Specyal T

 

Specyal T has mastered of one of the most entertaining and nuanced styles of rap / electronica entertainment we've come across in recent years, and her new single ‘Just A Thot’ shows why you'll be hearing a lot more of her.

With a tight lyrical flow and fine-tuned production served straight up, Specyal T is an artist that any rap / electronica music enthusiast will thoroughly enjoy. The success of her latest awarding-winning work has not gone unnoticed by the critics, with one recently writing: ‘Hypnotizing beats combined with lyrics dripping in swag, Specyal T is on a mission to impress by going out of the zone of expectations and taking down all those who dare to oppose.’ Yet there’s something special about Specyal T (no pun intended) that sets her apart from other rap / electronica acts. In a musical generation characterized by manufactured pop acts, Specyal T's originality and swag do more than stand out. They reveal qualities that cannot be engineered in the studio. There’s also an unpretentious realness to this artist out of Toronto and judging by her growing fan base, she may be precisely what the new generation didn't know it was missing. Independent reporter Blake Wright recently caught up with Specyal T to get an inside look at this exciting new artist and to learn what she has in store for fans this year.

BLAKE: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
SPECYAL T: Well, I’ve been in the music industry for 25 years now, so naturally there has been a lot of crazy moments that have gone down on my journey, to date. One stand out I remember quite well happened back in ’05. I was performing with my former band, Hidden Agenda (I played keys / vox) at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. During our sound check my keys weren't coming through and I repeatedly mentioned this but the sound techs were just not listening. Afterwards, I was chatting with a couple of my band mates about it as we were deciding whether or not to go with a different sound tech, and the senior sound tech jumped on the stage to try and school me in front of everyone. She claimed I never mentioned the sound issue with my keys during the check and she didn't appreciate being talked about in such a rude manner - completely unprofessional. She not only had kept all of our mics turned on so she could eavesdrop on our conversation, but she also fully assumed we were speaking about her which I actually wasn't. Needless to say in my calm, professional manner, I made sure to put her in her place and we went on to have a great show-- with a new sound tech!

BLAKE: Your song’Just A Thot’is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
SPECYAL T: It actually happened by accident one evening. I thought I'd just check out a couple of the stations I was told it was rotating on as I hadn't gotten the chance to yet, and the first station I went to, a couple songs in, it was on. I was pleasantly surprised. It's always a great feeling hearing your work out there and knowing others across various regions are enjoying your music.

BLAKE: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
SPECYAL T: My debut radio single was actually 'Ice Cream Cone' and the inspiration behind that was my sister suggesting, and then insisting, that I create a fun song that had a double entendre. The inspiration behind my new single, 'Just A Thot,' was that I wanted a fun track with a catchy chorus that people could easily vibe to. I used the acronym T.H.O.T. and term 'thot' (essentially meaning a basic female), to build the story from.

BLAKE: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
SPECYAL T: For me creating art is just in my DNA, I was always meant to do it. So my 'fuel' is just my natural desire!

BLAKE: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
SPECYAL T: I would say that I'm a down-to-earth, quick-witted, driven artist and musician.

 

BLAKE: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
SPECYAL T: For the most part very rewarding, at times challenging, but I always seem to learn something new, regardless.

BLAKE: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
SPECYAL T: I was adopted and I am the only person in my adopted family that is musical at all. However, in my biological family, my mom's dad is a music manager and my cousin is an R&B artist (former member of the pop/R&B group, 'Sugar Jones').



BLAKE: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
SPECYAL T: Most rewarding is having the ability to touch people with my words and music in a way that no one else can. When they personally tell me how a song of mine has influenced them and shaped their life in a positive way, it is truly a blessing in itself. The most challenging I'd have to say is definitely, especially in my current region, being respected as a musician and getting paid accordingly. The 'Pay To Play' scams are seriously hurting our industry and need to be terminated all together!



BLAKE: Who are your role models in music?
SPECYAL T: My short list of artists I appreciate and respect are: Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Boyz II Men, Musiq, TLC, and Timbaland.

BLAKE: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
SPECYAL T: I'd have to say a very memorable and great performance was when I was thirteen at my public school talent show. I had been a classically trained pianist for a few years strong by this point, but I had just recently took on composition. I had composed my first piece 'Insomniac Bob' and wanted to debut it there. Everyone was kind of nervous about it and somewhat doubting me, worried it wouldn't turn out well. While I was performing it I could tell it was the right decision, you just get that 'performers feeling,' if you will. Then afterwards, I received a standing ovation and went on to compose many more pieces, and I still compose and produce to this day.

BLAKE: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
SPECYAL T: I actually get asked this question here and there by artists from various genres and I diligently give as much advice as I can to up-and-comers . I always try and make them aware that this industry, although very rewarding, can also be a very challenging one to navigate through. People judge you in entertainment all the time and with the advent of social media, things can get nasty very quickly. You have to remember that you can't please everyone, they aren't all going to like your vibe. Always stay true to yourself, along with developing and maintaining a thick skin. Never forget to continue having fun and simply just enjoying what you do!

BLAKE: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
SPECYAL T: I'm in rehearsals with my band, Chasing Sunday, for upcoming shows. I'm in production for the official video for 'Just A Thot'-- be sure to check my social sites for news of when it drops. In terms of new projects, I'm currently working on my next LP, which is the third and last in my 'Dose Of Distinction' trilogy, and is entitled 'A Specyal Remedy.'

BLAKE: Wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to chat about your career and personal experiences. Best of luck with your upcoming projects.


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