Music, Vices and Pizza Slices: An Interview with Def Jam Recording Artist Troi Irons

If you’re the type who loves to stay ahead of the curve and say “I told you so” to those who are late to the party, you’re absolutely going to love me for this one!  Why?  Because I’m gifting you with some serious ammo today in the form of an exclusive interview that I conducted with Def Jam recording artist Troi Irons who’s new EP Turbulence has already drawn comparisons to legends like Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and Alanis Morissette!  She’s also been featured on hip-hop tracks with Lupe Fiasco so if you haven’t heard of her already, trust me, you will!  She’s destined to sit atop of the music industry someday and once she’s there, perched upon her throne, I’ll be the first one to say “I told you so”!  Seriously though, she’s dope and extremely talented so it was an honor to interview her.  Check it out…          

Darrell:  First off, I have to say that you have one of the coolest names that I’ve ever heard!  Troi Alexandria Irons.  Do you have any siblings as well?

Troi:  Yeah, I’ve got a twin sister whose name is Tori Irons.  It’s an anagram.  My parents thought they were being clever with that! All of our initials are the same “T.A.I.” (so there’s also) Trenton…Thailand, Tori (and me) Troi.

Darrell:  Wow, your parents sound pretty creative!  Was there a basis for the “T.A.I.” theme? 

Troi:  (No) I think after they had the first kid they were just like “oh everyone is going to have the same initials!”

Darrell:  So are you actually into Greek Mythology? (ie: The city of Troy – read a book people! lol)

Troi:  I read a lot and I’ve read mythology.  I was into mythology when I was 12 or 13 but I haven’t honestly gotten into it since then.  I probably should though!

Darrell:  Well your name screams “rock star” obviously, so you almost had to become one! Did you feel any pressure to live up to the epic name your parents gave you?

Troi:  I’ve always had this inkling that I wanted to be the biggest and best out there. That’s always been in me. Like I wanted world domination! For a second I wanted to call my label “Veni Vidi Vici.”  I got away from that (name) but I definitely had the whole world domination, Greek thing in me …but I humbled up.  

Darrell:  Speaking of world domination, I’ve read that you listen to Prince every day, do you have a favorite song of his?

Troi:  Oh yeah!  I actually have two!  So one is Kiss. I really like that one.  And then I know it’s stereotypical but the other is Purple Rain! I think that’s something to be expected of a song that breaks over that wide of a boundary.  Because Middle America liked him and then the gangstas liked him (and) he was with Apollonia so he really captured the whole audience.

Darrell:  Like Prince, your sound blends rock, r&b, pop, soul and many other genres together. I know that you don’t like labels but how would you categorize your style if you had to?

Troi:  I would call my music Alternative Rock.

Darrell:  So aside from Prince, who are some of your other musical influences?

Troi:  I listen to so much but I think the main thing I like to listen to are things that are melodic and well written enough to become pop music.  And not pop music in the sense that you know, a grown group of 3 girls are out there dancing, I mean like Michael Jackson was The King of Pop right? So that music is just something that captures a large demographic. So right now I’m listening to Wolf Alice a lot.  They’re a rock band out of the UK. And this girl K. Flay I just started listening to… she’s kind of a mix between hip-hop and rock.  She sings a little but she also raps.  She’s tight. (prior to starting the interview, she also mentioned Evanescence, Green Day and The Beatles and major influences as well)

Darrell:  Very cool! What age did you first start playing music yourself?

Troi:  I started piano when I was 9. I play piano, guitar, bass and a little bit of violin. Guitar I picked up when I was 12. I had some time before I started school so I started playing guitar and writing songs.

Darrell:  Well obviously that path turned out really well! How did you grab the attention of so many labels and music executives already?

Troi:  So it’s funny that you say already because they say that it takes 10 years to become an overnight success and I’m at about year 8 right now!  So I’ve actually been (at this) for awhile now.  I was actually signed when I was 15 to RCA (Records) and that was because my mom was a songwriter (80’s recording artist Anne G. Her father was also a drummer for the 70’s group Brick) so she knew some people in the industry and then she got me signed to RCA. Both (of my) parents are musicians.  And she got me signed there but then they really didn’t get the vision.  Nothing came out for years you know so I was 18 and nothing had been released so we got off the label and I kind of fell out of the industry.  And then I produced something, put it online and this guy Fabbien found it and he was developing this other artist.  He said “can you come and develop my artist and teach her how to write songs”? So I developed that artist and then that artist started taking off and then as people were paying attention to her they were like “what’s going on with this whole team”? So yeah, that’s how I got around to Def Jam.

Darrell:  I know that you enjoyed the freedom of being a free agent so are you officially signed with Def Jam now?

Troi:  I signed to Def Jam last year and I’m so…I enjoyed being a free agent because nobody really got it but Def Jam is amazing!  They’re a machine, they’re big but they’re also creative.  They understand my vision and they’re behind it and they support it. 

Darrell:  Let’s talk about your new EP – Turbulence.  First off I think it was really cool to release it on vinyl, what was the inspiration behind that decision?

 

Troi:  Well the vinyl I put out because you know, everyone streams and all that but when I got my first record, I went out and got the cd…  And I put it in my little Walkman and walked out of the house with the headphones and the Walkman in my back pocket you know? And I wanted people to have that experience because I don’t just write a single or a song.  It’s not for streaming it’s really a body of work. So I wanted people to be able to listen to it front to back.

Darrell:  What should listeners expect when they press play? (Or put the needle on the record…)

Troi:  It’s kind of a raw feel.  A lot of people have called it a throwback to 90’s rock but I think it’s a new take on what that raw emotion was of the 90’s.    

Darrell:  Your track Today talks about feelings of suicide and depression, are these feelings that you’ve felt personally?  

Troi:  Oh yeah…Today I wrote when I was kind of at year 7 of my process and there were all these people telling me “You can’t do this” and “You can’t do that” or “Your ideas are awful.”  It was before I was really in the Def Jam system.  So it was the lower level people and they didn’t want me to produce my album and I’m very…that album it sounds the way it does because I produced it.  You know, I’m not going to send a song to this guy and this guy and have seven different guys produce my album.  I have a vision for it.  So they were tearing me down trying to tell me that my ideas weren’t good enough and I was broke as hell.  …So broke! Like $15 a week for food broke…

Darrell:  A week?    

Troi:  Yeah!

Darrell:  Oh wow!  That must have been a lot of ramen! 

Troi:  Ramen, canned vegetables and all that stuff! And I didn’t know if the songs were gonna come out and what was going to happen.  So it was really like an “in limbo” moment.  I didn’t really know what was going to happen and it just felt like the end of the world for me.  So I wrote that song and I sent it to my management… I don’t usually go through feelings like that, I usually try to hide them down but it was just too big to not deal with… but everything just started moving after I wrote that song!

Darrell:  Wow, it’s weird how some of your darkest places can inspire you to some of your greatest moments.

Troi:  Yeah, I was really happy after the fact that I had that moment because it humbled me. Whereas before, like I told you, I wanted to be the biggest…my motivation was to be the best but now my motivation is to be the fullest version of me that I can possibly be.  And also to inspire other people to be the fullest versions of themselves.  It’s not about me anymore, it’s a greater purpose.    

Check out Troi’s EP Turbulence on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify or your favorite music store today!

mfm

Today’s fitness tip continues where Troi left off.  Mental Health is just as important as physical health.  Sometimes the worst scars are the ones that nobody else can see.  When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take the time to regroup, reflect and recharge and if the problem feels too big for you to handle by yourself, reach out to someone you trust or seek professional help. 

If you or a loved one has been experiencing feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:  1-800-273-8255

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So you may have noticed my tank top in the photo from the interview…I know that Troi definitely did! She actually asked for one to rock during her next show so I’ll have to send one over!  If you’ve been following me on social media (which you should be!), you may have noticed that I have a lot of shirts with food on them, so eventually I’ll feature them all here but for today, let’s take a closer look at that pizza tank top shall we? 

I wore it specifically for Troi since she agrees that pizza is bae…pizza is life lol and I paired it with this white long sleeve button-up featuring a mythological god on the back as another fashion shoutout to her.  The button-up came from a store in Toronto that closed a few years ago unfortunately, so that won’t be so easy to find.  But I can hook you up with the details on the tank top if you’d also like to look hot and cheesy lol just comment below!   

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Let’s stay on the pizza theme for today’s survey questions. 

  1. Which do you prefer?  Thin Crust, regular or deep dish pizza?  Comment below!
  2. Which city has the best pizza?  NYC or Chicago? Comment below!  (I’ve never gotten to spend much time in Chicago but I was raised in Jersey so NYC style is all that I really know.  I hear that Chicago style is incredible though so I definitely plan to go on an eating tour up there someday!  So I won’t vote on this one until I try Chicago’s, but one thing is for sure, both cities beat Atlanta’s pizza!  If you’re an ATLien and want to prove me wrong on that statement though, name the place and I’ll check them out!)

And just for discussion’s sake, comment your favorite topping combinations below as well!

Today’s Soundtrack

Karma – Troi Irons (my personal favorite song off her new album)

Today – Troi Irons (her powerful song addressing suicidal thoughts.  Hearing her perform this live literally gave me chills…)

They.Resurrect.Over.New. – Lupe Fiasco ft. Ab-Soul and Troi (Irons…Lupe is from Chicago so I can already guess which pizza style he’s voting for lol)

Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys (come on, I have to be fair to NYC after giving Chicago a track lol)

Kiss – Prince (this song is timeless.  If it had been released today it would still hit number 1)

Blood In The Cut – K. Flay (One of the artist’s currently on Troi’s playlist.  I could definitely see these 2 collaborating someday)

Lawless – Troi Irons (Another great track from the Turbulence EP…just download the whole thing!)

Have another song to ad to today’s soundtrack?  Post it in the comments!

Okay, that about does it for today.  Next post will be on Thursday!  But for more content in the meantime, make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!  Until next time peeps…

“You want a pizza me, tough guy?”

=Darrell

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14 thoughts on “Music, Vices and Pizza Slices: An Interview with Def Jam Recording Artist Troi Irons

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