New York is one of the most dog-eat-dog music scenes in the country, especially when it comes to hip-hop, and it seems to have one of the toughest crowds as well.
While many are determined to show their hunger in their music, and prove to record execs how much they want it, some are using a different strategy.
Talent Harris is an artist straight out of Long Island, New York, but he is also a comedian in his own right.
The 22-year-old Central Islip native is currently attending City College, where he’s intensely studying music, and learning to combine his humor with his music-making abilities.
I got a chance to hear from Talent, who told me all about his music classes, how he’s combining his comedic skills into his music, as well as his thoughts on the NY music scene.
See my full conversation with Talent Harris below, and check out his brand new single “Nine Two Five” here.
I started rapping around 14 when I discovered Garage Band on an iMac desktop computer that my mom bought to replace our out-of-date Dell computer.
My parents are a big influence. They’ve always had great music playing around me since I was born. Kanye’s College Dropout was a big record to me as a kid as well as today. 50 Cent, Lupe, Eminem, and so many more.
With the title of “Nine Two Five” I didn’t want people to think 9-5 right away, and have a preconceived notion about what the song was about. I also had the image of a digital clock in my head when thinking of the title.
How do you feel about the NYC music scene, even outside of the main 5 boroughs?
New York has a lot of talent, but we don’t support each other much. I feel like a lot artists have this idea that everyone can’t win, and it’s the biggest lie. On the other hand, there is a saturation of folks who sound the same. It’s like they try to emulate what’s praised in the “rap game,” and it’s obvious. There are also many genuine artists I’ve met that are making music for the right reasons and deserve to be heard. NYC and Long island combined.
You currently attend City College. What do you hope to take from your experience there studying music?
My biggest goal at CCNY is to become a musician. I’ve been learning piano for about a year now and would love to just be able to sit at a piano and perform based off improvisation. I’m not there yet, but I’ve learned a lot since attending. I also would like to perfect my musical production.
What’s the best thing you have learned while taking music classes so far?
I’ve learned how music works. Like why does this sound good? Why does this make me cringe? Why does this sound bright? Why does this sound dark? I’m learning basic music theory things so far.
Where do you hope to see yourself in music in 5 years?
I hopefully will be working somewhere or doing something where I have the ability to create and interact with people. God-willing, I’ll be on a tour bus heading somewhere.
You also do comedy as well. Do you correlate any of that into your music?
Yes, I’ve been figuring out how to put some humor in my music in a manner in which I’m still taken seriously. I love music, and I love to make people laugh. Laughter is very important to a healthy life.
What’s up next for you this year?
This year the goal is to work on getting some visuals out into the world, performing when I can, and to continue to make music that I believe in.
Follow Talent Harris on Twitter: @TalentHarris