Photo By Kyran Nerland
An Interview With The Superstar In The Making

In the current music landscape – an industry now saturated in the niche functions of the Web – the act of “making it” through your own means with your own people is more plausible than ever. In essence, this means anyone with the right amount of talent and the work ethic to back it up can feasibly make their dreams a reality — solely due to living in this age so dominated by the Internet. 

Noticing and following in the path of such acts who have capitalized on this fact in recent years, rising star Troi Blank essentially embodies what it means to be in a place where these acts were all sitting at one point — on the fringes of breaking through. 

He and the rest of his substantially large collective Raised By The Internet have been making unmistakable waves in the alternative scene within the past year, which have since resulted in the group as a whole receiving elevated exposure and a spike in prominence as a whole. Out of all the members in the group, however, Troi himself has arguably seen his solo work as the centerpiece and catalyst behind what makes the group worth looking out for in the years to come.

He graciously sat down with us to discuss this fact and so much more about who he is as an individual artist, and how he plans on moving even further past the lofty heights set throughout this year. 

Describe your perspective on what has led up to your current place within the music scene?

I’m part of a DIY collective called Raised By The Internet. I’ve been making music since like I was about 11, but more seriously around when I turned 15. I put out a few songs back in like 2017 that people seemed to thoroughly enjoy and that is what got people talking about me. I’m not really a fan of my old shit hence why some of it is deleted. I just knew that sound wasn’t fully me and I wanted the world to hear the true me. So after releasing some songs in late 2017 and one in May 2018 I took a long break from putting out music. I started making music again late summer of 2018 and that ended up being the early beginning of my debut project I’ve been working for over a year now.  

One of the biggest stand-out aspects of your music is your pure confidence on any and every track. What can you say about that?

I’m just self confident in my abilities and what I can do. You have to believe in yourself as a person before other people believe in you. There’s a fine line between having self confidence and just being a dickhead, though. Thankfully I was raised right and have a great friend/support system to ground me. A lot of that confidence though is just what I feel I was born with, it’s something you can’t teach.

How does being an equal, yet small part of such a huge and family-like collective influence your work?

Being part of the collective has transformed my life in many ways. Those 9 other guys are my brothers and I will always hold them close to my heart. Everyone in the collective understands though at the end of the day their actions or work is a reflection of the group. That alone influences me a ton; I know whatever I do reflects onto others whether (it is) good or bad. Creatively, the group has influenced me to always strive for greatness and to be top at everything you do. Everyone in the collective is a perfectionist and a hard-worker which makes me always go the extra mile. We often bounce ideas off each other to see what hits and what doesn’t. The whole collective is just a hive mind basically.

Even though you are such an important part of what makes your collective work as it is, how strong your sense of individuality?

I’m a very independent person which doesn’t make it hard for me to have a sense of individuality. I’m a free and limitless thinker that always tries to reach for the stars. I like to think anything is possible and you’re the one who controls what you do with your life. I also know that I’m not always in agreeance with everyone and I’m not afraid to be on my own wavelength if others aren’t hip to what I’m trying to convey. 

Photo By Leo Fernandez

Would you say that you are trying to fill any sort of niche position in the music landscape today?

Nah. I’m trying to forge my own path and create a new community for these kids. I do believe that there are niche markets that already accept me and I’m part of, but I am truly trying to start my own shit. I think that’s the beauty about the artists’ in RBTI; we’re all hybrids of different shit. There’s so many different sides to me and shit I’m interested in to sit down and try to figure out what my target audience is. I just create and go. 

How do you feel your music should resonate with your audience? What kinds of interpretations do you think they have made or should be making? 

I want people to hear my story. That’s the most important part man, the WORDS! I’ve been going through a lot and it shines so much on the new record. I want people to hear the pain and struggle in my voice. I want people to read my lyrics and really read what I’m saying. My shit isn’t super complicated or metaphorical, it’s hella straightforward and to the point. A lot of it is on personal issues I’m dealing with or experiences I’ve gone through. All of it feels like a cleansing of my soul. The sincerity in the stories is what I want people to gravitate towards always, but if some people just fuck with me because my beats — that shit is fine too. As long as the music makes you feel a certain way that makes you relook at things then I’ll be happy.

How do you feel about the current state of the music industry and the legacy that it has now established as we close out this decade?

I feel like the current place in the music industry has never been better. There are kids that are getting deals from memes or dumbass shit that they decided to post on the Internet. Whether that shit is trash or not, bro is still getting his check to feed himself and his family. And at the end of the day, how can you hate on that? I think there needs to be a higher demand for more well thought out and executed ideas. A lot of the times artists’ work is the last thing that is regarded when trying to “make it”. Everyone’s concerned about going viral.

How do you, as an individual artist, plan on setting that bar as we move into 2020?

I plan on making my mark on this new decade by releasing the music I’ve been holding on to for a minute and putting people onto the new sound for the kids to eat up for ages. I also believe that I will showcase work that people will connect to and be spread like wildfire. Life is so unpredictable that I couldn’t exactly tell you how I’m going to affect a whole ass decade. Best believe though I will be one of the leaders for this new generation and I’ll always share the raw truth of my life with the people.

Troi has two potential singles on the horizon to close out 2019, with a debut project planned for early 2020. It is safe to say that regardless of how much we see or hear from him in the coming months, whatever does see the light of day will exude every measure of confidence, passion, and talent that he holds so tightly at this very moment. Sooner or later, those aspects will indeed be the bricks that complete his undeniable road to success.