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NAS 10 Questions with Trav Da Poet

This time, we get to know Trav Da Poet,

Since 2001, Trav Da Poet has been involved in spoken word and Hip-Hop putting together battles, poetry events, being part of street teams, and working as a sound engineer for shows and on albums. Trav Da Poet conveys messages of hope, inspiration, guidance, and social consciousness. This poetic emcee emphasizes the human struggle to highlight Christ’s power to save over various styles of music.

The track "My Heart Keeps Holding On" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.

I am from Virginia and North Carolina. My main identity was formed in his area, along with the deep South (Alabama). My musical tastes also originate from these places, and they have formed the basis of my musical journey.

Currently, I'm in the Northeast working and moving ahead in my musical journey. I've performed at many open mics in NYC, as well as a few in Syracuse and Rochester. I am always working on new music, and pushing myself to come up with new ideas for more songs, content, etc.

2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?

I first fell in love with music as a child. I took piano lessons and started to become pretty good at it. I also loved reading books. Somewhere along the way, I decided I wanted to write poems. My English teacher said I was a good writer and that I should continue to write. That motivated me to continue writing.

Prior to college, I became more drawn to Hip-Hop because of the complex writing and rhyming. I believed I could write just as good as the rappers I was hearing, and started writing raps. When I started college, I got into the Hip-Hop scene at my university (and the city as a whole). I also performed my first spoken word piece at one of the open mics in one of the dorms. I liked the reception I received and decided I would make this a regular thing.

Once I graduated college, and started getting closer to God, it seemed like a perfect marriage of ideas to combine my writing/performing ability with spreading the gospel, along with motivational, socially conscious songs.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, 2pac, Nas, Andre 3000, Common, Saul Williams, Miles Davis, Lecrae, Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, etc.

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

I want to create a legacy of poets & emcees that take their crafts seriously, & use their voices for positive forces. Ideally, they would lead people to God, but even if they don't, I want to inspire others to create music for a deeper purpose than just selfish gain or feeding people the same regurgitated ideas, stereotypes, etc that tickle their ears.

I want to see how far I can ascend in my own craft, as well as my influence in others. I'd like to create music until I die or can no longer physically do it. I'd like my name to be associated with content that was made to reach, teach, inspire, & call people to action (inwardly & outwardly).

5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.

It depends on the type of song, honestly. If it's a song that has a chorus, I typically start with the chorus first. Fleshing out the ideas and melodies. Then I write my verses, if it's a rap song. If I'm writing a spoken word piece, it may or may not have a chorus. If I have a refrain, I use it in between one or two stanzas, usually when I've made my point within those stanzas.

As far as production, I usually give my ideas for the instrumental after I've came up with the chorus. At that point I usually have a strong foundation for how the song should go, and what sounds, instruments, etc. I would like to fill the song out completely. The majority of my songs are produced by other people, but I am the architect of the songs & a co-producer.

I am starting to get back into making my own beats and when I do, I usually start with a melody or sequence of sounds that seem interesting to me at that time. Depending on the type of song I may lay the drums, then the baseline. Otherwise, I keep on filling the verses with complimentary sounds until it sounds full, or what I heard in my head. I may use the chorus as a highlight, depending on the dynamics of the verse. Or, I use it to calm down the song, and smooth it out after the verse. I like the contrast that comes with switching things up at different points. I use bridges to make a strong statement, and to connect into a verse from a chorus.

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

This is a hard question because there are so many songs that I love! It also depends on the mood I'm in, what's going on in my life, etc. But I suppose a song that sums up my life would be "No Weapon" by Fred Hammond. I love it because it's simple, and is a reminder of the scripture that says "no weapon formed against me shall prosper...".

7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?

My former piano teacher told me to play for God's enjoyment & my own, because the crowd can be very fickle. They'll love you one day and hate you the next. I apply this to my songwriting, song creation, & stage performances.

8. Proudest accomplishment?

My proudest musical accomplishment is that I fought for my musical identity after giving it up due to burnout and frustration with the indie scene. Previously, I tried to work with multiple producers to put together an album (and have a consistent flow of instrumentals to create more). I kept running into roadblocks. It frustrated me how unprofessional many people are, especially when they see you are just starting out and don't have a name. I can't count how many times I've been promised, guaranteed things, etc. only for these same people to not deliver.

In the midst of personal hardships coupled with a grim reality that I may not ever find reliable people, I walked away from music for a time. I had to save myself and my career, so I focused on that. However, I couldn't shake the thoughts and ideas of recording music and performing. Once I moved to the Northeast I decided I needed to revisit being an artist to not have any regrets.

I put out my first EP at 39 years old, and my first LP at 40. So that's my proudest accomplishment, not giving up and pushing past my bad experiences to see my dreams realized.

9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?

During graduate school I entered into a talent contest. It was hosted by a fraternity. They would interview the talent before they performed. They had a lot of good acts, and everything seemed to be going well. When it was my turn, the interview was normal, but I could tell that the crowd wasn't going to be nice to me. Maybe it was because I was a little older at that point, and a lot of them didn't know me as well as some of the other people that competed, but I could feel something was off.

I performed my first piece, and the reception was muted. My 2nd piece was a performance piece telling a story of a young girl who eventually makes bad relationship decisions in part due to her volatile upbringing. I interacted with the crowd in this one, and one of the people I interacted with was acting over-the-top. This took the crowd over and they started laughing and heckling me in the middle of my piece. I never stopped, but it was pandemonium. Half of the crowd was rowdy in a negative way, and the other half were telling them to stop and shut up.

Once I finished I politely told them about themselves and gave the mic back. By then they calmed down (I guess they saw I wasn't going to break and felt stupid). After the show I got interviewed by some guys covering the event. They asked me how was I so composed after bombing in front of that crowd. I told them I didn't write that piece for their approval and that in this business, this is a part of what can happen - that I accepted it.

It stung for awhile though lol. I won 2nd place at the same talent show the next year btw!

𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.

My lowest point happened in my mid 20's when I realized how difficult it was to work with people, regardless of how professional you may be. I had bad experiences with multiple producers who made promises that never panned out, even though I never presented myself as someone who does bad business. I've always agreed to pay people their rates. What I found was that most people in this business are not organized, and unless you are a big name, they won't follow through on their word (or prioritize the things they agreed to do with you, regardless if money is exchanged). It hit me harder then because I was so invested in creating, and as a younger man I couldn't temper my expectations as well as I can now as a more mature man.

My highest point so far in music has been being able to release music without expectations, and seeing the feedback I receive from random people. Seeing them respond the ways that I intended them to when I created these songs is very encouraging. I'm enjoying the journey and

Stream "My Heart Keeps Holding On" now

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Jul 30, 2023

Be blessed in your mission, man.


DVous Music
DVous Music
Jul 29, 2023

Keep working your craft. It will inspire others along the way. I love what you are doing!


Jul 29, 2023

Really had fun reading this

Would definitely check out his music for sure also wish him best of luck for the future 💯🥂


Enis Ancy
Enis Ancy
Jul 27, 2023

Realmente inspirador, a veces dan ganas de tirar la toalla, de dejarlo todo, y seguir con la vida tranquila sin ilusiones, me ha inspirado mucho esta entrevista, Gracias por compartir


Jul 27, 2023

Awesome! Very inspiring.



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