Trell Daray ~ Target Truth

Trell Daray

Trell Daray

During our Featured Artist interview, Trell Daray and I started a mutual fan club. I love his music and he loves how I support the indie movement. I listened to all Trell’s music on his MTV artist page and Night Owl is my favorite.

Trell considers the church as the biggest influence to his sound.  His father played Motown records in the house. Trell identifies with Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince. His most “modern” musical influence is Aliyah, “The angelic voice of the world. I love her.”

Trell Daray has been performing since he was five years old. “When I was five, my mother and father discovered that I could sing and dance and act. I was a character in the household. My mother and father would just look and me and shake their heads. They let me take music classes and acting classes.”

When Trell wanted to further his young career, he competed in state competitions. At fifteen, he auditioned for American Idol: “I saw the magnitude of music, the big rush. Wow! All these people love the same thing that I love.” Trell got cut after a couple of rounds, but the experience inspired him to further his training.

Trell auditioned for and was accepted to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City. He studied intensely for three years with teachers who actually worked in the industry: recording artists, movie actors and Broadway dancers. “Those were the worst three years of my life. It was hard. Those teachers really strove for professionalism and perfectionism. New York is definitely the place to train if you want to be a star.” The freshman class started with about 380 students and only 50 students graduated.

Trell, Natalie and DopeNorTeria

Trell, Natalie and DopeNorTeria

Trell Daray collaborates with a group of musicians called DopeNorTeria based in Atlanta: Chad North, Jordan Washington and Jiele Washington. “They are smart, intellectual geniuses of music.” He also collaborates with Emerson DeJean (who produced Night Owl), SeanTre, Chy’nah Man and his head of operations, Natalie D’Orlando. “I have a little team, a little family.”

As for songwriting: “I try to do as much of that as possible, so they’re my thoughts and how I feel. When I need little kicks, I’ll call on the people who produce the track.”

Trell organizes his team for success. His team draws out a business plan, and he decides what to tackle first, second and third. When other opportunities present themselves, his team decides whether or not to take advantage. “We just believe in drawing the foundation, seeing the foundation and then executing. Those are the three simple rules of life: see the vision, execute the vision and go after it with your whole heart.”

Trell Daray heavily uses social media to connect with fans. I met him on Twitter. He has a website, Facebook page, Google+ page and Instagram account. “When it comes to connecting with my fans, I definitely try my best to stay with social media, especially Twitter.”

Trell Daray rehearsing When they approved Trell to be an MTV artist, his fan base grew exponentially. He really wanted to understand where his fans lived, so he Googled himself and discovered that his fans live all over the world. “I try my best to connect with all the people who helped me build this. I try to tackle this through social media. I make it a personal thing.”

According to Trell, “When you’re an artist, you have to go where your demographics are. I target people who love the truth of being creative in a positive way. When it came to knowing how to market myself, it was easy for me, because it came from a true, honest place. People connect to that truth.”

There’s a lot to becoming a successful artist. Trell Daray advises, “Sometimes you have to take yourself out of the picture and focus on the artist as an actual brand. If your art is true, then you are the artist and it comes naturally. Know who the artist is and study the artist (yourself); know what you want to do. It’s all about being in tune with yourself and not listening to what people tell you that you should be. Trust your instincts, not what other people say.”

Trell goes even further to say, “I think it’s so shady to want another artist to be someone else. You’re taking away their individuality. That’s not how life is supposed to be. You are supposed to enjoy yourself and be you. That’s why I enjoy my independence. People want to see the truth and I’m all about truth”

Trell, I wholeheartedly agree. That’s why I do what I do and support the indie movement.

Watch the Featured Artist video interview on the Amused Now YouTube channel:

Amused Now Featured Artist Series

Trell Daray
MTV artist page:

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now