ATLANTA -- Taj Torrence is one of those people who make you feel better after speaking to him. His charm and intelligence about his craft makes me feel like a smarter person when the conversation is over.
When I saw the Mansfield Senior alumnus released his 13th record, 'Will Rap 4 Food,' I was thrilled at the opportunity to speak with him again.
In late December, Torrence moved to Atlanta to enhance his music productivity and find inspiration. Several months later he dropped two EPs.
Below is a question and answer session with the young rapper.
Richland Source: Can you tell us about the origin of your two EPs ‘Will Rap 4 Food Vol 1 & 2.'
Taj Torrence: I started recording the songs before I knew what it would become. All of these songs were recorded in my house on beats that I personally made. I wanted people to have a listen to my “sketchbook” as I call it, an arsenal of musical ideas that I record with hopes of finding a home on an upcoming project. I compiled a lot of awesome ideas to make Vol. 1 & 2.
RS: You tweeted in February (now deleted) that you didn't want to get too lyrical with these tunes. You were more focused on rhythm and style. Why did you make those the focal points and focus less on what was said or the way it was said?
TT: With that statement, I was saying that the focal point of these projects are rhythm and progression, although not necessarily in musical terms. “Rhythm” meaning more of “momentum” and “progression” meaning just that, getting better with each volume I release. Each project being a bit more pronounced in regards to its subject matter.
RS: Which song are you most proud of and why?
TT: All of them! But if absolutely had to pick one, I’d say “BIAS” on Volume 2. I say that because it is the most political song on either of the projects. I love being able to artistically express my concern about our problems we face here in America, and throughout the world. That song covers everything from being a young black man in this country to protecting the environment and food from political/industrial interests.
RS: WR4F is or was only available through direct purchase. Why did you use this model instead of the much more common distribution through Apple Music, Spotify and other sites?
TT: Simple, to make it more of an authentic gesture from the artist as well as the supporter. My fans get this project by dealing directly with me. They set the price, I grant them access. Any amount is acceptable. I feel that this also allows my fans to contribute exactly what they would like. No suggestions or limitations, it’s personal. Those who have been longtime fans know that I put everything I have into the music and I know my fans want to see me go as far and accomplish as much as I can. This method of release feeds both of our need to contribute/communicate our support for the continuation of Taj Torrence music releases.
As a business move, it’s more simple, me cutting out the middle man. Bowmanandharker.com is essentially our own streaming platform in its early stages. It will only get more convenient for our fans.
RS: How is that working out for you?
TT: I’ve been more financially successful with these two releases (Will Rap 4 Food Vol. 1 & 2) than any of my other projects I’ve previously released -- all thanks to my fans. I’ve also strengthened my core following tremendously! It’s great to see.