T Shan is a hidden gem from Michigan that sat down with us for the first time in this UVC exclusive to tell us his journey so far, and what he has in store for 2019.

First things first how old are you and where are you from?

I’m 21, I’ll be 22 in a month. It kinda sucks because I already feel old in this music scene based on where I’m at. I’m from Taylor, MI. I prefer to just say Downriver, MI since its a bit more recognisable. Downriver is basically the suburbs of Detroit, all really close to the Detroit river. It has a population of around 360,000.

Don’t worry about that at all I just turned 22 and when we hit 32 we’ll be like damn what were we saying. Michigan has so much talent right now though, tell me about growing up there.

I think the state as a whole is really beautiful. It’s got a lot of dope spots. Not only is the music scene popping, the photography scene is even more popping. It’s super super diverse where I’m from. Lots of minorities, it isn’t dominated by white people which I like. There’s a lot of wealth disparity too. In Taylor 1/4 of the population is in poverty, but a city or two over & most of the residents are upper-middle class. We like to bullshit about there being nothing to do, but there’s lowkey a lot of fun things to do. A big signature here is crossing the Canadian border from Detroit to Windsor when you’re 19 & 20 to hit clubs/bars in Canada since the age limit there is only 19.

That’s so sick, I think Michigan is one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit. Tell me about your early music experiences, who were you listening to growing up?

It’s odd; I never listened to music too much as a really young child, I didn’t start really getting into it until middle school. From 12-16 I listened to all the mainstream rock, alternative rock, punk bands & a little metal. A Day To Remember, Bullet For My Valentine, Taking Back Sunday. Tthen when I turned 16 I became a lot more preppy & only listened to hip hop. And once I turned like 19-20 I basically came full circle and loved rock again, but really the underground shit I can’t stand most mainstream music.

All those names are so relatable for me. I love them a lot and I can definitely agree a lot of mainstream to me is no bueno. So at what point did you start making music?

Late as fuck. I dropped a terrible rap EP that we don’t need to discuss on my 20th birthday, that’s when I consider myself actively getting into music. I guess I don’t really feel old at 22, just inexperienced for my age. I’d do my entire high school career differently had I known music was what I wanted to do with my life.

That’s interesting. Don’t worry about that EP, everyone starts somewhere. Why do you say you wish did high school differently if you knew what you know now?

Everyone says they wish they could have taken it more seriously. I’m the opposite I would have disregarded that shit a lot more. I took my grades pretty seriously cause I wanted to get into a good college. I ended up with a 3.6 even though I was bad af, I got suspended like 10 times and expelled from high school at one point. Had I known music was my future I would have put a lot of stress off of getting good grades and more stress on music and building a following in high school. I’d imagine if you made good music in high school it would be a lot better starting off than if you made good music out of high school. Everyone sees each other every day in high school, word spreads fast & shit.

I totally understand what you mean, I know a few younger artists who are super grateful for being young and getting a following still in school working on music. At what point after making music did you know you wanted to take it seriously?

I’d say a few months into 2018 is when I realised I’m not down for no 9-5, school is not my path, a trade skill is not my path. That and I was starting to gain a veryyy small amount of traction, strangers over the internet were reaching out to tell me they liked the music, and I was like ok, this isn’t just a silly dream, it’s an achievable dream.

“…strangers over the internet were reaching out to tell me they liked the music, and I was like ok, this isn’t just a silly dream, it’s an achievable dream.”

That’s so sick, such a good moment to remember forever. What’s your favorite song you’ve made or released?

Shirt Off My Back currently. it just has such good replay value. The bridge into the 2nd verse I’ve listened to so many fuccin times it’s not healthy lol. And it’s the song that really gave me a push. Astari discovered it on SoundCloud which led to us talkin’ and I got my first music video on there. It was crazy exposure so there’s a lot of good things tied to that song.

That’s actually the song that introduced me to your library and I was completely hooked. That was my next question was about Astari and I’m so glad he gave you that push. So with that being said what are your plans for 2019 and this winter?

Yeah he’s a fuckin’ sweetheart for that, what a guy. I’m in collab mode right now, trying to make music with as many good artists as I can. I’m interested in forming a collective group because it’s strengths in numbers, I peep a lot of big underground artists aren’t just doing it by themselves, they team up, collab often supports each other etc. I’m also trying to become more DIY this year, trying to get my mixing on point so I don’t have to spend $$ every song, I already have a home studio. I’ll also most likely move into a place with my good friend SuiSai sometime this year. He’s in our scene as well and he’ll be big soon.

Such great goals I’m super excited for you. Now tell me, what artists do you wanna work with, big or small?

King Theta would be dope, we’ve talked about doing a song together. Fats’e is my favourite artist right now, would love to work with him. And I would love to hop on a lederrick or Nedarb beat.

Definitely all could be so fire. So what’s your process for making a song? How long does it take you to fully make one?

Usually it be taking like 3-4 hours to make a full demo at my place, then I’ll record the real shit at a studio in an hour or two. I emphasize melody first, I just hum out a bunch of melodies, with or without lyrics. Then I arrange it all into a coherent song.

That’s fire I know everyone has their own process. What are the top 5 things you need in the studio with you? Things you can’t be without?

Flash drive, a good recording engineer, good mixing engineer is essential and other dope artists plus weed is good too. I can get by without it though.

Absolutely feel that a lot. I like that list. My next question is what is your ultimate goal with your music? What’s your message or ending point?

Thank you bruv. Ultimate goal is to make a living off of music. A solid 50k a year and touring the country would be fulfilling. I don’t know if there’s a huge message to the music, but I try to make it as emotional as possible and a lot of people tell me it helps them cope with their own depression, so I guess the message would be that you’re not alone feeling that way. Ending point I don’t know, I could definitely see myself ending up in a band but for now it seems like being a solo artist is the move. I enjoy making lots of different genres so as a I get older the genres might change, but I think I’ll never stray away from making moody music.

I love your sound and definitely have full faith in your endeavors 100%, I think that’s a great mindset. What would be the first thing you did if you got filthy rich?

I’m gettin the fuck outta Downriver, maybe Cali but not LA fuck that. Coppin’ a Tesla, building a beautiful ass home studio because I prefer makin music at home, designer out the ass, investing in real estate and long term bank accounts because I’m not stupid enough to blow it all.

Bro facts to all that and I love when people mention investing, it’s the smartest thing for artists like us in this business. Music aside for a moment what keeps you going outside of it? What keeps you sane?

Real shit nothing comes to mind. I don’t have much to live for outside of music. Depression really puts you in a dark place. It’s hard to care about anything or look forward to the future, you don’t find joy in many things, it’s hard to do even simple things like get out of bed at a reasonable time, get dressed, go out in public and start your day etc. That’s why I really am putting all my eggs into one basket. It feels like music’s really the only thing keeping me on this planet a lot of the time. The more things you have that give you purpose the better.

I can definitely relate for sure. I know a few things that keep me here but not much. I’m sure others can as well. This is why we put so much love and effort into this. One of my last questions for you was who are your top 5 personal favorite artists of all time?

Bon Iver is my favorite artist surprisingly. Wiz Khalifa is in there because ONIFC was the first rap album I really listened to and enjoyed, got me into hip hop. X and Peep, I’m sure that’s common for most in the scene but they really did make great fuckin’ music and influenced my music the most. 5th spot imma have to give to Fats’e. Thank you for the interview you asked awesome questions. Never been asked for an interview so you made my whole fuckin’ week when you DM’d me haha.

Bro that list is powerful, perfect choices. To be real I have a hilarious story for you, I found your video on Astari and I recognized you. I was like wait I think he follows me on Twitter. So I looked and you did so I had to get on that because that song hit me so hard. I love everything about it and that’s exactly why I wanted to get you on here. It’s our absolute pleasure and honor to be your first coverage seriously. Do you have any last shout outs or words of motivation before we sign off?

This scene is so tiny it’s such a small world. Man shoutout Elon Musk, that man going to be talked about in history books hundreds of years from now. Shoutout Big Mouth that’s what I’m watching right now and it’s got me dead. Shoutout Astari, shoutout ATM Krown; he’s an underground Detroit rapper, talented as fuck, he’s mixed the majority of my music at his studio in Detroit, definitely adds the sauce to my sound. My lil’ motivational speech is cliche but it’s so fucking true, achieve your dreams and fuck feeling pressured about going to school or getting that reliable but soul crushing desk job. My whole city was lowkey clowning me or refusing to acknowledge my music for the first year and a half but I’ve stuck with it and now it’s a good conversation starter and an achievable dream. Do what makes you happiest in life.

Bro stick to it and everyone here has your back 100%. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for you this year. You’ll never get hate or negativity like you do from your hometown, just let it fuel you. Thank you so much for taking your time out for this.

That’s facts. And you as well bro thank you for the opportunity much love, keep doin’ your mf thing too 2019 we go hard.

Absolutely King