I'm stoked to share this week's interview with pop hip-hop duo, Tru Fam. These two have perfected the Top 40 game and are on the verge of ubiquity, in my humble opinion. All of my pop promos and programmers, take note. You should be pushing and spinning their singles already. Enjoy the read, crank the tunes. x
Thanks so much for sitting down for the interview, guys. It’s a pleasure to converse with such a talented duo for a bit. I don't do enough pop pieces on here, so this is refreshing.
Sha - No problem thanks for having us!!!
I see New Jersey and New York represented on your sites, but which came first? Where were you two born, raised, and where are you living now?
Sha - We were born and raised in a city called Paterson which is in New Jersey. We still actually live there but we spend so much of our time in NYC, we had to claim it. That’s where all of the opportunities are and it’s the city that Never sleeps... I LOVE IT!!
When did you start performing? What was your first performance like?
Just I - We went to a performing arts High School for acting so we got use to being on stage. Our first performance was at Bloomfield College. We did really good might I add lol. It was a tough crowd though.
I understand you guys are twins. You guys have incredible chemistry on this record. Was it always an easy and comfortable collaboration, or was there some early competition in the household?
Sha - Hahaha were twins so it’s always competition for like anything and everything... No matter what though we always come to an agreement to make it work... So that’s the chemistry part. We both know hard work pays off so ,that’s something we definitely live by.
Where did the names Sha and Just I come from?
Sha - Sha & Just I are actually just parts of our names. Pretty much kept it like that... Plain and simple!!
Do you come from a musical family? How were your musical aspirations embraced growing up? Did you have a lot of support from family and friends?
Justi - Nobody in our family pursued music professionally but they would play different types of music . We liked different type of music we were big fans of Bad Boy music!! YES our family gave us their full support. Our mother taught us the business so we studied this music game...
Let’s talk about the record. It sounds fantastic. I mean, really top notch mixing quality on each song. Who produced it and where was it recorded?
Sha - Thanks a lot w e worked really hard on Bowties & Applause. We were with many producers. We reached out to Teddy Roxpin who works with Mac Miller - also Kacey Khaliel and other independent producers who have that pop sound. We record at a studio near us in Jersey and make adjustments to the records, then send it out to our engineer in NYC who did a wonderful job, seeing our vision.
Tru Fam - "Rebound" featuring Body Electric
I can’t stop listening to “Rebound” – and I have a feeling my readers won’t be able to either. It’s got a ridiculous hook and infectious flow. How did this one come about? And who is Body Electric, which guests on the track?
Justi - I’m glad you enjoyed “Rebound!” That came together from us touring with Body Electric on The Vans Warped Tour last year. I give credit to when its due man those guys came up with that brilliant hook. We all were in the Poconos recording that record together we actually knocked it out it one day…
Has the song gotten any airplay or spins in the clubs? I think it has the potential to be a huge summer smash. How are you pushing it?
Sha - We are working on getting it spins right now. The "DenimCashmere" record has gotten plenty of spins. It’s all about just getting the right team and getting the radio programmers and DJ’s behind you. So I’m pretty confident in that.
Tru Fam - "All We Need" featuring Dinner and a Suit
“All We Need” is another banger. I love the hope and optimism behind this track. How did you write this one and where did the message stem from?
Sha - All We need is just one of those positive vibe records. We all have been thru relationships and at some point no matter how tough it gets ,it comes down to love..All we need is a feel of that .
Justi - The group Dinner and a Suit are a group from Jersey. They actually live in Nashville now. We heard one of their tracks and hit them online to do a record together and the rest is history lol...
You guys seem to have pop-infused hip hop on lock. Who are your biggest influences in music, past and present?
Sha - Pop Hip hop is definitely the love of my life .I love to have a good time and just enjoy life... Artists like Kanye West, B.O.B, Black Eyed Peas are a few influences. Love to make people feel good that’s what music should be all about.
What was played around the neighborhood growing up? And what would we find in your music library now?
Justi - Around our neighborhood growing up you had everything man. It went from Bad Boy records playing to Nysnc, to DMX, to Nelly. Lol anything that was hot at that time was played. In my ipod I’m so random I like pop groups like The Wanted, One Direction, then I might throw on some Kanye West and Rihanna. I love pop music man it make s me feel good…
Is there any type of music the readers would be shocked to hear come up on random in your music player?
Sha - Readers might be shocked but they shouldn’t ..I’m not going to lie I have some N’Sync songs in my ipod lol and the new hit “What MakesYou Beautiful” by One Direction… It’s great music.
Thus far, how have you been building your fanbase and getting the record out to fresh ears?
Justi - We toured so we gained new fans, were all over social media such as FB, Twitter, YouTube. We also have been featured in over 100 music blogs, radio interviews and magazines.
Have you been performing in and around New York City? If so, where?
Sha - We have performed at Webster Hall Studio and all of the lounges uptown,and downtown. Lately we have been doing shows in upstate NY. We travel a lot so it’s all fun.
It’s a different world these days and artists have to do nearly all of the hard work before even getting acknowledged in this game. What sort of, if any, response have you been getting from music industry insiders?
Justi - The industry is really taking notice of us. They see our hard work and dedication from our music, to our social media pages we are creative .We come up with new ideas and we think out the box .
It’s now more important than ever to have a loyal and hardworking family if you want to build a strong brand. Your art is now a small business and needs to be treated as such. What sort of team have you built up around Tru Fam? Promotion, management, booking, etc?
Sha - Our team is really strong. We are really big on branding an ULTRA Team. That’s our Number 1 goal. We have some of the best people giving advice right now and help making the best career decision .Our mom is also a support so that always helps .
Here at PUMP Merch, we’ve seen a massive explosion in creative merchandise options for fans. Obviously, with record sales dwindling in many areas of music, artists are supplementing that lost income with apparel and other promotional products. What are you guys offering your fans and why?
Justi - Lol well we will be putting out new merchandise with your company right. We have stickers and we have t-shirts called ULTRA. Those are for our fans that stand by us. ULTRA means being great being different and doing the unexpected.
You seem to have a solid internet presence. How do you approach potential fans on Facebook and Twitter? And how do you interact with existing fans?
Sha - Yes definitely... Twitter and Facebook are a must. Anytime someone hits us up ,we will respond .I’m on twitter and facebook daily. Engage and interact with your fans. They’re the most important people. Without them your no one.
Justi - To be honest we are just thankful for each fan we get our any body who supports Trufam. We comment and talk back to our fans because we know if it wasn’t for them it would not be any Trufam. Showing appreciation comes along way.
What’s up next for Tru Fam? Gigs, parties, releases?
Sha - Well we actually are getting back in the studio to make some more ULTRA Music. We also have a cartoon series called Cool Kidz that we are releasing as well. Now also we are big in the youtube world and we also have our own Interview Segment where we interview celebrities or up coming music artists. That’s going really well so we are excited and always busy .
Thank you so much for taking time out to sit down with PUMP Sessions. Can’t wait to catch the next local gig and we hope that we have helped spread the Tru Fam gospel. I see big things and wish you nothing but the best.