What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is, T.Z. DUHH, an artist hailing from Chicago. T.Z. DUHH's style can be characterized as gritty and aspirational while maintaining an element of fantasy that captivates audiences. He is a seasoned artist with strong audio and visual content that make him standout from his peers. For example, his latest music video "Dedicated" boasts an ominous yet whimsical visual of the artist in alternate ritualistic settings. Watching and listening to T.Z. DUHH is definitely an other worldly experience. But enough from us! Let's hear from T.Z. DUHH.
Westleaf Staff: What's up? When did you start making music? You have a unique sound.
T.Z. DUHH: When I was 10 years old but, I didn't record my first song until I was 13 years old. Me and my cousin (MBM Stickshift) recorded our first song, "Pencil Maker" with Christopher Charles Smith aka Unykue (Unique) The Kid.
Westleaf Staff: How did your early life shape your interest in music?
T.Z. DUHH: I grew up in Chicago Heights, IL and was raised between there and Rogers Park , Chicago. My parents were divorced so I wen't back and forth often but my dad had custody of me. My home life was kind of chaotic, while I lived with my dad he never really stayed home at night. I started smoking weed at 13, sneaking out of the house at 14 or 15 years old running the streets with my cousin. Started gang bangin' and gettin into trouble. I was fascinated with gang culture since I was 12 or 11 and it isn't hard to get into when a lot of family members were into it too. Still, I was always on some different shit. I loved the streets, but I also liked all types of other stuff that wasn't street related. I always had an interesting balance of social circles and people in my life so I feel my upbringing provided me with a quality mentality.
Westleaf Staff: Who is your biggest musical influence?
T.Z. DUHH: Lil Wayne or Lupe Fiasco!
Westleaf Staff: What's been the defining moment in your music career so far?
T.Z. DUHH: The whole thing itself has been a journey. I have lost friends, made friends, fucked up love, relationships, and spent my last just to make music. I would say now more than ever has been important because I have grown so much and come so far. Even when I felt like giving up the whole experience drove me to go harder as an artist. I feel every stage had its own impact and importance that helped me become the artist I am today. Every successful moment and every unsuccessful moment, they all add to the learning experience.
Westleaf Staff: What makes you a unique artist?
My work ethic, my diversity, my sound, my drive. There are so many things I feel that separates me from other artists. Not that I feel better than anyone, I just feel I am myself and it allows me to make the art that makes me happy. I feel the key is to be happy. As artists we are the toughest on ourselves. I know a lot of people who are very critical of themselves and it makes them not drop their art. I am trying to create at least one or two songs for any and everyone. You might not like everything, but there will be at least some stuff you like.
Westleaf Staff: What does art mean to you?
T.Z. DUHH: A medium for one to express themselves or for the universe to express itself. It's low key masterful how the universe is designed, and the whole human experience, I feel is art. I have always been a fan of people who could draw. I know so many artist in my personal life in various forms and fashions. I collect art & I did photography for 5 years. I also love to cook which is one of my favorite art forms as well all the love and time people put into whatever it is they do that is art to me.
7. Describe music in three words.
My true passion.
About T.Z. DUHH
Chicago hip-hop artist T.Z. DUHH signed himself to himself and remains completely independent. Born, Willie B. Robinson III , known by his stage name, T.Z. DUHH . He is an American hip-hop artist, songwriter, & producer. Originally from Chicago Heights, IL, T.Z. DUHH made his way through the streets of Chicago creating a wave with his own new sound out of the windy city. Being around music at an early age, T.Z. started creating music on his own. As a product of his environment, he's created his own sound; a mix of trap and new age hip-hop. Self described as a psychedelic gangster; his sound connects with the streets but vibes through any galaxy.
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