In this installment of Our Stories, upcoming artiste, Trey Mallee shares how his mother indirectly encouraged him to become an artiste. For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
Meet Trey Mallee, recording artiste
From as far back as he can remember, music was a natural part of his upbringing. Trey Mallee whose given name is Khamal Brown said he would listen to music, sing, deejay and create rhymes as he completed his household chores, a habit he adopted from his mother. Today, he is proud to be identified as a recording artiste, even though, his mother is yet to discover his new career.
1. So you love music; when did you realise that you wanted to become a recording artiste?
From a young age, I think about at nine or ten years old, I realise that I had the talent to be a recording artiste. I realised that my style was very different from others. The way I put my sentences neatly together and the way I use metaphors and similes. I realised that if I continued using my talent that it would take me places as there are a lot of artiste that cannot put a simple sentence together.
2. Tell me what inspired you to go by the stage name, Trey Mallee?
Well, Trey is my middle name. As for Mallee; I grow hearing my mom calling me that name so I put the two together and ended up with Trey Mallee.
3. You just mentioned your mother. Is she supportive of your music career?
Well… not really. She does not know that I am recording music. She will know about it soon but she knows that I’m musically-gifted. She even helped me to discover my talent in the first place. I grew up in a house where music was always playing and she also sings so she motivated and pushed me to sing (indirectly). When I started singing she heard me and said that it wouldn’t be long before I started deejaying.
4. When your mother finds out that you are recording music, how do you think she will react?
Well, I don’t know how she is going to react but I know that she is not going to react in a bad way because she knows that music has always been my thing for a long time. She knows that I would record music but her reaction wouldn’t be bad. She might be surprised a little and that’s all.
5. What about your other family members and your friends, do they feel the same?
No, they support me 100 percent. They do everything to get me to do my music.
6. Who inspires you and your music?
The society inspires me. The things I see happening around me. Cash. I put into my music, my experience.
7. What are some challenges you face as a recording artiste?
When it comes to music, I do not have any. It comes to me naturally. It comes to me naturally from God and my mother. My mother used to sing in a group when she was young so maybe I got it from her.
8. Please tell me one personal experience you have written about?
Well, one of my experiences that (I share in) my music is patience. In my song, Me. Myself and I, the first verse talks about how you have to be patient and also have to be strong, no matter the wait. So I continue pushing and never give up even though it seems like sometimes, nothing is going on…Just have patience and have faith.
9. Are any of your family members pursuing a music career?
I have a cousin overseas, in Connecticut. He’s a rapper and he’s doing his thing.
10. So which is your favourite genre of music?
Well Dancehall, of course, Reggae and Hip Pop. They are my favourite because I was growing up listening to them. These genres were the ones most frequently played in the house I was brought up in.
11. Is there a particular artiste you look up to in the industry?
I don’t really have anyone in the industry that I look up to but I have a lot of respect for each and every one of them. I have a lot of respect for people like Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks and Sizzla, just to name a few. Well, I respect Bounty Killer because he has given back to the country and to communities and has helped many upcoming artistes. I also respect that they have paved the way for many young artistes in the industry.
12. What impact do you want your music to have on people listening to it?
I want there to be change. I want them to be happy and enjoy themselves without stress because that is what music is supposed to do to people and their lives.
13. How did you come up with the song, Me, Myself and I?
Well, I came up with the song based on my personal struggles in life. I was also on YouTube one day and I found a song also called Me, Myself and I. I really liked the song so I downloaded the instrumentals and that helped me with my song, Me, Myself and I. I feel that I should sing about those things and if you listen to the words, I talk about not being able to trust people who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
14. What plans do you have for your music career in 2018?
I plan to be making more music and to go into the studio more.
15. What is your advice to persons considering the same path as you?
I would tell them to write songs that people can relate to; not just about the bad things but also the good.
Thank you for sharing your story Trey Mallee!