Humble Hunger — An Interview with Tiyeam Xalei

Posted by Jonny Blackmon on

It’s an pleasure to have the opportunity to pick your brain Tiyeam! Could you please let us and the rest of the world know who you are? What happened in the past to make you who you are today?

I am Tiyeam Xalei. I’m from the Carolinas. Born in the north, raised in the south. My hometown is Pageland, SC. Something I’ve always remembered while growing up was seeing my family struggle, but at times it seemed like we had everything we needed. Even if we had to borrow water, food, clothes, etc. This place holds a lot of unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. Where gossip and rumors echo through the streets. It stifles the weak minded. I feel like growing up in the country is a different experience, an experience that influenced my music to this day. Giving me a different type of hunger. Everything was so far and few when it came to navigating to your destination, wherever you’re trying to make it to in this industry. My interest in music came from a place of expression. I felt I had something to say, something to contribute, I knew I could do it too. Growing up I was known as quiet and hardly spoke if I didn’t know you. I wanted to use my voice like a weapon, I wanted my own sound. First, I became obsessed with what I could do with words as I practiced my verses. Then, I needed a canvas (beats) buying beats was expensive and non-exclusive and left me feeling disconnected from the beat I had purchased. I wasn’t emotionally invested in the beat, I didn’t create it, so it was hard to feel as time went on. I needed to feel like it was designed FOR me and made with me in mind, so me learning to produce beats was a game changer. It’s my guitar and I’m the star of the sound. I look back at all the wrong directions I took trying to make it and realized those were my greatest lessons from getting scammed, lied to, personal relationships draining me, painful sacrifices, lost more money, lost time, lost jobs, broke after broke, starting over again, family and friends that reached out to say they’re going to help and ghost you right after. All the twist and turns to get me to an independent, self-made mindset. I’m so thankful for all the pain and people that came to destroy me. I got a chance to prove to me HOW strong I am. I’m better that ever. I feel like people think I’m bougie and stuck up, a jumped-up asshole. But I know my worth. I’m humble, but at the same time I speak my worth as I rise to catapult me to my destination. You’re becoming more and they see it as changing for the worst, but you’re manifesting the best version of you. Time Til Fruition.

Humble and hungry. That’s going to inspire a lot of people. What challenges have you had to overcome along your journey?

Learning how I was getting in my own way helped me to think with more detail. More in-depth thinking that allowed me breakdown a plan into small steps with potent results. I used to overwhelm myself with broad missions that left me out of pocket and still at square one. Had to make changes to carry the weight of my brand. No more looking for management early on. Wearing more hats was the only way. Rapper-writer and producer.

The music industry is a multi-dimensional space! It takes a multi-dimensional artist to truly make it happen! Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?

In my darkest hours it was my step by step plans that kept me looking forward, even when I was stuck. Circumstances were saying “NO,” but my plan said “YES” and here’s details to why. One of the MOST creative things I’ve learned was, it’s not how MUCH you have. It’s how you make the MOST of the little you have that defines the depth of your creativity. There is no light without darkness. If you’re afraid to go how can you glow? Tunnel view to the shine!

Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?

Success to me is generational wealth, financial freedom, creative control, building a legacy, shifting culture for the better, rising empires, enterprising. I don’t want to take any dreams with me to the grave.

What’s next for you?

Breaking the threshold of the industry, set up shop, and distribute the wave bringing more spotlight to the Carolinas!

Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?

@tiyeamx — Instagram

@Tiyeam Xalei — Facebook

Tiyeam Xalei — YouTube

Tiyeam Xalei — Spotify

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