?

My inspirations change with the seasons. I tend to gravitate around individuals who push boundaries, break norms and spark a conversation that surpasses the surface, surpasses the way the majority of individuals think. Before I was an artist, I directed and studied film and how musical scores accompanied the films. Scores and soundtracks are just as vital to the effect and experience of the movie than the visuals themselves. Directors Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, or film studios like A24, who blend genres and break conventional methods, are the significant drivers behind creating and interpreting my music to the world. My team and I always aim to push ourselves to experiment musically and visually, push the needle forward, and honor those who paved the way before us, so everyone around me constantly inspires me daily to create my standard and inspire people through my work. 

When I make music, when I make albums, I want all of my work to be digested much like a movie score, which has ups and downs, peaks and valleys, intros and outros. I believe music should be an experience and make you feel like you are leaving your world and entering my universe, the plot to my story, for that 2 minutes or 3 minutes the song plays. So musically, I am inspired by the Michael Jackson's, the Kanye West's, the Bon Iver's of the world. Still, I hesitate when saying they inspire me because I aim to make music without referencing; they, as creatives, would view it as authentic and not a replication of something they have done or would attempt.

2. What made you want to get into music?

Since birth, music has been in my bloodstream, and I can't trace it back to a specific instance or time where music became relevant to me. It's always been in my DNA. As a child, I went with my mom to Greater Eternal Light Church in Flatbush, where my mom played the drums and was a heavily involved and devoted figure. The musical lineage runs deep on my mother's side of the family, where most of them were singers, so I was always picking up melodies and particular inspiration they would use that guided me to find my voice at a very young age. So for as long as I can remember, much like kids who forget when they took their first steps or say their first words, I remember being around music. It's always been natural to me, which led to writing music and singing myself. 

3. What drives you every day?

It doesn't take much external inspiration and motivation to drive me. I've been through a lot. Living and trying to make ends meet in Brooklyn, getting signed to Freebandz in 2015 and having it fall through, starting fresh and rebranding my music - it all took a lot out of me over the years. Still, I am re-energized with a new team and am finally seeing the vision for myself, crystal clear and hungrier than ever. Making my family, friends, and team proud is the most important to me, but my intuition and belief in the person I am becoming an artist I aim to embody is the main driver. My competitive nature will not let me stop until I am mentioned with the greats. 

My team sets a high standard for each other in operating and pushing the music and creative direction forward. We undoubtedly treat piece, and what we do as a sport and trust we each have something unique to offer to the world and the opportunity to bring new energy, a new standard into the mix that has never been executed before. 

4. What can we expect from you in the next year? Any projects that you're working on?

Timing is everything. I'm sitting on so much music, but I am calculating my steps and making sure I come out swinging differently than everyone else releasing right now. COVID is still running rampant, and no time has felt right to release music. Still, on the bright side, the pandemic has given me the time to craft myself as T:ME and find my identity and reconnect with my fan base's expectations and my expectations for myself as an artist.

My team and I are adamant about raising the bar with this album both musically and creatively. It can't look or sound like any other music currently out there. It's taken time to perfect my sound and step into my own as T:ME, but I think I'm close, and I'm itching to really expose myself to the world and put myself out there in an epic manner with a body of work. 

Be sure to follow T:ME and stay tuned into what he’s working on in the future!

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