Creating “Captions,” Finding his Sound, and More: How Tron Austin is Breaking into the Music Industry on his Own Terms
Hip Hop royalty Tron Austin discusses his musical journey, his creative process, and the inspiration behind his hit single "Captions"
By: Airielle Lowe | Published on July 27th 2020
When I first hop on the phone with breaking artist and child of Rozonda Thomas (otherwise known as “Chili” from TLC) and Dallas Austin ( a talented producer and songwriter), I immediately get the vibe that this interview with Tron will be lively. A zestful, charismatic, and humble individual, Tron makes a point to shout out some of the most important people on his music journey throughout the interview. In addition, he also provides a peek into the behind the scenes action from his recent music video and new single: “Captions”.
Being the child of celebrity parents, Tron was quick to credit their involvement in his success in the industry, acknowledging his father’s role in passing down studio techniques and his mother in regards to vocal techniques. His father had also encouraged him to learn music theory in college, which he accredits to learning the actual structure of music to utilize in the studio, stating, “You have a different edge when you have the technique too.”
However, there were only so many things his parents could have taught him by themselves--going out and making music and utilizing the tools given to him would be most important on his musical journey, and that’s exactly what Tron was able to do...beginning with his first ever release of anything back when he was an 18 year old college student.
Reflectionz was Tron’s first major project, which is a stark contrast to his most current single “Captions.” Melodic and slow, the EP follows its name in being a reflection on past relationships and the lessons learned from them. Tron admitted that many of the songs were based on either himself or his friends around him experiencing heartbreak at the time, deciding to take in what he notes is a ‘realistic approach’ to music.
“You only really write about fake scenarios or real life scenarios. I was more on the side of real life scenarios. That’s why you’ll never see me say nothing about no gangsta stuff”
- Tron Austin
Being 18 and coming from a wealthy background, there was only so much he’d gone through at the time, limiting his approach to what he could sing about. However, Tron had noted that, “Emotions are something everyone goes through,” which was how he was able to connect with his audience at the time.
Now in the era of hype music and fast paced songs on catchy beats Tron has come with an entirely new look to his brand; though still following along with wanting to send a message to the audience. His latest single, “Captions”, released back in March, created a dance challenge and stirred more attention for the budding artist, allowing for him to really get his foot planted into the industry with his own unique mark. A catchy tune over a more bubbly beat features futuristic visuals with Tron singing about a girl taking pictures and looking for captions, as well as his own fast paced lifestyle.
“I had this vision for a--no pun intended--Tron world,” he chuckled, when asked about the inspiration behind the video. The people in the video are escaping from their own reality into this alternative, eccentric one, similar to how most of society does in real life.
“When we’re in this whole Instagram era, we’re always looking for captions. Looking for the best thing that’s gonna get the most likes, get the most comments, make ourselves feel better and whatnot”
- Tron Austin
The purpose of the song and video was to demonstrate how people have disconnected and isolated themselves from their own worlds to enjoy another's, a message that might not have easily caught on in the midst of the fun and dancing in the video. But that’s precisely the point. Tron stressed the importance of wanting to create a message and raise awareness, but still wanting the video to be fun and enjoyable for viewers. Music videos are often meant for the viewers interpretation and for them to reach the conclusion on their own, which was still achievable for “Captions”.
Despite the chaos that 2020 has brought up the world and the music industry “Captions” is definitely not the last we’ll hear from Tron. In fact, his next single may not even sound anything like it. When asking about finding his sound, Tron had stated, “Because I was influenced by so many genres, that’s the reason why it was so hard for me to find a sound [as an artist].” He’d also explained, “It’s funny, I actually felt like when I was in college I found my song because I was really good at the chill music like I did in my EP.” However, one thing Tron was adamant about was not sticking to one sound and sticking with it. Versatility as an artist is something that’s imperative for anyone, hot or not. It’s the reason Tron credits artists such as Drake for being able to stay in the rap and hip-hop industry for so long and why the term “one hit wonder” exists.“No one’s hot forever” he’d stated, adding, “When you have something that hits, you need a follow up.”
And that’s exactly what Tron plans on doing next. Finding new sounds and becoming more versatile as an artist so that he can remain a staple in an industry that’s changing rapidly. Being adaptable is a character trait that he finds important and because of that we’re certainly looking forward to what’s coming next; especially after this quarantine.