Interview: Tee Walls Talks Motivational New Single ‘Rise Up,’ Nashville Hip Hop Scene, & More

Creating lyrics from his own life, hip hop artist Tee Walls is making music for the human experience.

Walls, who moved to Nashville after growing up in Memphis, knows a thing or two about how moving and uplifting music can be, both through the top tier music cities he has lived in and his personal experiences. 

In 2021, Walls released his most personal project yet, the EP Ambivalent. He describes this project as, “getting it all out so he can heal.” He believes in the importance of healing and processing the struggles in life or celebrating the good through music. Walls’ latest release, “Rise Up,” which dropped last month, is yet another showcase of his insightful and poignant lyricism.

As well as being an artist, Walls also works as the CEO of the artist collective and independent label, Wall to Wall Entertainment. Working closely with R&B singer Esquire and rapper and producer Keith Mosley, Wall to Wall is focusing on making a creative community to thrive in. 

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We asked Walls some questions about his music, his journey, and got to learn more about this up and coming voice in hip hop music.

Can you share with us how your music journey began?

My journey began back around 2007 or 2008. I had always been a fan of listening to melodies and just instruments in general, but never knew my true love for hip-hop until I started to really get involved. I had an older cousin who was into music at the time. He went by the name of Six3. I did a song with him around the same time and have not stopped since. 

Who or what are your biggest influences in your music?

My biggest influences are people in general. With my music, I try to draw a connection to all audiences by composing music from a lot of different angles. I also tend to write from my own personal experiences as well. It’s probably the easiest and most efficient way for me to vent in a sense. As far as artists, I’ve been heavily influenced by artists such as The Weeknd, Drake, and Lil Wayne.

I see you recently dropped your new single, “Rise Up.” Can you talk about the influences and inspirations behind it?

“Rise Up” really speaks a lot to how I feel like it’s my time to finally make a serious push at what I want, which is to make a huge impact in the music industry. 2021 was not the best year and towards the end of it, I released an EP entitled, Ambivalent, to really open up about a variety of things that have happened in my life that I had not once spoken about. This year, I’m coming more out of that shell to become more vocal.

What was the writing and production process like for it? And how has your process evolved over time?

To be honest, I go into a different state of mind when I write. With this single, it was no different. The only major difference is I felt like I wrote this with a weight lifted off my shoulders since that EP was out. Over time, I’ve continuously evolved with my production. I work with one of the best engineers in the game with all my singles now. 

Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?

Maybe. No real decisions have been made in regards to “Rise Up” being on an upcoming EP, but you never know. I will say, there are several singles coming soon though. One single with my good friend Celestial Shortie who is based out of Cleveland, and another with my entertainment company. 

Where do you typically find inspiration for your songs?

That’s a good question. They come from all over the place. I can and literally will write about anything. It can be anything from personal feelings, to past relationships, to where I envision myself in a year from now. 

You cover some very personal and heavy experiences and feelings in your music. 

Oh yea. All I can say is listen to Ambivalent. All the answers are there. 

What is it like opening up like that for anyone and everyone to hear?

It’s refreshing. It gives me a chance to vent without having to contact someone personally to do so. 

How do you feel about hip hop and R&B in Nashville these days? Do you feel there’s a growing and prominent scene? What would you like to see more of to help it grow?

I see it quite often in Nashville. I feel as historically Nashville has been known for its country music, but at the same time a lot of people actually enjoy hip hop here as well. I think the biggest improvement I’d like to see is just more of an industry standard being held or starting to grow here. It would be nice to see a big time label take on the Nashville scene to bring more hip hop out into the spotlight. 

What else might you have in store for 2022?

More singles, more music, more shows, more opportunities. A new single called “All On Me” will be releasing April 15th featuring myself, Keith Mosley, and Esquire. All are apart of Wall to Wall Entertainment.

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