Together, Shaq On Da Track and Ty Cook are TRILHOUTTE – two like-minded individuals determined to shatter expectations and trash perceived genre parameters. Their sound cannot be boxed in as simply R&B as it is intertwined with many different genres. TRILHOUTTE’s inventiveness is stitched into songs full of surprising cadences and musical swerves.
Born in California, with stints in Mississippi, Louisiana, Minnesota and Chicago, Shaq On Da track grew up listening to his father’s record collection. His love for James Brown, Prince, and R.Kelly’s Ignition segued into New Edition, Guy, and Bobby Brown. But he’s also very much a 90s kid, religiously tuning into BET and VH1, watching many New edition and Jodeci videos; he voraciously consumed issues of Vibe and XXL, immersing himself in the work of Bel biv devo and Juvenile. In High School, he was introduced to the works of Ja rule, Tupac, and dabbled in beat-making and recording one-take raps. Early on, his focus lay largely in production: “I wanted to be able to sing and my cousin Horace encouraged me to sing certain parts on the album. There’s a certain texture to my voice that actually works on a lot of the songs.”
Ty , born in Baton rouge and raised in Lafayette, grew up exposed to an equally diverse palette of sounds. In his mom’s car, it was Joe Thomas and Brandy while in his dad’s was Fred Hammond and Israel . He says Joe’s “New Man” album was his favorite album for the first few years of his life, while also listening to Fred Hammond’s “…Free to worship.” Ty would sing everywhere, manipulating his voice to imitate his idols. “I think because of all the different musical influences, I just kind of channel it all into my own jambalaya mix of how I approach everything.”
However, Ty’s adolescence was markedly different to Shaqs. His parents were in the church and Shaq’s instinct has always been to push against structures. He was combative and didn’t like to listen to anybody. While this innate stubbornness would stand him in good stead as an artist seeking to forge his own sound later, initially, music was simply an escape as he was bullied through middle school and was the least popular kid in school until High School – music gave him an outlet.
Overall, TRILHOUTTE’s record, and indeed their overall mindset, is one of progression. Since they cannot be specifically classified into a genre, their main objective is to make good music in a different way.