Intuitive melody maker, BL$$D [Tariq Sharrieff ] recently produced a single called ROLEX for YouTube sensations, Ayo & Teo. The flaming track deployed itself on NBA LIVE 2018.
Furthermore, BL$$D produced Say My Name by Lil Yachty. Both tracks hit the Billboard charts with a pungent trajectory, landing in the top 20 for placement.
BL$$D worked with other big-time artist with wowing catalogs, but he doesn’t talk that much about it. He also constructed Relationships for Young Thug, featuring Future. Suffice to say, that song made it to the Billboards as well.
But, what more would you expect? His innovative tunes push the envelope for Miami, Pop, and Trap melodies, so that the hybrid mix can coexist on the same track.
The Tampa, Florida native is dubbed as a canny motivational speaker because he packed gyms and sanctuaries from age 6 until hitting Jesuit High school, which BL$$D attributes many of his practical and spiritual teachings.
Yes, our young brotha is erudite beyond years.
The 21-year-old gives thanks and credit to God for his many blessings.
While he’s creating amplified hits, BL$$D recently skirted through the Queen City, and talked about his latest sounds and what it means to him that his music is drifting on the airwaves in the QC.
“It feels unreal. It’s everything that I always wanted. Charlotte is such a wonderful [and] beautiful city. I feel like there is so much creative energy here, and so many individuals who are incredibly talented. They just need their shot. Once they hear that story, it might inspire them to make some moves to where they can operate on a national scale [and] be seen by someone that’s outside the city. I feel like they’re going to have long prosperous [and] fruitful careers. I just want to be the guy that brings the best out of people. I just want to inspire everywhere I go.”
BL$$D insists on pouring out positive vibes instinctively. He doesn’t speak arrogantly, but more somberly and full of aspiration for the next potential artist or tastemaker to climb the proverbial charts of prominence. He knows all too well that you can be the best to ever do it in your city, but that doesn’t mean a thing unless your talents are seen and shared on a global level.
As for Bl$$D, he says that he wants to keep up the impetus.
“I just want to continue working with major artist by developing and building artist on an independent scale. Eventually, turning them into major artist. I’d like to build my personal brand and start a couple of non-profit endeavors, and just making the biggest difference that I can possibly make. Not only in the music but on the culture.”
Speaking of the culture, BL$$D dabbles in other categories as well.
“Basically, the genre that I’m calling A-Pop, ROLEX would be considered an A-Pop song. Relationships by Young Thug, would be an A-Pop song. Say My Name by Lil Yachty would be an A-Pop song. They’re all songs where the drums are urban drums, but melodically, it has the melodic structure of a Pop song. At the same time, it’s very relevant to current Pop culture. I want to make music that’s young and fun. It’s Pop music that you can hip them folks to, but at the same time it can be played in the elevator and not be thrown off. Outside of that, I aspire to continue growing on the Pop side of things. I’m big on the EDM, so I’ll be dropping some EDM releases. We’ll be going hard on my DJ’s. I’m in a Rock Band. I’m working with some Latin artist. I’m really trying to spread the sound throughout the entire world, to touch as many people as possible.”
With a large social following, BL$$D will probably do exactly what he said. He’s built an impressive platform, which takes a lot of marketing and promotions even for the millennial. So, how’d he get tech savvy so that followers actually listened to his muisc?
“Well, I got to give a lot of credit to my little brother, Teo,” said BL$$D.
“He has a lot of followers. He always shouts me out and tags me in post, and that’s directed a lot of traffic to my page. Shot out to Jazze [Phae]. Shot out to Kalumniate. A lot of these major social media influences, who make sure I get the visibility for people to go follow me. Really, shout out to everyone that has ever tagged me. You know who you are,” he finished.
You couldn’t take humility from BL$$D even if you tried. He finds total comfort in bigging the next artist up even when he could take all the credit for himself. He smiles in stark conditions and laughs with pure modesty. It’s genuine. He’s genuine.
BL$$D could get excited with just about anything because that’s his personality, however, when speaking about the most inspiring project that he’s worked on this year, BL$$D said, “The most inspiring project, I got to say, it’s been ROLEX. Blowing Ayo and Teo up into the mainstream. It was my first hit. That really allowed me to enter the game too. Before that I had never been able to see a record take off and go from zero to one-hundred, literally, overnight. Watching that happen, I just literally want to do it, over, and over, and over, and make it bigger and better.”
His biggest lesson from that immediate success is letting go and letting God lead.
“You can’t really get too worked up about the details. Just put your all into what you do and do the best job you possibly can. God will worry about the rest. Don’t get too caught up in the charts. Don’t get too caught up in the sales. At the end of the day, you’re here to create. The industry will make sure everything else happens. Just make the best music you can possibly make. Don’t worry about what’s going to do what. Just be creative and use your imagination.”
Ingenuity is priceless, which is why BL$$D is fluent in engineering as well as producing although he doesn’t like engineering very much.
“I’ve been producing for a very long time, and I’ve been engineering for about three or four years. I had a period where I was mostly an engineer and I wasn’t producing like that, but I knew that to get my music to sound that I want, and truly create the vision, and craft the sonics that I was looking for, I had to shadow under different engineers.
When I interned at Billboard studios, I would always sit underneath the engineers at their sessions, [and] watch what they do. They’d teach me tips and tricks, how to record people, and how to mix. I used to record artist… It’s crazy,” he laughed. “With the different ways people treat you. They treat the engineers in a completely different manner than they treat the producers. Sometimes, you got to go through that to really cherish being able to create and do what you love. I wouldn’t consider myself an engineer, but I’m definitely a producer that can engineer, and does not like to.”
Okay, so we gathered that BL$$D knew his stuff, which is why we asked about the recording tricks using the cellphone.
“If you’re on the iPhone, you need to keep that memo voice handy at all times. J [Hill] will tell you that just the other day we were kicking it, I got a melody and put it into my phone. That night I turned it into a crazy beat. I’ll be in a session with an artist or a writer and a lot of times they’ll be freestyling, and it’ll sound crazy, but no one is there to capture that moment. If you’re a producer, capture every moment. That’s our job. We’re here to take snapshots of that crazy freestyle, because that freestyle might end up turning into the number one record in the country. If you record everything, record all your ideas. You can always work with it in the future, so just keep it handy and keep it going.”
Since he’s always sharing a BL$$D word of encouragement, even in retrospect, we were delighted to know that this is just the way he is regardless of the fame.
“At the end of the day, I feel like this is a blessing and a gift. It’s not me that did all of this. I did it through God, or rather God did it through me as a vessel. What God giveth, He can also take away. I’ve seen a lot of people who might’ve been hot back in the day, fall off, and now they are wondering how to get back on after falling off. You got to realize that being in this industry is a privilege. You have to give thanks every, single, second. This is a dream job, to be able to create and enhance people’s lives in a positive way of living, and get paid for it. That’s everything that I’ve always wanted to do, so I could never take it for granted. Every time God blesses me with a record or a beat, or an idea, that goes on to become something big, I can’t act like that was all me. If I did, then that’s plagiarism, and that’s not cool."
Say My Name
The young protégé went on to say that he keeps his music fresh and inventive so that artist will keep coming back.
“I’m all about crafting the sound, going back to the engineering thing. There’s a certain A-Pop sound that you can get with me by recording with me, that you can’t really get recording with someone else. When you pull up to my studio I have the lights going. I have the fog on deck. I just create a vibe and I want you to feel like you’re in a spaceship so you’re always inspired. I got Anime and video games on the TV’s. I’m putting you in a place where you’re comfortable and you’re not always worried. You don’t have your guard up. You can just be natural and just let the energy flow. Whenever we’re in-tune and the energy flows, that’s where the hits come from. That’s just how it goes.
If you’re a young producer or a young artist, even if you’re older, [or] whatever the case may be. If you want to make great music just pay attention to creating your environment and make sure the atmosphere is right. If you want to make a club song and you make your room, that you make your song in, look like a club…. Don’t be surprised when you have the number one club song in the world."
For those of us that are idiot savants, who know music, but don’t know all the ins and outs of music, BL$$D broke it down eloquently about his interpretation of A-Pop music.
“A-Pop is just the next generation of Pop music. It’s taking those sonic staples from early 2000 classics that we all know and love. It’s taking the energy and vibe of Japanese Pop and Korean Pop, a little Rock music, but at the same time its’ taking drums and bass that you might hear on a Future record or a Rae Sremmurd song, and putting it all together in a pack where its universal, commercial, mainstream and catchy. It just makes you feel good. I want to create three to four minute movies every single time you press play. You’re just sucked in wondering if you’re watching Barber Shop and Star Wars. It’s all about creating those moments and representing the youth in a way that hasn’t been done before. Just know, A-Pop, and that’s dope.”
Though BL$$D talked about Cineplex-vibes when he described the A-Pop origin, he hasn’t scored any movies just yet, but he secured a few licenses for upcoming projects that he can’t discuss until the ink dries.
As for groundbreaking moments, aside from the future endeavors, he shared that hearing his song played on the radio for the first time was probably the dopest moment ever.
“I was in LA. I had just touched down. I was with my boy Scottie, and we [had] just got in an Uber. The first song that comes in after we get in an Uber is ROLEX.
I’ll never forget that moment. I was just talking to DJ Shrem from Rae Sremmurd a few days prior. He said the craziest moment of his life was when they had just got to LA for the first time, [and] got in an Uber. They heard No Flex Zone on the radio. So, being able to experience my own version of that just a couple days after that conversation was unreal. Shout out to Rae Sremmurd. Shout-out to DJ Shrem. You guys are the bomb.”
It’s without doubts that BL$$D is walking in his purpose, and he agrees as well.
“I know I’ve been called for a mission. Going to a Jesuit school, they taught me that, ‘You’re a man for others, and you got to live for the greater good of humanity.’ Being that I’m out here spreading my story and just giving people shots at making their impact in the industry, I know I’m doing what God wants me to do because he talks to me all the time. Every time I follow the direction he’s giving me, “We got ROLEX. We got Relationships. We got Say My Name. If you hear a voice in your head, follow the voice and don’t question it. Just go with it and you’ll be surprised where you end up."
With an impressive resume, and working alongside the best in the industry, BL$$ED described success in a much lighter account.
“Success means being able to do what I love, but more importantly being able to help others do what they love by putting smiles on faces of everyone I come across [and] being able to have freedom. Being able to spread a message of love, light and positivity everywhere I go.”
Closing remarks: Watch out, A-Pop, two months till march. Juice Ervin, coming soon, and stay blessed. Stay positive. If you have a dream, don’t let anyone or anything stop you from making that dream come true. Nothing is too big to become reality. Keep going and never stop… I can’t wait to see you at the Grammy’s
FOLLOW BL$$D VIA INSTAGRAM: @officialbl$$d