After a brief hiatus from music, Philadelphia native, Katrel Kelly aka Trel Mack is making his return to the music industry, gearing up to release his latest project titled Inspired By Greatness. The release of his first single, Dreams Of A Winner, produced by Tony Sway, shows a side of Trel Mack that was missing before, the man behind the music. Dealing with personal life experiences, along with a few setbacks, Trel has a lot to draw from for his new release.
With the success of Mack Of The Year and The New Dynasty under his belt, along with his own independent label Street Knowledge Entertainment, fans are anxiously awaiting more content from Trel Mack, and it seems as if they will finally get it.
At what age did you discover your love for music and how did you get started in the business?
I’ve had a love for music since I was a kid, I believe everyone discovers their love for music at an early age even if they never grow up actually making music. Now, the age that I actually discovered I wanted to rap was around thirteen or fourteen, but it was more like a hobby then. I was about seventeen or eighteen when I was sure about turning music into a career. My first attempt at getting involved with the music business was when I completed my first project Mack Of The Year and then I started Street Knowledge Entertainment with my partner Q The Question.
How would you describe your sound to someone who is hearing impaired?
I think my music is both inspirational and soulful. I try to make music that everyone can enjoy. I am very versatile when it comes to music, I try to always go left field and create a brand new body of listeners. If someone could not hear but they were still able to read, I know my lyrics would be able to reach that person in a way that they could relate to.
It’s unusual for artist these days to stray away from talking about the usual sex, drugs and money...do you find it harder for you to get ahead since you’ve taken a different approach to your craft?
I believe there is really no excuse to not be able to get ahead in music no matter what an artist is talking about. Even though sex, drugs and money is the topic floating across the airwaves, there are still enough people in the world for everyone to gain some type of audience. I try my best to stay true to myself; I speak on things that I have actually experienced.
Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
Right now, I am my biggest musical influence. I believe I am now coming into my own at this point in my musical career and many of my fans see that. The more I create, the more I am influenced by Trel Mack to make even greater material. In the past I was influence by other established artist in the game, but you have to start somewhere. All upcoming recording artists should start becoming more influenced by their own art.
Are there any artists you would compare yourself to or that anyone has compared to you previously?
I wouldn’t compare myself to anyone, but I did have someone compare me to J. Cole recently. A few people I know thought I had made it big when they heard the radio, just to find out it was J. Cole. I can’t really see the similarities. I like J. Cole though, I think he is a dope artist and he will be around for a long time. I can honestly take that as a compliment.
Tell us about Street Knowledge Entertainment, are there any other artists coming out of it?
Street Knowledge Entertainment is a label that was established in 2006 by myself and my partner Quinton "Q The Question" Hatfield. We both had dreams and saw the vision. Just recently we started SKE Records, which is a music entity under Street Knowledge Entertainment. SKE Records will be the driving force for everything we put out as far as music is concerned. Later we plan to branch out to other forms of entertainment. My new project Inspired By Greatness will be released under the brand. Next we will release something from Shaun ChrisJohn under the label as well as Nydy Newsense when he is ready. We are a family, and we try to take care of each other as much as we can.
You recently released your new single, Dreams Of A Winner, how receptive were people to your comeback?
Yes, Dreams Of A Winner, featuring Shaun ChrisJohn and produced by Tony Sway, is out now on iTunes and Amazon. Go and cop that… show us some love because we are next. To answer your question about the comeback…family, fans and friends are excited to see me back in action with this music. They know I love to do it and really want to see me grow in this industry. I took a small break from music to deal with life, but I am back and happy that fans are still around to hold me down. Shout out to my team for sticking beside be and a big shout out to everyone who purchased the single my appreciation goes out to you all.
Do you feel like your music and/or style has matured during your hiatus?
I feel like I have grown during my hiatus. I was able to experience more, which gave me more to express to the listeners. I remember when releasing the Mack Of The Year and The New Dynasty critics use to say, the music was good but no one really knew who Trel Mack was, meaning no one knew my story. The hiatus really has done me some justice. Most people comeback not sounding as good as they did before, I am grateful that I was able to comeback with a strong presence and approach.
Who can we expect to see collaborations from on your new project Inspired By Greatness?
I have some great talent on this project. I have Shaun ChrisJohn, Kenji, Marvo, Stuxx and my boy Napalm.
What is the concept behind your new project Inspired By Greatness?
The EP is not so much of a concept project, however, songs like Dreams Of A Winner, Still Here, Where Do We Go?, and even the up-tempo record Who He Think He Is, are all records that carry some form of inspiration. Inspired By Greatness is a quote that I like to say often and it pretty much means to be inspired by anything that you see or feel is great whether it be a person, place or thing. Just make it in your plans to be great at anything you plan to do in life.
What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been in the music industry thus far?
Thus far, it will have to be my music sales. I am just realizing that my music can actually sell and people are willing to buy it if they like it. My previous projects were free, Mack Of The Year and The New Dynasty. To see my music sell is a wonderful accomplishment, and I promise to keep on accomplishing to make beautiful music.
What is your ultimate goal in the industry?
My ultimate goal in the music industry is to build my brand as a recording artist and build SKE into a world wide brand. Once you become a great brand that people love, there is no limit to what you can accomplish in the music industry.
Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Thank you for taking the time out to hear me out, If you haven’t heard Dreams Of A Winner visit www.trelmack.com or just simply search for it in Google, a handful of online magazines and blogs supported the record. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon and all other major music retailers. Be on the look out for the new EP, Inspired By Greatness, which will be released this summer.
Where can people find you online?
You can hit me up on Twitter @trelmack or on my official website www.trelmack.com. If you have Facebook, visit me at www.facebook.com/trelmack.
- By Tiffanie Wagner