Behind The Beat: FARRI

BYNarsimha Chintaluri7.0K Views
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FARRI is thinking about skipping prom so he can produce the soundtrack for it instead.

FARRI, born Terrius Robertson in Atlanta, Georgia, is in a transition phase of sorts. Until two days ago, he went by TofYoungGods. Mentored by Chris Fresh, the 808 Mafia affiliate behind Playboi Carti’s “What,” FARRI has been steadily learning the ropes and amassing a formidable unreleased catalogue with artists from Southside to Trill Sammy. Most recently, him and fellow Atlanta producer, Ricky Racks, cooked up a banger for Money Man and Offset. Even though his family currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina, the 18-year-old has regularly travels back and forth between across state borders since the age of 15 in order to build and maintain these crucial relationships. 

A junior at Blythewood High School, FARRI's got a lot of responsibilities to juggle and roles to fill. Last week, he spoke with HotNewHipHop for his first-ever interview. During the phone call, he painted himself as an easy-going but reserved introvert; he's a son, a student, and an artist. His favorite producers varied from Bangladesh and Pharrell Williams. During school hours, Terrius prefers to keep to himself, simply looking to end the day where he truly wants to be: the studio. He keeps his head down and has never sought attention, but with a hobby so heavily rooted in exposure, the spotlight occasionally finds him. However, he's quickly learned to adapt to the new dynamic, even offering his mentorship to curious underclassmen. “I have to tell em, 'It’s not that easy,' but I’m not a stuck up guy. I’m open for any conversation. When it comes to music, I’ll talk all day about it.”

Presented below is our conversation with the aspiring young producer.

HotNewHipHop: What’s good, man!

FARRI: Just in LA goin’ crazy right now. Actually ‘bout to hit the studio.

HNHH: Yeah, I saw that you were tweeting about being in LA. When’d you fly out?

FARRI: I left Friday - you know I’m in high school, right? So I left Friday...I usually head to the studio right after school. It’s a daily job man, 9-5.

HNHH: Do you ever want to just cut school and head to the studio?

FARRI: It be like that...I gotta make, like, a schedule of what fits and all that.

HNHH: That’s honestly going to help you out a lot down the line, learning how to juggle school and everything else.

FARRI: Exactly, bro.

HNHH: So how’d you initially get into producing?

FARRI: My dad used to DJ and my mom was part of a choir so I was always around music. I was thrilled about music, learning drums and stuff like that. My cousin had an old computer that had like FL Studio 8 or something like that and he just told me, “Learn how to make beats!” And I just kept learning from that day on.

HNHH: With your mom being in a choir, did you also learn how to sing or play any instruments?

FARRI: Nah, I was always around my cousins and them and they used to play piano. But I don’t even know how to play any instruments bro...The thing is, beats are, for me, like’s basic math.

HNHH: I had never thought of it like that but you’re right. Who did you learn this from? Because you’re making moves and you’re still in high school. Do you have a mentor?

FARRI: Really, I just grew up around Chris Fresh - I’m sure everybody knows Chris Fresh from 808 Mafia. That’s big bro. And Sizzle [Southside] mentors me a lot, too.

HNHH: How’d you run into them?

FARRI: Just in Atlanta bumping into people - being at the same spots and whatnot.

HNHH: Were you already making beats when you met those guys?

FARRI: Yeah I was, but it wasn’t fire like how it is know [Laughs]... I started making beats at like 13, in middle school. I met Fresh when I was like 15 at Atlantic Station with my parents and we walked around the city... I been known Fresh because we used to talk and stuff but after that we just made a bond. If you pay attention, “T of Young Gods” already comes from Chris Fresh and Southside’s brand - Young Gods. The T is just the first initial of my name.

HNHH: What are you working on in LA right now?

FARRI: Me and Trill Sammy are working together right now - that’s the bro. And I got some stuff with YSL Gunna - Thug’s [Young Thug] artist. Me and ‘Set [Offset] have been working like crazy, I got a couple more records in the vault with him.

HNHH: How do you go about establishing a solid, well-curated Soundcloud presence?

FARRI: You know, people like to steal beats all the time. So I’m more protective with my shit. I would just email them to people. And lot of people don’t know that, like, I might not have a lot of credits but I had credits back in the day with 600 Gang in Chicago. And I actually produced “What’s My Name” with Lil Yachty.

HNHH: Right, so you already had a portfolio to show people you were trying to network with.

FARRI: Yeah, and then it was about building the relationships.

HNHH: So what’s on the horizon? Because you’re just in high school. So, in some ways, you have to think about your future more than the average artist. Are you a senior?

FARRI: I’m in 11th grade, bro.

HNHH: Wow, exactly. You’re a junior! You still gotta take your SATs!

FARRI: [Laughs] I was looking into Morehouse too... but it’s all about what I’m doing right now. I’m just focusing on the music. It’s all about sacrificing, bro. I learned that at a young age. If you really wanna go for something, if you really wanna follow your dreams, you gotta sacrifice a couple things. And that’s how I really feel. I was hesitating too much back in the day. And now I just don’t even think about it. I just go for it - it can’t hurt anything.

HNHH: This career requires a lot of dedication. Even Metro Boomin dropped out eventually. But for now, you’re in the 11th grade... so how’s school?

FARRI: I’m one of those people that just doesn’t bother people. I’m low key and I feel like that’s the best way to be. People know how I am around the school because of what I do, but I’m just, like, so to myself that I don’t bother anybody.

HNHH: Do you play any sports?

FARRI: I can really play ball, but I was putting more effort into the music. It became a time thing.

HNHH: And what high school do you go to?

FARRI: Blythewood High School. I don’t put myself out there, especially around school, because then people will go out of character. They see me and try to take a little Snapchat... it’s funny.

HNHH: Do you at least keep a small circle of friends?

FARRI: I don’t really have that many friends that are completely separate from the music shit. I just have a few friends that understand what’s going on and support it.

HNHH: That’s a great thing to have. It could get overwhelming if all those personal and professional relationships overlapped.

FARRI: Exactly. Because all my friends got their own dreams and are focusing on their own things, it gives me time to focus on my own dreams. And that’s a true friend, to be honest.

HNHH: Are your parents excited that you’re a producer, since they both have their own experience with music?

FARRI: You could say that, but my dad’s a little more protective about who I be around. You know how parents be, bro.

HNHH: Are they fans of rap music?

FARRI: My dad was a fan of Outkast, so I was always around that music. My mom is into it, but not like me and my dad are. She just goes with the flow. She always tells me, “Makes sure education comes first,” but she understands what’s really going on and what I want to pursue in life. And that’s all I really need - her support. And she supports it. A lot of parents force their kids to be something that they’re not. You just gotta go out there and live and be your own self. My mom was like, “Do you want to be a doctor or a lawyer?” And I said I just wanted to be a music producer, and she understood and told me to go for it.

HNHH: That support is really crucial. The more people support you, the more you can actually focus on your craft and not be distracted by self-doubt or hesitation.

FARRI: Yeah, you start to think, “Is this really going to work or not?”

HNHH: It’s great that you have mentors you can speak to that will help you navigate the game.

FARRI: Yeah. I I’m with Fresh all the time. That’s more than my mentor, that’s my big brother. We were in the studio all last summer. We have a song on his tape, Fresh 5, called “Squad Up.”

HNHH: Who are your favorite rappers right now?

FARRI: Uzi [Lil Uzi Vert] got my attention with that "XO Tour Llif3." TM [TM88] fuckin’ went crazy. You know TM has that melodic sound so you know it’s gon’ be fire.

HNHH: Have you ever sat down with him?

FARRI: Nah, but I really do want to work with him in the future. Everything's gonna come in place at the right time. I also fuck with Carti [Playboi Carti]. Like, all the young guys - everyone I think is being overlooked. Carti got looked over the most. I’m really on the Migos too, they come first - I listen to them everyday. Landstrip Chip! You gotta listen to his music - he’s from Atlanta also. And Sizzle - Sizzle’s goin’ crazy on the rap shit!

HNHH: Who did you listen to growing up?

FARRI: I grew up on Lil Jon, Pharrell, Outkast, Nelly. I stayed very in the South. I really try to stay to my region, bring it back to the South.

HNHH: What's your message to aspiring producers?

FARRI: Don’t hesitate. Just keep going. Even if you don't think it's going to work, just keep going. Because just 3-4 years ago, I didn’t know I’d be here. Keep up consistency and keep God first. And you gotta have a passion for the music.

HNHH: Are you going to prom?

FARRI: Man, I think I gotta sacrifice that. And I don’t even really like prom... I just feel like it’s a waste of time.


Behind The Beat: FARRI
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