TT17 has been bursting from the seams of victory with his highly successful record, “7 Years.” Amassing over 100, 000 streams in the short 10 months the song has been available to the public, he deems this record the one that stands out from his music catalog as the breakout song.
Constructing a vulnerable track that drenches listeners in authenticity, we hear TT17 professing his relatable lyrics overtop of the instrumentation of Lukas Graham’s hit song “7 Years.”
Immediately allowing us to simmer on the familiarity that is laced into the emotion we know to come from the original version of this song, TT17 matches the energy with his own twist, as he professes a poignant delivery that showcases a perspective lens into his world. Hearing the power in his delivery gives us glimmers of the utter passion that resides within the vessel of TT17.
Touching on themes of mental health, the pains of growing up, and the impact of community, we admire the lyrical motifs that TT17 puts forth as he raps words like, ‘I was a target, was me vs. the world. I’m scared for life, I would come home and cry. How could I think- Why am I alive?.” Drawn to the therapeutic storytelling that embraces the structure of this record, we consider this a lyrical feast of realism. What we’re a witness to is a creative, his microphone, and a story that needs to be told.
Through the brilliant essence that comes overflowing through each bar that has us replaying each line in our head long after the song comes to a halt, “7 Years,” is a sonic earworm that has you saturated in the tale of TT17 in the making.
Thank you for joining us at BuzzMusic TT17. We love the passion, and honesty that you place into your lyrics in “7 Years.” What inspired you to get as vulnerable as you did on this track?
I wrote “7 Years” in the very middle of quarantine, so I really knew I had nothing to lose with how people thought of me. I barely had anyone I could trust at that time; I had maybe 6 or 7 friends, and they all knew how I felt. Like, my family didn’t even know what I was going through at the time. I faked a smile on my face. I wouldn’t say I was depressed at the time, though. It’s more like I was escaping depression releasing this deep of a song. I actually remember the specifics of writing it; I was in my room, alone, in the dark, and my face was full of tears. I was filled with rage, sadness, and anger towards everything. I was texting my friend, Jasmin, asking if it’s even worth it to continue music; I wasn’t getting anywhere with it at the time. Word for word, she told me “Keep going, you’re only going up. Keep doing you and don’t let anyone bring you down. You’re already doing so much for someone our age.” That text meant so much to me, and I still look at the screenshot to this day. Those words inspired me to record it that afternoon and set the release to all streaming platforms on October 16. It was like that text gave me new confidence; I even did a whole music video for it, the only help being from my step-dad, Marc. I knew this would be a deep song, I didn’t think it would get as deep as it did, though.
With the original version of “7 Years” taking the same route of authentic storytelling, what drew you towards the beat?
I’m a huge fan of NF, and that led me to hear underground artists that have the same music style as him, one of them being Sik World. I listened to his “7 Years Remix” a couple of times, and I immediately knew I could create a song off of the instrumental. Whenever I write, I ask myself, “Is this going to be a sad song or a hype song?,” but the “7 Years” instrumental didn’t give me either of those vibes. It gave me a storytelling vibe, and I just felt the need to open up about everything in my life. Yes, everything. I truly believe God was by my side when I wrote “7 Years.” All in all, my version of it is 3 minutes and 53 seconds, and I wrote the whole song in about 30 minutes. I wasn’t myself when I wrote it.
You’ve mentioned that this song of yours has seen the most success out of any other tracks that you’ve released. What do you owe this to? Could you please share your thoughts on this with us?
I’ve released 20 songs since “7 Years” and none of them have ever passed it as my #1 song on Spotify. I knew that this song was special, and I knew it was going to get streams; I thought, maybe 5,000, 6,000, max. I didn’t know I would get 110,000, though (as of 9/14/2021). If I’m being completely honest, I have no idea how it keeps growing. I’m on playlists, but I’m still gaining streams consistently. I remember one day in November (2020), I went to sleep with 12,000 streams and woke up with 23,000. I thought I was dreaming. It turns out I got reposted by a big Instagram page for unsigned artists, @signtheartist. My DM’s were absolutely filled after that. I owe the stream count, about 30% to the quality of the song, and 70% to the pages I got reposted to.
What would you like your audience to take away from the messaging of “7 Years?"
I really want my listeners to pay attention to the lyrics of the track. I opened up about how I truly felt, not knowing if I would be judged for it or not, but not caring regardless. I want “7 Years” to be a sign to just BE YOU. Don’t care about what other people think. Do what makes you happy, as cliche as that sounds. And always stay sober. I know I have a fanbase of younger teens on YouTube, and I want this directed at them… As you enter the older stages of your life, those being high school and college, you’re going to get peer pressured into doing things that are wrong, and you’ll look like an idiot if you don’t do drugs, or if you don’t go and party every night. Trust me, in the end, it’ll all be worth it. You’ll truly be the best version of yourself.
What would you like new listeners to know about your music?
I’m always real with my lyrics. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything to please people's ears. I honestly just write about how I feel, and that’s why my songs are so mixed; I dropped a song “Stars,” basically saying how I’m too good for this girl and how my life is great, right after “7 Years.” I’m currently working on my 3rd album, although, it will be my first studio-recorded album. I look forward to releasing it and showcasing my lyrical ability to the world yet again, and I’m hungry to prove everyone wrong once again.