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TT17’s Escape From The 'Heartbreak Hotel'

The charismatic up-and-comer builds on a strong 2022 and pushes things with his new release. By any measurement, TT17 had a great year in 2022.

Building off his 3rd album, ‘Wake Me Up In Calabasas,’ which was released at the beginning of the year, TT17 would amass over one hundred thousand streams across all streaming platforms. Not one to sit and be complacent, TT17 would release “Blue Bands” in early October, quickly amassing over fifty thousand streams in under two months, taking advantage of his drive and ingenuity in the booth to build more buzz.

TT17 is unique in that he never shies away from doing something different. This means you can’t put him in a box. One moment he’s cocky, confident, and brash on the thumping aforementioned “Blue Bands,” and the next, he’s thoughtful, introspective, and a little vulnerable on “7 Years”. He’s not afraid to try something new or switch up his sound, which works for him. Whether he’s rapping fast or slow, an underlying current, hidden energy, runs through any TT17 production.

The latest result of TT17’s creative process is a title tribute to the late Juice WRLD TT17 named “Heartbreak Hotel.” Over booming bass and instrumentals that somehow feel fast yet sad simultaneously, TT17 again shows something different yet welcome as he sings of fast cars, depression, and the cycle of heartbreak. Although the song begins with TT17 checking into the hotel, by the time the beat fades out, TT17 has made it out, warning the new guest but proving that nothing will keep him down.

Sometimes you must go through a bit of heartbreak to learn and grow. Whenever you’re ready to face your feelings, tap in and stream “Heartbreak Hotel,” out on February 14th.

Welcome to BuzzMusic TT17! We loved “Heartbreak Hotel,” it was a different vibe from many of the other stuff you put out before, but you killed it! We have to ask, what was the creative process behind this song? What inspired you to make it?

Thank you, guys, so much! I appreciate that! I went with a different vibe on this song, and I really like the style of it. The creative process for the actual song was honestly a blur. I remember it was a Sunday morning, and I wrote it in like 30 minutes. I had recently been through a breakup, and those first two weeks after were just a blur to me, and I was confused about how I felt. That’s why most of the first verse is just lines that don’t really make sense because I was just confused writing it. Once I got to the chorus, however, I had the lines “Say you wanna leave? I said no, stay. Welcome to the Heartbreak Hotel.” After writing those, I knew I had something. I created the narrative that I had “checked myself into the Heartbreak Hotel.” The chorus is about my journey inside it, the second verse is about my way out of there, and the last chorus and ending of the song are saying how the girl is now in the Heartbreak Hotel. The main inspiration for this song was the breakup I went through, but the song isn’t about the girl. It’s just a storytime on what my mind was going through in November of 2022 and the confusion I had with myself. I wish her nothing but the best.

What does TT17 mean? Is there a story behind the name?

That’s actually the first time any article or interview has actually asked me that, surprisingly. TT17 has been my nickname since 4th grade. So, ‘TT’ stands for ‘Travis Thompson’ (my name, obviously), but nobody will ever guess what the 17 stands for. Most people thought it was for my age at the time I started becoming more known. I was 17 years old when I dropped ‘7 Years’, so most people thought it was just my age. It was actually my class number in 4th grade. I don’t know why, but ‘TT17’ just stuck with me, and everyone would call me that. When I started YouTube and music in 8th grade, my channel name was ‘TheGreatTT17’, but when I rebranded myself sophomore year, I changed and shortened it to ‘TT17.'

So you mentioned that “Heartbreak Hotel” was a tribute in many ways to Juice WRLD. What other artists do you look up to, and how have they influenced your approach to music?

"Heartbreak Hotel" was definitely a tribute to Juice WRLD. I tried to make it in his style but still put my own twist on it. I was referencing his song "Feel Alone," where he says, “She helped me move my things from the Heartbreak Hotel.” I thought this was a cool line, but honestly, I had no plans of ever dropping the song. My Mom, however, told me to take it to the studio, and my producer and engineer, Gillbee, helped me create what is, in my opinion, my best song to date. I would say I have looked up to different artists at different times of my career so far. When I first started music officially in 2019, I was heavily influenced by NF and Logic. During 2020 and 2021, it was mostly NF and Juice WRLD. In 2022 and now in 2023, I would say the artists I look up to most and take note of their sound would be Juice WRLD, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, and Lil Baby. But I always put my own spin on a song to make TT17 songs unique, and one of them.

What do you want your fans to feel when they listen to your music?

I just want my fans to be able to relate to me in my music. I don’t ever try to target a certain audience. I just write how I feel. Also, it’s more that I want to have at least a couple of songs for every audience out there. Whether it’s people who like to brag about fame and money, heartbroken people, or people who are going through a depressive time of their life, I always want to have people be able to relate to me in ways that they can’t with other artists.

What’s next for TT17? Do you have any big plans for 2023?

2023 is going to be huge for me. The music video for ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ got verified on VEVO, which is a huge accomplishment. I have already contacted a fantastic videographer, and we are planning my next music video shoot. After that, I think it might be time for my 4th album. It might be time for me to be welcomed into this industry.


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