An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews (1-9)
In today’s highlight, we turn our attention to Tramayne Watson aka I.Am.Tru.Starr, a talented lyricist and musician forging his own path in the music industry and leaving positive impressions on his community. With a powerful, soulful, jazzy conscious sound, I.Am.Tru.Starr proves he’s someone to keep an eye out for!
I asked I.Am.Tru.Starr a series of questions. Here is what we discussed.
Q.Tell us a little about yourself, where your from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.
A. I’m from Rochester, NY born and raised. Grew up on the east side and west side of the city. I love my hometown. That place made me strong and forced me to remain focused. Because the consequences of being unfocused can be so grave and you are reminded of just how grave they can be everyday in that city. It’s a tough place butI graduated from from Franklin and went to MCC but got kicked out in my second semester lol. Education is the key but school is Lowkey a waste of time for some people.
Q. What inspired you to be an artist/entertainer? Early experiences worth sharing?
I used to go to this church with my parents when I was little,… Zion Hill Missionary baptist church. And they had the craziest choir and church band. Literally the baddest musicians and singers in the whole city was in this choir yo and I used to see them go off every Sunday as a kid. They was tight. That’s probably one of my earliest experiences that made me wanna do music because I would get to witness the power of music first hand. The choir would sing and I would see people cry. The band would play and I would see people dance, shout and run around. I know they say it was the “holy spirit” but I think it was the music. “Mama I wanna do that!”
Q. Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
A.Everyday I wake up is triumph. The the gift of life that God allows us to enjoy on a daily basis. Going thru life in such a cruel dirty world and trying ya best to come out clean ya know?… Yeah everyday is a triumph for real.
Q.What do you believe sets you apart from other artists/entertainers?
A. I never really like to look at it like that ya know?… as far as what sets me a part from other artists because I feel like we are all fighting the same fight. Pushing art and culture forward. Or at least we should be. But I also understand we all bring different weapons to the fight. My weapon is soul. It’s funk, it’s hiphop, it’s gospel all wrapped up, dripping in truth. It’s the Sunday’s at Zion hill, it’s my upstate upbringing. My grit. That’s What sets me a part I guess. But I’m fighting the fight along with every other artist out there. Here to serve and do my part.
Q. Do you have other interests or hobbies?
A. TBH honest all I ever wanted to do was music. I used to have hoop dreams. And I like to box too but I honestly stay pretty consumed with the music. Whether I’m writing it for me or someone else. Performing or recording it. Or just listening to it. Staying up on new sounds and vibes out there. There are so many dope and amazing artists out and I enjoy digging and discovering new music or even finding rare old vibes that I’ve never heard. I live for this thing.
Q. Any projects you have out or currently working on?
A. Currently and always working on new music. Been getting into film lately and gonna start working on a series of short films as well. Also we have our 3rd Annual Rage.The.Stage Festival coming up this year at the end of the summer. Some of the dopest artists, and bands on the national indie scene all sharing the stage with each other in the name of art and the love of creativity and the free expression of it.
Q. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
A. Balling tf outta control lol!! Nah but I hope to create a platform where other creatives can help other creatives bring their dreams to fruition. I envision a world where art is utilized not only by the artist but also thru the masses as a means to help each other feel, live and be better. Art in general, music to be specific, is a universal language that can be understood and shared by all. It connects our souls to one another. When you get to the root of it art and music are one of the creature comforts that make living in such a cruel world a little and a lotta (lol) better. So for the next 5 years, and then 5 years after that, and then 5 more years after that!, I’ll be working and striving towards that.
Q. What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers?
A. My only advice would be to never take advice.
Q. How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
A. Yall definitely need to Follow me on Instagram @IamTruStarr I also host exclusive content via my website iamtrustarr.com and stream my music at Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal etc,…