How would you describe your musical style?
I’d say it’s a mix of a lot of things. I mainly aim to make the lyrics stand out, so the style can change based on what I’m trying to say in the song. Most people say my sound is close to Folk/Rock, but I’ve heard others throw around terms like Americana or Acoustic Rock too. I’m pretty much an acoustic guitar guy, and that vibe comes through in a lot of my songs. But don’t be surprised if you catch some Country or Rock and Roll when the song calls for it!
What was the inspiration behind your latest album, “More”
I was inspired one day while watching a football game, a passion of mine. As one team solidified their lead, the coach kept urging his players with the word “MORE” as they left the field. This made me reflect on the importance of continuous growth and ambition in life. Instead of resting on our laurels, being “comfortable”, we should consistently push ourselves to achieve more. This philosophy became the central theme for my album, emphasizing the importance of always striving for more and challenging ourselves. Refusing to compromise what could be by settling for what is convenient and easy.
The title cut is a self-reflection examining personal relationships:
“I can’t help but wonder if there can be
More than a friend,
More than a lover,
More than just moments we share with each other.
More than a smile,
More than a touch,
More than just illusion
Of what we call love”.
What has been the most rewarding experience of your career so far?
The best part of making music is hearing that it actually meant something to someone. If someone tells me my song got them thinking or helped them through a tough time, or even just made their day a bit brighter—that’s just the best feeling. I’ve been fortunate to experience those interactions many times in my career. It’s why I do what I do.
What do you think sets your music apart from other artists?
My primary focus in music is on the storytelling and lyrical content of each song. I view life as a complex tapestry of experiences and lessons learned, which I aim to translate into my work. Musically, I employ a lot of acoustic guitar sounds designed to underscore the narrative. The resonance and expressiveness of these instruments serve to direct the listener’s attention to the story I am telling. I don’t think that style is so prevalent in today’s music. It may be what sets me apart from many other artists.
What advice would you give to aspiring singer-songwriters?
Be yourself. The essence of songwriting and performing is to first craft a genuine narrative from one’s own experiences and emotions. Once that’s in place, the music and arrangements should be constructed to amplify and accentuate that story, ensuring it captures the listener’s attention. Authenticity is paramount; it allows listeners to genuinely connect with what’s being conveyed. At its core, music is about forging connections with the audience, allowing them to resonate with the stories shared, and facilitating a shared emotional journey.
What has been the most challenging experience you’ve faced in your career?
It’s intriguing how the process of songwriting unfolds. Sometimes, a story that begins as an observation or an external narrative evolves into something deeply personal. With our first single “Hideaway”, even though it began as an account of someone else’s experience, the journey of crafting it drew out elements that resonated with my own life. Delving into those emotions, bringing them to the surface, and then translating them into a song is a challenging feat. Baring oneself and those feelings for listeners is a vulnerable act, but it’s my sincere hope that I was able to accomplish that depth and sincerity in “Hideaway”.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome in your lifetime?
I’m naturally an introvert who loves alone time, but it seems life has always put me in many front-and-center roles, performing music, coaching sports, or leading large groups of people. It’s like I have to switch on this outgoing version of myself, even though I’d much rather be sitting on a rock by a river alone with my thoughts. That’s a real challenge, but it also can be a strength. My quieter side gives me a unique perspective that I try to bring into my public roles. I try to find a way to balance the two—to be the performer when I need to be, and then retire into my cherished alone time to recharge.
How do you maintain an emotional connection with your fans through your music?
Music is like the soundtrack to our emotions, right? When I write songs, it’s not just about the lyrics. The music itself is another way to get those feelings across. I think that’s why some fans really connect with it. They’re not just hearing the lyrics; they’re feeling the music and seeing where my journey crosses paths with theirs. It’s also the way I play the music. When I perform a song, I try to go back to the same place emotionally I was in when I wrote it. I feel it myself and that comes across to my audience and they feel it too. It’s like we’re sharing this emotional ride together, and that’s really special.
How has your songwriting process evolved over the years?
Chasing hits and aiming for that radio-friendly sound is something many artists grapple with. It’s alluring, wanting to create that catchy tune everyone hums along to. But there’s so much more depth in being a storyteller. With time, I’ve realized that the real magic happens when the story takes center stage. Now, for me, it’s all about nailing down the message of the song. Once that’s in place, the melody and other musical elements naturally follow to complement the story. Throw in some unique musical hooks, twists, and turns, and then you may just have something that can resonate on a deeper level, while getting the listeners attention.
What is the one thing that you would like people to remember about you and your music?
I hope they see that I am not just giving listeners just a catchy tune to dance to. I try to offer them something deeper, something more meaningful. I want my music to be a window where people can see into who I am, warts and all, as well as being a mirror to examine themselves. I am challenging them to think, to explore their own lives and feelings, as I personally do when I write the songs. Music that pushes us to confront who we are and what we feel, is the kind of art that leaves a lasting impact. If I am somehow able to accomplish this at some level, and be remembered as such, mission accomplished.
An Exclusive Interview with TDKMULAA
Today, we have the privilege of delving into the world of TrillionDollaKidd, a brand that has risen to prominence over the past three years, captivating the fashion scene with its unique approach to clothing and unyielding commitment to quality. Join us as we sit down with TrillionDollaKidd’s founder, owner, and creative director, the visionary behind this iconic label, to uncover the driving force behind its success and to gain insight into what makes TrillionDollaKidd stand out in a crowded industry.
Q1: Can you share some highlights of TrillionDollaKidd’s journey over the past three years? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
In the past three years, TrillionDollaKidd has been to many places and met many influential people that others have trouble coming across, from packed-out shows selling merchandise to being in rooms with stars, influencers, and celebrities. We have also been in many other magazines throughout our journey.
Q2: How did you come up with the name TrillionDollaKidd, and what does it represent for your brand?
I came up with TrillionDollaKidd being in the car with my family and just chopping it up about what we wanted to do in life (this was around 2019). I came up with the name TrillionDollaKidd by thinking outside the box and wanting to be different. TrillionDollaKidd stands for individuals who see no limits in what they can do or achieve, and that’s with Anything. We see ourselves as overachievers and everybody around us as well.
Q3: As the founder/owner and creative director, how do you balance your creative vision with the practical aspects of running a fashion brand?
As the founder and creative director, I balance both positions by studying the game and business of fashion. It’s hard work, but being smart and studying particular niches will take a long way in balancing and staying on top of both positions.
Q4: TrillionDollaKidd is often called “the brand for all hustlers.” Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind this tagline and how it reflects in your brand’s identity?
Yes, the brand for all hustlers stands for individuals who see every day as a hustle with anything. That’s how you stay on top of the game and be strategic like a hustler. Hustlers are intelligent, bold, strategic, and risk-takers like everyone in everyday life. Working jobs is even a hustle, so everyone in the world is considered a hustler somehow, and my brand shows them this every time.
Q5: Quality seems to be a core value for your brand. Could you share more about your approach to ensuring the highest quality in your clothing?
Yes, We want nothing but the best quality materials here at TrillionDollaKidd. Without good quality, I feel like we are our customers and ourselves. As a luxury fashion business, it’s essential to give our customers the best, especially when it comes down to dominating our competitors.
Q6: TrillionDollaKidd focuses on limited pieces rather than fully stocked items. What’s the reasoning behind this strategy, and how does it benefit your customers?
We benefit from our one-of-one pieces, our limited edition collections, because everyone wants to feel special in their own way. So we make them feel unique and drop collections that, if sold out, will take a long time to restock or no restock. This makes customers feel they have exclusive one-of-one materials and gear from the best brands.
Q7: What do you believe sets TrillionDollaKidd apart from other streetwear and designer fashion brands?
Our collections, customer service, materials, and designs differentiate us. We try not to copycat but make nothing but authentic designs that are only for our brand. We make our patterns and more, marking our fashion industry path.
Q8: Could you discuss the importance of expressing your talents through fashion and how this passion drives your work at TrillionDollaKidd?
Fashion has always been my passion, but seeing others in my creations makes it 10 times better for me even to have a brand, making me push harder every day. Then, the fact of being different, I like how it separates me from other designers or entrepreneurs.
Q9: In the ever-evolving fashion industry, what trends or changes do you anticipate for TrillionDollaKidd in the near future?
We plan on making or dominating any way that comes in the fashion business with our designs and more.
Q10: How does the Chicago location influence the brand’s identity, and are there any plans to expand beyond this location?
Chicago or Illinois period is a good spot for us because this is home. People love to see someone from their hometowns become successful, famous, or whatever the deal is because it gives them hope. I give my people hope, which helps us more as a brand.
Q11: Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring fashion entrepreneurs who want to make their mark in the industry based on your experiences and success with TrillionDollaKidd?
I advise all upcoming entrepreneurs and designers to stay consistent, stay true to themselves and their dreams, study the game, and run their business. Don’t let the business run you. Don’t let any of that go over your heads. – TDKMULAA
Sage Advice from Midnight Sky’s Tim Tye: “Keep Your Day Job!”
Allow me to introduce you to the incredible talent that is Tim Tye, a gifted songwriter and musician hailing from the vibrant city of Dayton, Ohio. From the tender age of his teenage years, Tim has poured his heart and soul into his music, especially through his skillful guitar playing. Drawing inspiration from the rich country and Americana traditions, Tim’s original material has been beautifully showcased in not one, not two, but three remarkable albums: “Dark Stretch of Road,” “A Few Good Years,” and his latest release, “Last Hope for the Modern World.”
Now, here’s a fascinating twist to Tim’s story. Despite spending a whopping 45 years as a lawyer, his passion for music has never waned. In fact, it burns brighter than ever before. In 2009, Tim made the courageous decision to re-dedicate himself to his musical endeavors, immersing himself in the art of songwriting and recording. And boy, are we grateful he did!
Tim talks about his latest release, his influences, and the best advice his mom ever gave him…
What inspired you to take the risks necessary to make it in the music industry?
I enjoy making music; I want to share this joy with other people. And it’s almost impossible to describe the feeling you get when someone responds positively toward your work.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career thus far?
Building and connecting with a fanbase. There’s a lot of competition in the music business, and a lot of the competition is extremely talented.
What motivates you to keep writing music no matter what?
You have to view songwriting as an end in itself. Even if no one else hears my songs, I’ve done something I love. Songwriting is very cathartic. It allows me to come to grips with what I’m feeling at the moment. I get things off my chest in a healthy way.
What is the most rewarding part of being a musician?
Being able to create something out of nothing.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Dylan, Petty, Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson
How did you come up with the title of your latest album?
It just came to me one day. Writing the title song was almost an afterthought. It was the last thing we recorded for the new release. Someone suggested that the song be upbeat, so the lyric became Love’s ‘The Last Hope For The Modern World.’
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom used to tell me “You hardly ever get in trouble by keeping your big yap shut.” Sound advice.
How has the music industry changed since you first began your career?
I’m amazed by how recording formats have changed. I’ve lived long enough that I remember 78 rpm records, then singles, then LPs, then 8-tracks, then cassettes, then CDs, then digital. I miss having something tangible. There is something magical about an LP sleeve.
What would you like your legacy to be after you’re gone?
I hope that, no matter how slight, my music made the world a better place.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Put everything you have into your craft, but consider keeping your day job.