Terrany Johnson AKA Tee Double is probably the hardest working man in Hip-Hop you have never heard of.
With over twenty years in the game and closing in on his 20th album, The Cultural Ambassador for Austin Hip-Hop has the same passion as a 19 year old recording his first demo. From sweeping floors to interning for Arista Records, Tee Double has learned the ins and outs of the music business and is always willing to share his wealth knowledge with industry new comers….
How did You get Started?
I’ve been doing it forever. This is the only real job I have ever had. When I was a kid there was a hamburger store and a records store in my neighborhood. The record store owner was a friend of my dad and that’s kind of where it started. At 9 years old I mailed in my first demo to Warner Brother Records.
How were you able to turn your passion into career.
A lot a lot artists don’t tap into internships. There was a place that manufactured casette tapes called Southwest Wholesale and at the time I couldn’t afford the tapes. So , I started bartering my services and doing things like sweeping the floor. I wanted to reach out to everyone and I was trying to find out who I needed to know in the music business. So, I ended up working at Southwest Wholesale and interning for Arista Records
After that I signed a deal with a west coast based label called Good Vibes Recording. I was the first non-west coast act they signed and I came around a time when they were first printing cd’s. I was at the right place at the right time, because I needed them just as bad as they needed me. I told Good Vibes I needed to own my masters as well as my publishing. I never had a deal where I didn’t own my masters and publishing.
How are using social media to leverage your brand?
That is kind of trippy because with so many networks it gets spammy. One thing I do with my posts, is I try to build an emotional connection with my fan base. I’m not always online pumping up my music, because people get tired of that. If you look at my posts I do a lot of educational posts where people can learn from me. A lot of people use Facebook and Twitter as their website, but that’s not the right way to do it. You should use Facebook and Twitter to drive people to your website.
Which site has been the most effective for you?
I would say Facebook has because I have met a lot of artists that I have collaborated with. With Twitter, your limited to 140 characters where as Facebook and you can have full-blown conversations and really get to know someone.
How did you become The Cultural Ambassador for Austin Hip-Hop?
INsite Magazine wrote a piece about me a few years ago and that was the title of the article. I was given that name because the writer was impressed with my longevity and the body of work I have produced during my career. Shortly after that, the Austin City Council proclaimed September 30 as Tee Double Day. That was a pretty huge accomplishment for me and I actually accepted that honor down the street from my old Junior High,
After so many years in the business, What gets you excited?
When I see artists take control of their careers and become more business orientated. I love when artists take control of their masters and publishing. Looking at all the artists that came from Motown Records and legends like Muddy Waters who were getting gold rings and Cadillacs for their album sales is sad.
In a few sentences, what is The best advice you would give a new artist?
Surround yourself with motivated people. Surround yourself with people who have done what you are trying to do.
What can we expect from Tee Double in the future?
I’m working on my 19th album which will be dropping on T-Double Day on September 30th.
I did an interview with the Austin Chronicle 10 years and I said that my goal was to release twenty albums. Hopefully, I will accomplish that goal by the end of the year.