EXCLUSIVE: Who’s Translee?
Translee’s debut mix-tape, “Know Translee” was a huge success, having everyone in the music industry and abroad asking, “Who’s Translee?” We were able to meet up with Digital Native Culture and Collipark Music recording artist, Translee at the Collipark studios recently to discuss his upcoming music and his journey while getting this question answered for you.
THU: First, I definitely want to get into knowing more about your new mix tape.
TRANSLEE: “WHO’s TRANSLEE”
THU: Before you explain the mix tape, “Who’s Translee”, I would like you to tell our readers who Translee is. Where is Translee from?
TRANSLEE: Well Translee is a young guy from Huntsville, AL. I do love my city. I moved to Atlanta back in ‘09 to pursue the dream of music. Chris Hunter and I came and met Mr. Collipark and he’s been working with us and molding us. I actually went to College first. I graduated from the University of Alabama.
THU: Really? What did you major in?
TRANSLEE: Marketing and now I get to market myself everyday. It kind of goes hand in hand. I moved here in 2009 and I interned with Mr. Collipark when I first got here. I worked on the VIC project and that kind of just taught me how to get out here and really meet people and helped me to get into the groove of things. That was a good experience for me. Last year was when I actually started playing my music for him and he started taking a liking to it. Then we released the first mix tape “Know Translee” in April.
THU: I loved it! Loved it!
TRANSLEE: Thank you. Thank you. So it got really good response. I got calls from people from everywhere giving me feedback on the mix tape.
THU: I found it amazing when I posted on Twitter that I was at one of your shows and someone in New York replied and said, “I just read an article about him”.
TRANSLEE: I’m trying to just grow. Everyday I’m trying to get to the people because there’s no label and nobody that can do anything for you if the people aren’t moving with you. I go after the people first. I try to put my music where people aren’t looking. Also trying to match the online branding with the street branding and balancing both. Really just building a strong fan base because once you have them, you have a strong foundation to build off of.
THU: Do you remember that moment when you fell in love with music and Hip-Hop?
TRANSLEE: Don’t laugh but Immature was like my favorite group when I was young. They were young dudes that talked about grown up stuff so I loved that about them. That is actually when I fell in love with music.
THU: Well I used to love B2K. (laughs)
TRANSLEE: That’s worse. That was during the boy band era.
THU: Okay, so you liked what Immature did. So I don’t like to place artists in a box but if you were to be placed in a box with any artist, what box would you be placed in?
TRANSLEE: Michael Jackson, Beattles. I’m going to the top.
THU: I agree. In order to be at the top, you have to place yourself there.
TRANSLEE: I’m not sure if any rapper has reached their heights, but the highest in Hip-Hop would be Jay-Z. I don’t think you can get any higher than that. Like he’s married to Beyonce. I would want to be in that box but the box that people really put me that I have nothing to do with is J. Cole, Big Sean, and sometimes Wiz Khalifa. I don’t think I really sound like him or talk about the same things, but I would definitely like to work with Big Sean in the future.
THU: On “Know Translee”, what song did you think got the most response or touched people the most?
TRANSLEE: Probably off of the first one, “They Want More”. I feel that song touched people the most and “ 3L Theory”. I had people calling me saying they cried through the song or it got them through their day.
THU: So you talked about collaborations. Earlier you spoke about wanting to do a collaboration with Big Sean. What other artists would you like to collaborate with? It doesn’t only have to be Hip-Hop.
TRANSLEE: Right now probably the Weeknd. Actually on the new mix tape I actually remixed one of his songs. I really like the Weeknd. Kendrick Lamar is really dope. The Game, Kanye, and I listen to Adele too. I listen to Two Chainz too.
THU: Tell us about this new project. “Who’s Translee”.
TRANSLEE: “Who’s Translee” is the follow up to my first mix tape, “Know Translee” coming out October 10th. “Who’s Translee” is a growth from “Know Translee”. The rapping got better, the bars got better, and the production got better. Chris Hunter executive produced it and basically helped out with ideas and helped mold the project. He drove me to make the best song possible. As an artist you have to record what comes to you but he filters out the stuff that isn’t good. You need people like that around you.
THU: Yeah, I cant wait to listen to “Who’s Translee”. I know on the last project Todd Marshall was the main producer.
TRANSLEE: Yes, he is on “Who’s Translee”. I used a few other producers as well. I did a few tracks with a dude named “Hunger” out of L.A. He actually produced “3L Theory” from the last project. Also Chris’s child hood friend did “Does Anybody Love” off of this project. Definitely the base and the glue of the project was Todd Marshall. There are 23 songs on the project and he produced like 15 tracks. Also Cashflow is on the project as well. I cant forget Mr. Hanky, Collipark’s in house producer who has two songs on the project. He produced “Walk around the Club”. It’s crazy that this particular song has me mentioned in the October issue of XXL for being on the remix of “Walk Around the Song”. Just to be on a song that Lil Wayne endorses so much is like amazing to me.
TRANSLEE: I have Gorilla Zoe and Stuey Rock who is actually on the bonus track, “ Calling My Phone”. I have Eddy Fontane, Solace, and Truth Turner who is from my hometown, Huntsville, AL. I have mostly singers on this mix tape. Also Earthtone assisted with the harmonies on my songs. She is amazing at that. I have a lot of singing on this project.
THU: So its like Hip-Hop mixed with R&B sound.
TRANSLEE: Yes. It has like an R&B feel. I actually took off one song because it was becoming a little too R&B. I think it’s a good mix. I’m a laid back person so it’s a real good balance. IF you liked “Know Translee”, it’s not the same but it’s a progression.
THU: So where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
TRANSLEE: Hopefully still doing music. If successful, which I don’t see it any other way, just growing and hopefully rapping about being rich and not what I’m rapping about now because I like to talk about my current truths. Hopefully, I’m working with big people and being able to be in a situation where I can put other people on which will be my family first.
THU: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
TRANSLEE: Dope, Positive, and Energetic
THU: If you could give advice to someone who’s chasing a dream or trying to be in the position you are in, what would you say to that person?
TRANSLEE: Give your whole self to it. If you have a job and it is interfering with your dream and you won’t leave it because you are afraid this music thing won’t work, this is not for you. Also, get to the people. Connect with the people. Don’t put yourself above the people. You have to be able to relate to the people. *
In closing, we are quite sure that as time passes, Translee’s star will soar further than even he can imagine. While you follow his journey with us, I’m sure with each song and each project you will get your answer to the question, “Who’s Tranlsee”. We can only hope that we got you closer to that destination. While in route, go ahead and download Translee’s new mix tape, “Who’s Translee” at http://www.datpiff.com/Translee-Whos-Translee-mixtape.270559.html . Special thanks to Translee, Chris Hunter, Mr. Hanky, Digital Native Culture, and Collipark Studios.
-Amadi Jae for AOM & The HIGH UP. Follow @AmadiJae on Twitter for the latest in entertainment news and exclusive interviews with some of the industry’s best talent!