In Conversation With: Tino SZN
One of the youngest protegees from North Carolina, Tino SZN is on his grind and propelling into popularity. Bringing back the SoundCloud rap era through his distinct sound, the 17-year-old rapper draws influences from notable names such as Lil Uzi Vert and Trippie Redd to name a few. Through a series of buzzing singles, Tino SZN inked a promising deal with Arnold Taylor’s SCMG (DaBaby, Toosii, Stunna 4 Vegas) and hasn’t looked back since then.
Fast forward to now, Tino SZN is on a hot streak with the release of “Crash The Party” and “Long Way Home” which have amassed over half a million views. They arrive on the heels of one of Tino’s biggest singles to date, the $NOT-assisted “Vice.” Without a doubt, Tino SZN is paving the way for the new generation of young rappers and he’s just getting started. With his new mixtape on the way, the young star is definitely one to keep an eye on in 2021.
We got to chat with Tino SZN about graduating high school, signing to SCMG, and his new mixtape amongst other topics! Check it out below.
You’re bringing this like SoundCloud essence back that fans fell in love with a couple of years back. Where do you get the inspiration for your bars?
My inspiration mainly comes from stuff that happened or is happening in my life, I try to also throw in references from a lot of pop culture as well.
How were you balancing your rise to stardom in music while simultaneously attending school?
It was fairly easy balancing stuff mainly because we didn’t get a lot of schoolwork like college students do, it’s kind of a relief to be graduating soon but I’ll miss some things about high school.
What is your creative process? What drives you to become the best version of yourself?
My creative process is weird, some days I’ll be able to make like 5 songs in 3 hours, some days it may take 6 hours for 1 song, usually after a project I’ll take a break and ease back into recording because I always want to come back with a refreshed sound.
“Long Way Home” is an ode to your childhood and how success can ultimately affect your relationships with friends and family, can you speak on that?
It’s kind of crazy, because I’m not even big yet and I already have people praising me heavily and people that are showing lots of envy. I have some family members that even throw shade surprisingly.
So far, all the singles you’ve been putting out are pretty amazing, how has everything you put out set the tone for your new mixtape?
Each song has been a different vibe, a different sound, each music video has been different from the last, that’s exactly how the sound of the project is, each song is different from the last, I don’t want my listeners to have a stale moment with this, it’s my most special project yet.
Being from the Carolinas, I understand that signing SCMG is a huge deal—tell me how it came together and what your hopes are under this new partnership.
Arnold Taylor hit me up around August of last year, it was a surprise to me because out of all the labels that were reaching out to me, Arnold actually stayed in contact and even did stuff for me before I signed, I ended up finally signing in April and it’s been great ever since.
Who do you want to work with? Who are some people that you haven’t had a chance to link with yet that you want to work with?
I wanna get the chance to work with Lil Uzi Vert, I wanna get beats from either Wheezy or Pierre Bourne. I haven’t had a chance to work with SoFaygo yet but I would really wanna get on a track with him.
What motivates you, is it getting that big? If not, what is it for you?
It’s really the whole concept of getting better and impacting people, I wanna impact people with my music, I want to be global, that’s why I don’t just stick to one sound.
If you enjoyed our chat with Tino SZN, check out our interview with Magixx!