If you have been keeping your eye on our pages and ear to the ground at all this year then you should already be well aquatinted with the Philly-by-way-of-Atlanta rapidly rising young talent T$AN. First turning our heads with the visual for “Okay“, it was then the 19 year old’s follow up with the hyper-infectious Manny Laurenko collab “Cerberus” that cemented the dexterous rapper as one to watch as we entered the COVID-19 lock down era. So much so that he was unanimously deemed the best bet on our Next To Blow: Philadelphia list back in June.
Armed with seemingly endless cadence maneuvers, all the necessary mastery of melody to compete in the modern rap scene and one of the more unique pitch manipulations we’ve heard in recent history, T$AN follows up a string of hot Summer releases including “Off-it*“, “Never Mattered” and the full project G6m1ni9 with his latest standout loosie “Forever“. Full disclosure, the man behind the man Logannotnice slipped me an early listen a few moons ago and we made it very clear we wanted to give this full tilt banger the proper shine upon it being unleashed on the world. So after a takeover of our Instagram yesterday, T$AN took a minute to step away from the release day hype to talk with us about the new track, a deep dive into his though and creative processes, and to finally give us some peace of mind on whether that previously leaked Lil Uzi feature might see the light of day again.
Note: Tune into our Instagram Live at 2:00 pm EST today to hear the debut live performance of “Forever”.
So today you are dropping your latest single “Forever” along with a fresh new visual to go along with it. This track feels like both a continuation of your trajectory, but also a big step forward artistically. Walk us through the background of how “Forever” came together on both the sonic and video side?
I started working with this producer named Amil D’Mor. He started sending me beats a while back and I really liked his sound. He sent me a beat pack and “Forever” was one of it. The video came together with the help of my manager Logan, my videographer Yinka Soda and his company Tinydoor. After we shot the first episode for my vlog “Welcome 2 T$ANWRLD” and the video for “Never Mattered” we all started to brainstorm and come up with the concepts for “Forever”. Yinka and Logan are really fye with making ideas come to life. I’m happy to share this video to my fans and the world.
We share Atlanta as the city of our birth, and that we’ve since moved around the country due in part to the pursuit of music. You’ve spoken on how you moved around as a kid before, but what are the backstories of what took you from place to place for those unfamiliar with how you ultimately found yourself in Philly? What do you think you carry with you as an artist from having lived in each place?
I was born in Atlanta , lived there for a bit and moved to Sacramento for a little bit, then I moved back to Atlanta to spend majority of my life there. I moved to Philadelphia around the age of 16 to pursue my dream to play Basketball. My Dad lived in a neighborhood right outside of Philadelphia called Cheltenham. I went and played for my high school basketball team until senior year when realized that basketball wasn’t for me anymore, but I always had an infinite love for music, I know how to play the piano pretty okay. Kids in my school would come by my crib and record me playing different songs they requested me to play and upload them on their socials. From there I started making some songs and a lot of my friends in school started fucking with it. It really gave me the confidence to continue to pursue this dream of mine full-time.
I feel like Sacramento gave me my signature laid-back approach, Atlanta definitely gave me the sauce, for sure. Philly made me grow up fast and learn how to be self sufficient. Coming from Atlanta to Philly took a little getting use too, plus I was also going into my Sophomore year of high school, but everything made me who I am today ! ”
With Philly as the homebase right now, let’s get the T$an official vote on the best Philly Cheesesteak in the city?
Dalessandro’s 100%. It was my first one and it’s still the best cheesesteak.
One thing that has jumped out to myself and the Daily Chiefers team since we first discovered your music is a keen ear for production and how you build your songcraft around it. What has been your process in terms of digging up beats and tackling them to become these standout tracks? Has the process evolved over time or do you now have a tried and true blueprint for your creative process?
Usually I go through my email and look for my usual producers – Manny, Amil, 1437, or Logan makes a pack and sends it to me. I make a lot of the songs y’all hear in the house. I made G6M1NI9 in my parent’s house, as well as Farewell. I use to record at my friend house when I first started to make music and he use to take forever to record me, so one day I just watched what he was doing and started teaching myself. I have been recording and mixing myself since then. I kinda like what I like, I’m inspired by a lot of different music, so I like to try different effects to make all my songs sound like an Experience.
What else do you point to as an artist for things that not only inspire you to keep making your art, but to get better at mastering your craft and becoming a better human being every day?
A lot of my close friends are amazing artist themselves, and I believe iron sharpens iron.
This release has been particularly well put together. It seems like you have the team dialed in. Tell us about how you met Logan and how that relationship has transformed into this noticeable progression.
I met Logan in May 2019. One day he sent some beats to my email and I sent back 1 song which panned out to be “Come Home” from my first project. He contacted me on IG and we exchanged numbers. We talked on the phone and he came up to my house, he was really impressed by the quality of music he was hearing. He told me what he saw in my future and how he was going work harder than anyone to get me there. He kept coming with opportunities and our chemistry kept growing. I kinda mentioned this in the first episode of my vlog, Logan is like an older version of me, we really understand each other so it makes the work flow easy.
We had you on our Next To Blow: Philladelphia list this year. Are there any other collaborators, artists or members of your team we should know about or be looking out for as the city takes off?
Hell yeah, my brother CAMO! (@31camo) is one of hottest upcoming rappers in ATL and he has a deal with 1865, the same label as K Supreme. We also got JD Lux (@nevachangejdlux), he’s another artist from ATL. We’re all cool and came up together. We have some music out already, “POKIN”, JD Lux & Me got “Get Even” out on all DSP’s plus a lot of more content dropping soon. Y’all gonna be seeing them a lot in my vlog.
Also, Jah$tar from Philly is hot too, he signed to HumanResources. Me and him have a couple songs out, the main one being “Stressin”. He the first one to give me a real opportunity to get exposure to the Philly underground music scene. He brought me to one of my first studios in Philly, up on Tioga.
While we fully take in “Forever” and the moment around it, what else can we look forward to from you on the horizon?
I’m coming to take over everything. I feel like the world is mines and what it has in store for me. I’m a be open to receive it.
The people gotta know one last thing. Do you think we might get that Uzi collab as an official release on day?
The million dollar question, that song was made after a show I performed at for KEY! at the Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia. I got invited back to Milkboy where he was recording at for the night. We end up playing 2k19 and I surprisingly beat him with the Nets 72-71. It was crazy , he asked if I wanted to smoke and listen to music in the studio. We started listening to music, he showed me some stuff from EA and then he asked if I wanted to play some songs. I played him “Baghdad” which is that one clip that’s floating around IG and then I played him “Real Life”, the song we made. He fucked with it a lot and told his engineer Keisha to “load it up”. Did the song in 30 minutes. Hopefully the song comes out, but that’s up to the labels.
Want to learn more? For all things T$AN hit his Linktree here.