Interview: Troi Irons Gives Insight into the Songwriting Process

Photo: by Erica Weitz

Singer and songwriter, Troi Irons, plays guitar, bass, and piano, which she tries to incorporate into her music as well. The instrument that Troi says she can’t live without though is her ear. With her ear for music she can produce some of the most melodic melodies. Troi adds with her ear for music she feels like she can play anything. Troi recently sat down with Glitter to talk about her new album, Lost Angels, her new single, “Strangers,” and where the inspiration for this particular song came from, the songwriting process, her musical influences, and her definition of self-love. Read on to see what Troi is most excited about. Hint: It’s something she hasn’t done with her music, until now.

GLITTER: How would you describe your sound?

TROI: It’s melodic and hard. It’s blue steel in a green room with flowers growing in the corner.

GLITTER: What does being an artist mean to you?

TROI: It means channeling the universal human experience in the truest way possible which requires introspection. It means filtering your output with cool colors to keep it interesting and to move the field forward. That requires discipline and study.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new single “Strangers?”

TROI: “Strangers” is the combination of racial and existential angst. I’m a black kid that grew up kinda weird. I was home schooled then went to college when I was 13 so all I knew was what I saw on the news until I was 18 and out on my own. I thought I was like the “default” people I saw on billboards growing up but then I realized that some people saw me as “other”. It makes me feel like a stranger because you can’t know me if you view me through the lens of race (or gender for that matter). Lyrically I draw from that experience and Camus’ The Stranger. This world is absurd and people like to pretend it’s not. I won’t pretend.

GLITTER: Where do you musical influences come from?

TROI: I grew up listening to Sufjan Stevens, 80’s stadium rock, and classical music so that’s where my base is lyrically, melodically…I like aphoristic lyrics, big hooks, and beauty.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new EP?

TROI: I’m not working on any more EP’s. I think EP’s are terrible for an artist. They’re a money saver but a culture killer. It’s a one night stand and I’m a long term relationship kind of person. My album has 13 songs and it’s called Lost Angels.

GLITTER: Do you play any instruments?

TROI: I play bass, guitar, and piano. I’m producing my entire album though and my ear is my most important instrument. I feel like you can play anything if you have an ear

GLITTER: What is the songwriting process like for you?

TROI: Songwriting is never the same. I stopped doing sessions because I can’t schedule the process. A poem will come to me and I’ll turn it into a song when I feel like it. Or I’ll sit down with my guitar and the whole song will come. I don’t control it, I let it be.

GLITTER: Will we see a full-length album from you soon?

TROI: I’m currently in studio finishing production on my album, Lost Angels. It’s a 13 song epic about a fucked up kid with potential. It begins at the end and then takes us back through dirty LA, love, lust, religion, isolation, “success,” and finally the prodigal son’s return.

GLITTER: How do you stay grounded in this business?

TROI: I stay out of the business. I left the industry after I left the label and it feels so good to be a kid in my wayside room working with managers I hang out with under trees.

GLITTER: What positive message do you hope to send women who follow you?

TROI: Own your masters.

GLITTER: Many women are coming forward in media and standing up for their rights as women. How important is this issue to you?

TROI: It’s important, but I’d rather let my actions do the talking.

GLITTER: What has been the best surprise anyone has ever given you?

TROI: I’m hard to surprise. Actually, I think when I turned four my parents gave me a life-size Belle puzzle. That was rad. Maybe that’s why I turn everything into puzzles in my head now.

GLITTER: Who is your dream collaboration with?

TROI: I met everyone I want to collaborate with and I messed it up every time. Except for Arca. I accidentally ended up on stage with him in LA and we salsa’d together but I don’t think he’d remember. If he does, he thinks I’m crazy.

GLITTER: What do you have planned for the upcoming year?

TROI: Top of the list is finishing Lost Angels, the album. Another thing I’m excited about is my directorial debut. I’m carving out the music video for the title track right now and I can’t wait to share the outcome.

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, what’s self-love mean to you?

TROI: Self-love is giving yourself grace and acceptance. It’s the first form of love. You can’t truly love others if you haven’t accepted love.

GLITTER: How can fans follow you?

TROI: IG – @TroiMusic ; Twitter – @TroiMusic ; Facebook – Facebook.com/TroiIrons