Monday, 17 June 2024

Protean Artist Trad Uses Music as a Medium to Explore Emotions and Identity [Exclusive Interview]

For many, music is a form of therapy. A medium to work through feelings, to unpack and unwind. This especially rings true for Nigerian artist, Trad. Placing his foundation in the culture of Afrobeats, Trad has utilised the creative process of making music to explore his emotions and personality.

Ken-Adele Victory, known professionally as Trad, is gaining recognition in the music industry with his distinct blend of RnB, Afrobeats, and Pop. Born on December 9, 2000, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Trad has become a fast-rising independent artist, songwriter, and record producer.

Trad’s musical journey started off early. At the age of 11, inspired by his older brother to begin playing the drums, his passion for rhythm had begun. Soon after, he expanded this passion to other instruments, including the piano and guitar. By age 16, he had ventured into music production, giving rise to his first record,  Rain or Shine.

Since then, Trad has written and produced several songs that have proven to be revelations of his ever-evolving sound, including  All Night (2020),  Out My Mind (2021),  Running Back (2023) and his most recent single,  Do You Wrong.

Trad’s voyage from a young inspired drummer to a multifarious artist is full of passion, devotion, and unstoppable ambition. As he continues experimenting with creative possibilities and pushing boundaries, Trad is definitely an artist on his road to fame.


Looking back into your origins, what are some of the things from your childhood that have contributed to forging you into the person you are today?

The major thing, I’d say, is the family I was brought up in. My spiritual upbringing and shared musical experiences with some of my family members built me up in strength and determination to explore my musical abilities.

In your terms, what is music to you?

Music to me is a journal for unpacking my thoughts. It’s like sitting to have a deep talk with someone and feeling better afterwards. Except this time, there’s no one there, just the mic.

What would you classify your music genre as, and why?

There’s no consistent way to put it, it’s a blend of different influences. Afrobeat, RnB, Pop, Soul, sometimes I trap but no one’s heard that (yet). Every time in the studio is a chance to make something different, but I am proud of the culture of Afrobeats as it forms my musical roots.


What’s the best part of making music? 

It’s that magical feeling of bringing something to life out of nothing. The process of making music is like a rollercoaster of emotions because there’s still so much uncertainty until you’re finished. But when you’re done, it feels like you’ve just given birth to a beautiful sight.

What challenges have you faced since you started music, especially in the industry, and what do you want to do differently?

One challenge was navigating the industreets in other states. I started making music in my hometown, Port Harcourt, and then in Benin city when I was schooling. The industry settlement over there is not as large and sustainable when compared to Lagos, despite the huge talent base there. In time, I would love to be at the forefront of expanding the industry settlement in my city.

Let’s talk about your creative process. What’s a typical one like for you?

Being a producer makes my process take different turns. Sometimes, I start off a song by making a beat, catching a vibe and recording. Sometimes not. I like to take out time to write compared to the number of times I record freestyle. That helps me articulate my thoughts better.

Also, can you break down the influences and creative process behind your latest track?

Have you ever just woken up and felt, ‘Man, I’m awesome. My life is great, and I thank God for that.’ I took that feeling to create Do You Wrong. Also, being the kind of person who likes to stay indoors a lot, I just mixed that personality into the song. When you listen you get to know who I am, or at least a bit of it. From the writing to the production and mix, I was just exploring my own little space.

What’s your goal for any music you make? And do you think your latest track is doing justice?

I make music I want people to sincerely enjoy and associate with, and I believe Do You Wrong is doing just that. Also, it’s like an invitation into my world, listen to me and you’re drawn close with curiosity. Those who could possibly relate with me, are my people.


What should we expect from you moving forward?

A whole lot of music, most definitely. But also, you know, watch out for the rise of Trad.

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