Things are looking pretty golden for Atlanta’s Trinidad James. Though he’s still an indie rapper in the game about eight months, his video for “All Gold Everything” is #4 on MTV Jams and he’s the hottest thing out of “New Atlanta” since 2 Chainz. 2 Chainz, however, paid his rap dues for close to a decade before becoming a superstar.
We caught up with Trinidad before his show tonight at Santos Party House Santos Party House (8pm, $10 – $15). Stay Gold.
So is Trinidad James just a moniker or are you really from Trinidad?
No, I’m really from Trinidad. I lived there until I was about 7. Around second I moved to Atlanta. It took some time for me to get adjusted. I had to adapt to whole new surroundings. Kids made fun of me a bit because I was new and different and had an accent. It took me a year to lose my accent. I grew up alone though mostly so I went off and started doing my own thing.
Did you become an outcast?
No not at all. In high school I was real people friendly. I got along with everybody. I wasn’t about no beef, I just played sports, mostly football. I just wanted to be fly and get a long with everyone but I was on my own shit.
Is that how the fashion bug first bit you? Because you wanted to stand out as a kid?
Well yeah sort of, but growing up I ain’t have shoes and dope clothes so when I grew up and I could buy that I got more into fashion.
So how did making music come about?
Music was something I always appreciated. It’s not like I hadn’t listened to rap music growing up. It’s just I didn’t really think about rapping until this year.
So why did you decide on music as a career path?
I wanted to open another lane up for myself. A lot of my friends kept telling me that I could do it. I had some cousins and friends who had a studio in the house. When I used to go over there they’d be doing music. I listen to them and then kick around some shit, you know, nothing serious. But I started catching on.
Why do you think you had such a short road to relative success as opposed to some other people who have been toiling away for a break for years?
I can only speak for myself, I don’t know what worked or didn’t work for the next man. I know that for me, I believed in my tape. I believed in the quality and that people wanted to hear it. Plus, I was into fashion so my image was set. I been doing me so I already had that originality, that trendsetter vibe. And of course I have the right team around me who laid the right ground work and everything came to fruition.
Are you currently signed?
Nope. 100% indie right now. Can’t complain about this lane. It’s working for me right now.
What’s the whole gold thing about?
Gold Gang and the “All Gold Everything” is just about ambition. Gold gang came together during the music we were making. Gold is first place. It’s about accomplished goals and that get up get out and for those who want to win. Gold is first place.
Where you do you draw inspiration?
I listen to all music so subconsciously my music is a little bit of everything I hear sometimes. But I listen to classical, electronic wave, blues, old soul … I like everything, even a little bit of country music on occasion. Everything has it’s place. I’m a big movie person too but I’m not sure if that influenced me. Maybe the song placement is influenced by movies because I [arrange] them so its telling a story. That’s something I might have picked up from movies.
So you’re performing in NYC again? How was your last experience put here? Were you surprised at the response you got?
New York was turnt up. It was so live… I wasn’t surprised, but I did appreciate it. I take pride in my music. It’s good music. For New York to like it was a blessing. Just shows me people get it. Which is good because I want to make songs with Adele eventually.