Following the monstrous release of his Rich Nobody EP in 2016, Troy Joe has stayed pretty quiet for most of 2017. But the Toronto based artist marks his return today with the premiere for his new “Growing Up” video (directed by KC Productions).
“Growing Up” was written after Troy moved back home to Toronto from Brooklyn in 2016. At that point, Troy was entering a full-time career in basketball. But he lost his passion for it, and instead fell in love with the music. So he moved home and chose to pursue his music. And even though he’d grown up, and everyone he knew had grown up, it seemed like – in many ways – some things were still exactly like high school.
Troy has been M.I.A. from the rap game for about six months now. But he spent most of those six months focused on another aspect of his craft – the business. After the release of Rich Nobody, Troy assumed that his music would automatically do numbers because of the music itself. But now he’s actually starting to strategize his approach. Watch the video for “Growing Up,” and check out our in-depth interview with Troy below.
Q&A: Troy Joe
HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me about what this song means to you on a personal level and what your inspiration for it was.
Troy Joe: This song is a reflection of how it is to be a mellenial in 2017. I moved to Brooklyn in 2010 and came back to Toronto in 2016 to a city with a completely new aura. The move opened my eyes to how much I’ve grown up and changed my mindset over the years. I find it weird that a lot of things going on in the city today, are things I was doing in high school. It confuses me to see where most of our morals and values lay in this era and I just felt like trying to express that feeling with this song.
HipHopCanada: You’ve been on hiatus for a while from releasing music and videos. What prompted your hiatus? Where did you go? What happened during your hiatus?
Troy Joe: I spent my hiatus studying and learning more about the music business. I felt like I rushed the Rich Nobody EP not because of music but because of strategy. I almost expected for my videos and project to do some decent numbers because I was relying on the music. I’ve been experimenting with different video concept, vlogs and just finding my own sound. This time around I want to take a different, more strategic and business approach in being more consistent with releasing music and videos.
HipHopCanada: What ultimately prompted you to make your return to the rap game right now?
Troy Joe: Finding answers! After the Rich Nobody EP, I had a lot of question but no one around to answer them. June is the halfway point in the year and my goal is to end 2017 strong; to hopefully set up a memorable 2018. I didn’t have much to follow since I tried to put my best foot forward with the Rich Nobody EP. Since then I’ve worked on a few videos and made a lot of new exciting music for this summer.
HipHopCanada: I think this is such a fitting release to mark your return to the rap game because it’s a song about “Growing Up” and working towards your own happiness: “People ask me if I’m straight/ ‘Cause I never come around/ Headphones on/ Got me working on my craft.” Talk to me about that.
Troy Joe: Once you leave university, life really begins. One of the biggest setback of being a professional or student athlete is that you always have obligations. It required me to miss a lot of events and experiences in life that I regret, but eventually became numb to. I’ve disappointed many friends and family while on this journey, but I’ve accepted that sacrifices have to be made if I want to succeed in this business. I’ve spent that last four years recording and made roughly over 600 songs… but only released seven. That’s a problem! In my earlier years, I wasn’t focused on releasing music. I simply wanted to keep getting better to the point where I felt confident in releasing music. Right now I’m eager to start releasing new music and new videos for this summer while making more music for the fall.
HipHopCanada: On the topic of “Growing Up”, what changes have happened in your world – personally and artistically – since the release of Rich Nobody? How have you grown up so far this year?
Troy Joe: Earlier this year I decided to hang up the shoes and focus solely on music and my family. It was a tough decision to walk away from basketball. Especially once I finally became a pro. My heart wasn’t in it anymore because my passion for music was taking over my life. Although I’m no longer in school, I’m always trying to find ways to learn and better myself everyday. I’ve been working on officially launching my brand “Rich Nobody” and trying to find different ways to deliver more creative content this year. My new website www.richnobody.com will be launching shortly.
HipHopCanada: What was the vision for this video, and what was the process with KC like for making this visual?
Troy Joe: The vision for this video is to be an introduction of what to expect from Troy Joe this year. I practically wrote this song in the dark and kept having flashbacks between the old me and my current state of mind. That night, all I kept thinking about was the city and how much I’ve grown up over the years. It’s shocking to see how many of my peers are stuck in the same situation or mindset. Working with KC is dope. He makes it easy to work with, and has alot of sick ideas. I really want to take it to the next level with him by developing our own unique visual and creating an awareness around Toronto and Canada.
Written by Sarah Jay for HipHopCanada
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