You recently signed to Jive after meeting up with their A&R Memphitz. How have things been going for you since signing the deal?
It’s crazy, man. I’m just living the dream. It’s a blessing. Six months ago I was just a senior in high school. It’s like an overnight celebrity. It’s crazy.
What does your name Trai’D mean?
“Trai’D” basically comes from the word “Traidmark”, which is also my name. My album is Traidmark. I’m basically saying that I represent my city, my state, my people and my label to the fullest. That’s how you get the Traidmark variation.
There’s a ton of new rappers getting signed and trying to get signed. Why should fans check for you?
Man, because I’m fresh. It’s something new. Basically my sound…I grew up on rap music but I didn’t listen to a lot of rap music, basically. I stuck to my own. I made a lot of my own rap music. I know the game has changed. Nowadays you have to bring the hits. They want you to sell ringtones. You have to have hit after hit. That’s what it is on my CD. You have to be checking for it. The album is going to be fire. They’re not going to have no choice. They’re not going to be afraid to get away from it. Watch.
A lot of artists have different definitions of a hit record. What’s yours?
A hit record gotta be commercial. Everybody gotta feel it. It gotta be ringtone heavy. You gotta be able to sell ringtones in the game. What I say by “hits,” of course everything on my album ain’t gonna sound the same. If you heard “Gutta Chick” you would question if I was a lyrical rapper. You’re going to see what I’m saying. I’m very versatile. The CD, you can pop in and play from track one to the end.
Do you want to be considered a lyrical rapper?
I mean, of course. A lot of these rappers nowadays are just entertainers. But to be a rapper you have to be a lyricist but there’s a point where when it comes to records you just have to be real so people fee lit. On “Gutta Chick” I didn’t say nothing crazy but I kept it so real that so many people feel that record. There’s a lot of ways you can come at a record when you’re writing a record. It just depends on how many people you can get to feel it. I believe music is something that should be felt.
Are you surprised that “Gutta Chick” is getting as many spins as it is down South?
To tell you the truth I am. I never thought that record would be that big. I recorded it in my bedroom just one summer morning. I wrote it but I knew it was a banger. The first time I took it to my DJ…My DJ is Lil’ Lix. I took it to him and he popped it in for the first time and he said every DJ in the world would want to spin that. The girls just started fighting. It just started going crazy. It started two fights. It was interesting, man. Everybody knew I had something special on my hands. I didn’t know how big it would be. It’s surprising, especially with where I am today with that one record.
You linked up with Memphitz over at Jive because of the song. How did that happen?
It was on my MySpace and it caught the attention. I brought it to a couple of different people at different times. Memph knew when he heard it that it was something special. When it comes to these labels, if they want you they’re going to get you. I was missing school. One day I’m in school and the next day I’m in New York performing for the whole Jive family. I jumped on their table and gave it all I got. I gave it 150% and I walked away signing a deal.
Was it difficult finishing school after signing your deal?
There was a point where they were pulling me out of school so much but really, I’m a problem. I’ve been a problem. My grades have always been good, man. Most rappers, you gotta be smart. You gotta know how to market yourself and it’s a business. You can’t just be one of these people out here not knowing what you’re doing. You have to be smart to be out here. Most people think rappers are afraid of knowledge but I’m not afraid of knowledge. Eventually I’m going to go to college after this year. I’m just looking forward to my life. I’m blessed.
What challenges do you face coming out of Dallas?
It’s crazy. I don’t feel like there’s somebody that’s just come out of Dallas in a major way and just put us on the map. So being able to be in a position that I’m in is crazy. It’s like a dream come true. I never thought it could be me. I was at Summer Jam this past year and I’m exchanging numbers with Tuck and they want to work with me. They don’t understand that I grew up on their music. I’m not bigheaded and I stay humble and I stay hungry. I’m in the studio every day and I’m working. I definitely have a good chance to put Dallas on the map officially and in a major way. And that’s why I gotta give it all I got. I only get one shot at the title so you can guarantee that I’m going to bring everything I got to the table.
How is your debut album Traidmark coming?
It’s fire, man. I’m telling you, it’s fire. You gotta get it, man. We just shot the video for “Gutta Chick”. It’s crazy. We’re about to leak that. It takes about three weeks to get into BET’s system. You can check it out on the ‘net. We got the ringtones. And the album is coming along great. I already got more than enough tracks to put on a CD but the major wants you to overkill and they want you to put out the best. We’re working on getting Wayne on there. We got features from Lloyd and Trey Songz. It’s definitely going to be a heavy hit now. It’s crazy.
What are your goals for the album?
We’re looking at September right now. There hasn’t been an official date set. I will keep the world posted on that. You guys will know when we do have a date set and when it is about to drop. Y’all stay tuned. We’ll keep the people tuned into it and I put all my updates on my MySpace every day. I’m on there all day. It is what it is.
What’s the next move for Trai’D?
The next move is an album wrapped up and ready. I got a Midwest promo tour. We’re going to do the Midwest heavy. The video is the next thing. We have to get the image out there and let the video on BET grow. The number one concern right now is to get the album done so I can sleep! (laughs) Every day all day I’m grinding. You can just expect big things in 2008 from Hitz Committee and the whole camp. It is what it is.