Interview with Taylor King

In March 2020, we interviewed Taylor King - a New York City-based creative director with crazy skills behind a camera!

Who is TKTHREE? How did that persona come to be?

It started after I got into working in the music industry, the first label I worked for only saw my instagram handle, "TKTHREE", and so he started calling me TK from then on. I had to then change my email signature so people weren't confused, and now we are here. More honestly though, I changed my handle to that around the time I moved to NYC, and for me it was just a way to rebrand myself as an individual to who I really wanted to be. I think this city gives you the space to do that. 

I truly believe that if you're hesitating on a risk or business action, it's the universe testing those who will push the boundaries or just give up.

When did you realize you loved the creative arts and that you needed to pursue this full-time?

Young man, all credit to my mentors and people who were around me. My photography teacher would take time after school to review my photos on the smartboard, and essentially tear them apart so I could get better haha. I thought the jump was to start film school, which it wasn't, but I was in pursuit at that point. The chase was on. 

Were you always walking around with a camera?

It feels like it man, I recently came up upon some "vlog" style videos i shot of myself at 6 years old. I made an Instagram post about the, the one with the old looking TVs. I didn't see that footage until recently but it's always felt like a part of me. 

What did it feel like when you first started selling photo and video services?

So, unofficially the answer is high school, but it was just here and there. $60 for this. $80 for this. Free for this and that, ha. I was learning, but it was all necessary. 

Officially, I started my business in February of 2018, and that's when I really made the jump to freelance in my adult life. 

How did you build up your brand?

People. People. People. When I first moved to the city I got a placeholder job and my only goal was to use that time to meet as many people as possible. In NYC especially, your network is your end-all-be-all. Those are going to be the people that recommend you, vouch for you, and give you advice. 

How did you find your creative style? How many times has it evolved?

So many man, it feels like every 6 months. The problem is I keep getting bored or distracted from a specific art type, and just move on to what I want to learn next. I think it's good though, it promotes diversity in my style and keeps me on my toes. 

Who inspired you growing up and who inspires you now?

First and foremost, my dad always. To this day, in the creative field though, it has to be people like the Dave Krugman's and Mike Szpot's of the world. People who turn themselves into a zeitgeist of creativity. Honored to call these dudes friends. 

What's a piece of advice you wish you had when you first started building your brand?

Just do something. It's astounding to me how many people have great ideas but never try anything because of this and that. I truly believe that if you're hesitating on a risk or business action, it's the universe testing those who will push the boundaries or just give up. I try to always keep pushing. 

Interview with Hannah Goebel

In January 2020, we interviewed Hannah Goebel - a Nashville-based Pop/R&B star in the making. Her unique vocal flair provides distinct versatility to her sound, which spans across multiple genres. She is actively releasing a new single each month throughout 2020, and we can't wait to listen!

So what drew you to music, specifically being a singer?

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always had a passion for music. My parents discovered my vocal talent at a young age when I started singing around the house at the age of 5. They helped me develop my craft through local outlets - singing with other professional singer-songwriters, performing the National Anthem at local sporting events and getting me involved in choir and with local bands through middle/high school.  

Neither of my parents is musicians, but they always had music playing throughout the house growing up and made sure that we appreciated the art. Both of my older brothers play piano/guitar as well, so there was always music in my life from an early age.

Who were you inspired by growing up? 

I've always been particularly drawn to Pop, R&B and Soul music. Growing up, my sound was heavily influenced by listening to female-power singers like Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, and Norah Jones. Their sound and storytelling abilities are where I derive a lot of the quality/tone in my voice today.

When did you first know that you were extremely talented as a singer?

When I was 7 years old, I sang the National Anthem for the first time in public at the I-80 Speedway in Nebraska (classic Midwest race track event). There were a few thousand people in attendance - funny enough, I wasn't the slightest bit nervous doing it. I remember hearing the crowd cheer when I hit the song's finale ("Home of the brave") and knowing that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

If you're a younger singer / artist, just keep believing in your craft while keeping grounded in reality about the successes / possibilities of making a living from your art.

What was it like performing on The Voice? How did that shape your future?

I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience on The Voice. I got the chance to meet many incredible vocalists from around the country and perform Alicia Keys' 'If I Ain't Got You' right in front of her, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. Receiving all four judges' chairs from my performance was one of the greatest feelings of my life. The experience taught me a lot of lessons about working with other artists and performing on the big stage

How are you juggling the come up as a singer with life's responsibilities?

Being a musician, particularly in Nashville where there is so much great talent, it can be difficult to make ends meet. Everyone down here is hungry for paid gigs and talented enough to play any set in the City. 

I moved here immediately after high school when I was 18 years old in pursuit of a full-time career as a vocalist. After four years of freelance work and playing all around the city (particularly Country gigs/songs) while working part-time, I was able to form some crucial connections to help me build a career down here as a vocalist. I have evolved in my sound/genre significantly over the past four years and now perform almost exclusively Pop, R&B and Soul music, as it fits my voice/style much better. Nashville is undoubtedly one of the best cities for music genre versatility. 

Did you ever consider working odd jobs or going down the corporate route instead of pursuing music?

I'm committed to doing everything I can to make music my full-time career. I have held a number of jobs around the city to help pay the bills part-time (nannying, food delivery, grocery stores), but this is the year that I'm aiming to play enough gigs and release enough original music to be a full-time artist/vocalist. I think a path in the corporate world sailed for me when I decided to move to Nashville instead of going to college.

What's life like currently? 

A typical day in our week would look something like this: 

8am: Wake up / head to the gym

10am: Head home / get ready for the day

10:30am-1:30pm: Write / track original music in the studio

1:30pm-5pm: Co-write with other artists / photoshoots / work on performance repertoire for gigs

5pm-7pm: Wrap up projects / get ready for live shows

8pm-11pm: Writers' rounds / live shows / networking throughout the city

What are your goals in 2020?

My ultimate goal is to get signed by a label. While remaining independent would definitely help preserve my autonomy as an artist, I believe that the marketing horsepower of a label can best help my voice be heard across the world, allowing for easier collaborations with established artists and providing key relationships that could take my career to the next level. 

To get the attention of a label, my brother, David, and I are super focused on building my social media presence and streaming catalog with great original music. I don't have a ton of music out there yet, as I was super focused on local / live shows for the first few years that I lived here. Now, with David as my producer and a studio at home, I will be releasing a new single every month of 2020 on all platforms. This will hopefully give me the greatest chance of getting put on an editorial playlist on Spotify / Apple Music, which would take my voice to a larger audience. 

What's your advice for young singers and artists as they enter the music industry?

The music industry is a tough place and a hard way to make a living. However, I don't think I've ever found something so fulfilling in my life. If you're a younger singer / artist, just keep believing in your craft while keeping grounded in reality about the successes / possibilities of making a living from your art. If you are able to remain creative while finding a market for your talent, this is something that you can definitely do for the rest of your life.

Interview with HighKeyRandom

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/e85083f3305eb3022950e3452/images/db427584-3368-4975-9ada-8c5d8c9a43b7.jpeg

In early August we interviewed HighKeyRandom, a 21-year-old rapper from Boston, MA, who recently released two mixtapes ahead of his debut album, The Gentle Savage.

How did you get started making music, and when did you start?

I started because I wanted to make music that I like. I started when I was 2 years old in the womb. (laughs) That didn’t make any sense.

What were things like when you were growing up? 

Mayo sandwiches. Fried onions. Cereal with water, no milk. Same clothes 5 days no shower. Holes in my shoes. That wasn’t because mummy didn’t care for me though… I was just ghetto as f---.  (laughs)

What kind of stuff did you do as a kid?

I was dancing and doing ratchet s--- with my friends, jerking and crumping. I tried to b-boy but the Asians were too nice so I gave that up.

I’ve really been out here chasing it. They thought I was the best drawer in school but I was just tracing. I’d go home, print out the Dragon Ball Z character, and trace it. I’ve been finessing bro.

I was 7 years old going door-to-door selling candy for a fundraiser to support my family. I would say, “I need a dollar no change.” Then bring it back home like, “Here you go mummy.” Stealing from corner stores and reselling it. They didn’t know nothing about that in elementary school. 

Who do you view as your biggest competition?

Me. I am my biggest critic, my biggest fan, and my biggest competition.

What do you think is holding you back right now?

Being on house arrest. I feel like everyone wants to leave me. I’m mad depressed and anxious all the time. *UGHHHHH*

What’s your next goal, and how are you going to accomplish it?

To get rich or die tryin’ – no 50 Cent though. I’m gonna make the next big hit. 

I might need a distribution company for HKOD the label – but I’ll do it myself if I have to.

I just gotta stay true to myself, my team, and my fans. I need keep pushing and keep faith – and it’s gonna happen. 

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Myself, my kids, and my wife. 

I say that because if you find inspiration in anyone else, and that person loses inspiration, then you’re out of inspiration.

If it were 5 years ago and you saw yourself now, what would you think?

I’d be proud. I’d say, “You didn’t give up. You’re strong. You’re still here, still going. You’re still out here in the trenches of the trenches.” I’m still alive bro – I made it to 21. 

Last question: who do you think is the most successful person right now in 2019?

Oprah. 

Image result for oprah success powerful

Why?

Because she’s still doin’ it. She’s doing whatever she wants. She doesn’t have to be doing it, but she does it. She’s rich, no kids, new sheets every day. Oprah’s lit bro.

YOUTUBE

Apple Music
Spotify
TIDAL 
Soundcloud
Twitter

Instagram

Feedback is always welcome !
Email: highkeyrandom@gmail.com

Feed The Juice Newsletter (#3)

August 27th Edition

Quote of the Day:

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” - Auguste Rodin

What We’re Thinking About

Yuval Noah Harari notes in his TED Dialogue: "Statistically you are your own worst enemy. At least, of all the people in the world, you are most likely to be killed by yourself. For the first time in history, more people commit suicide than are killed by crime, terrorism, and war put together.”

Re-read that quote a few times.

Why is this happening?

I think a major part of this trend is the imbalance between self-determination and self-confidence. While humans are more in control of their destiny now, more than ever, they are cursed with the power of choice. Psychologist Barry Schwartz spoke about this during his TED Dialogue, “The Paradox of Choice.” He mentioned that while choice awards higher quality it also condemns lack of overall happiness. This is because humans rue the opportunity cost of what could have been or what could be. For example, Barry mentioned he used to buy ill-fitting jeans growing up because that was the only option. Nowadays, there are at least five varieties to choose from and he can find a pair that fit and feel much better than his childhood version. However, he still felt worse after wearing his admittedly more comfortable jeans. Schwartz notes, “Adding options to people's lives can't help but increase the expectations people have about how good those options will be. And what that's going to produce is less satisfaction with results, even when they're good results.”

How does this relate to us as humans?

When we shift the lens onto humans, this analogy becomes quite clear, especially in the United States. We have almost absolute freedom to live wherever we want, to date whomever we want, to pray to whichever religion we want (or to be an atheist), etc. Yet, when we compare ourselves to our peers, we grow unhappy with what they have and we don’t. We lack the self-confidence to understand what resources we truly need and care for. We are failing to understand that just because an 18 year-old became a millionaire overnight by being a social media provocateur, that doesn’t mean we need to follow the same path.

Often times, in the midst of mental turmoil, we’ll ask ourselves, am I making the right decision? I’m very much guilty of this behavior. However, I think the better question to ask is, “what opportunity most excites me?” I believe the best way to bridge the self-determination and self-confidence gap is to find something or someone that causes your spine to erupt with energy and chase that feeling until it goes away. Then move onto something else. It’s a part of “feeding your juice” that helps align your wants and needs. If you follow this path, you’ll be so enveloped with energy that your mind won’t wander on, anxious about the potential fruits of your decision.

Final thoughts.

When I see people that are unhappy, especially my friends and family, I notice they are stuck pursuing jobs, people, or status that are boring and uneventful. My happiest friends are chasing a mysterious lightbulb like a baby when it first sees a shiny set of car keys. So to avoid the pitfalls of anxiety and depression, find meaning in life by pursuing excitement, which shouldn’t come from drugs, fancy cars and clothes, or glamorous vacations. True excitement is as simple as a spark that makes you jump out of bed just a second quicker.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about this. Feel free to leave a comment and continue the conversation!

Community Bulletin Board

  • We had a small delay in releasing our interview with HighKeyRandom, a Boston-based rapper, but we will release his story on Thursday! In case you missed it, here’s a short introduction:

    Often we take for granted some of the basic human rights afforded to us. One of them, as described by the United Nations in their Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the freedom of movement. 

    This privilege, however, has not been afforded to Boston-born artist HighKeyRandom, who has been on house arrest since May 2019. 

    Though for obvious legal reasons our conversation did not touch on these matters, it has been inspiring to see Random’s resilience throughout this time. 

    Forced to delay the release of his sophomore album “The Gentle Savage”, he pivoted.

    And so fresh off the heels of 2 mixtapes, 5 music videos, and 100s of demos — all produced within the confines of his apartment — FTJ called up one of Boston’s most prolific artists to catch up on the latest and greatest.

  • We’re looking for creatives to interview. If you have a friend that would be interested in a quick coffee to chat, let us know!

Have something you want to post? Ping us via email or leave a comment!

Creative Content Worth Your Time

(20 minute read)

https://www.vulture.com/2018/11/jerry-saltz-how-to-be-an-artist.html

Acclaimed art critic, Jerry Saltz, discusses his 33 rules to be an artist, growing from a clueless amateur to generational talent!


If you have a creative story to share, email us at jaimindesai@feedthejuice.com and we’ll put you on!

Feed The Juice Newsletter (#2)

August 20th Edition

What We’re Thinking About

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish teenager, continues to make noise as a climate activist even after sparking an international youth movement last year. As a climate activist myself, I find Greta’s story extremely inspiration and an example for driving change without being a high-profile celebrity.

Many of us are “closet” activists and change-makers, waiting for someone else to move the needle. Greta proves that you can deliver positive value to an ecosystem just by being persistent and bold.

While we may not create the international impact that Greta already has, we can still impact our local communities with our actions. All it takes is the guts to follow your gut and drive the change you wish to see.

(https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/47467038)

Community Bulletin Board

  • We recently interviewed HighKeyRandom, a Boston-based rapper, and are excited to release his story later this week! Here’s a short introduction:

    Often we take for granted some of the basic human rights afforded to us. One of them, as described by the United Nations in their Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the freedom of movement. 

    This privilege, however, has not been afforded to Boston-born artist HighKeyRandom, who has been on house arrest since May 2019. 

    Though for obvious legal reasons our conversation did not touch on these matters, it has been inspiring to see Random’s resilience throughout this time. 

    Forced to delay the release of his sophomore album “The Gentle Savage”, he pivoted.

    And so fresh off the heels of 2 mixtapes, 5 music videos, and 100s of demos — all produced within the confines of his apartment — FTJ called up one of Boston’s most prolific artists to catch up on the latest and greatest.

  • If you haven’t read it already, check out our interview with Julia Gremp! She’s an amazing artist based in San Francisco and the founder of Blue Hart clothing, a female-founded, custom-apparel business. (https://feedthejuice.substack.com/)

  • One of our founders is launching a fashion brand called Manana. If you or anyone you know is interested in supporting a sustainable fashion brand, please send us an email!

Have something you want to post? Ping us via email or leave a comment!

Creative Content Worth Your Time

Quote of the Day:

“Small minds discuss people, gossip. Good minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have a creative story to share, email us at jaimindesai@feedthejuice.com and we’ll put you on!

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