YoungTN, from East Toronto, is a 17 year old record producer who has placements with Lil Baby, Toosii, 3MFrench, Bvlly, YSN Fab, K Camp and more. During quarantine he “celebrated” being apart of a Number 1 and Platinum selling album. TN’s been a student of the game since picking up drumsticks in elementary school music class, and has been patiently waiting for his stars to align. Now he’s arrived and shows no signs of slowing down. Sidedoor spoke to TN about his story and what he aspires to be as his career continues. He plans to keep making dope music, while helping people win, so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour, the same way he does his. YoungTN has big dreams and plans on working until they become his reality.
As an exclusive for the Sidedoor family, YoungTN has also shared an “email template” with the hopes of helping producers get the placements that they want, “I would have wanted something like this when I was starting so I think it would be dope”.
YoungTN is 17 years old, and although he is the midst of a budding production career, he is also a soon-to-be Highschool Senior… online. TN’s optimism and energy are refreshing and much needed, especially at a time like this. Even as he was discussing the day to day motions of quarantine, TN is excited and grateful. He’s had some big wins over the last few months, the biggest of which was being placed on Lil Baby’s My Turn (Deluxe), and although he couldn’t get together with his friends, or celebrate the way he wanted to, he has still been making the most out of his time. Not having to go to school for 4 months meant he had time to lock in, whether that be creating beats or studying the game – TN has been active, networking, and learning how to become better.
“It’s super easy to do! With Instagram, twitter, just the internet really, you’re connected to the entire world. You can reach out to anyone, from any part of the world. I never really look through Instagram stories or anything just for fun sakes, I go through stories now so I can study people’s work and get to know them. I like to see how they do what they do, that way I can reach out to them through the DM’s. I’ve learned that just one simple conversation through the DM’s can go a long way. That’s literally how I got the Lil Baby placement.”
YoungTN grew up on the east side of Toronto and admitted to being the “nerdy kid” growing up, “getting good grades and stuff”. He never really fit in with the “popular kids”, but he was always the guy that knew his way around a computer. Needless to say, his story resonated with me lol.
Through his love for technology and computers, TN found himself experimenting with the digital arts. Just like Benji, TN’s beginnings came from doing graphic design work for his family and friends. He even got into videography and animation before picking up production software. He would teach himself how to use animation programs like Blender, to create intro videos for Minecraft YouTubers, that were booming during the time TN was in Elementary School. TN made some money doing this, but he grew tired of it. Although, it was something he was good at, it wasn’t something that he loved.
“Around Grade 8 is when I was listening to a lot of music. That’s when I really started to fall in love with music. When I was making animations, music would help motivate me. I was listening to a lot of EDM, a lot of hip-hop, and literally whatever. Once I lost interest with animation, I wanted to try out music. It was around the same time I saw an 11 year old kid, an Australian producer, on YouTube. A radio station came to his house, and basically recorded him making music. He was working at a radio station and becoming a full-fledged producer. I was watching that like ‘woah this is crazy, I want to be able to do this too!’. My thinking was, he’s 11 years old, and if he can do it, I can do it too. I was like 13 at the time.
After that, I was just doing my research. I found the right plug-ins and the right programs I needed to produce – I already had a Mac so I had to cater my research to that. I did my research and kept working. The first beat I made was on my sister’s laptop. I remember that moment to this day, cause that’s what really started it off for me. I kept making beats, like EDM music for two years after that – Grade 8, Grade 9. But then Highschool came along, and that’s when things kinda got weird. It was freshman year, and it felt like I was around a lot of people who were toxic and stuff, I used to get picked on, I guess because I was vulnerable. I would play my beats, but people would dismiss them, and I although I used to get upset – I kept working. I just told myself that nobody gets good that fast, so I had to keep working, and keep making beats.
I remember showing people my first placement with a small artist. It was the first full song that I helped put together, and everyone was just making fun of it and I was like ‘wow, this is what’s happening?’ – but now everyone’s listening to my music and stuff… A lot can really change in two years.”
TN’s story has underdog and underappreciated written all over it. But even though, TN had to deal with hate so early in his career, he never sounds sour. He speaks on this time with empathy and understanding, even though the lack of support almost led him to giving up on his dreams. He couldn’t though.
“The summer after grade nine I took a little break, but at the time, I thought I was quitting. But in Grade 10, I just felt like I had to start up again. I would make beats and post them up again on my private account. This time people were liking it, people were reposting it, and people were saying stuff like ‘oh this is hard’. I guess everyone kind of matured over the summer, and became less toxic. Grade 9 was a weird year for everybody. But once I started producing again, people were really trying to help me out, and help me get to the position I was trying to get to. I appreciate those people.”
TN has been a student his whole life, always learning. After getting his first few placements, he began diving deeper to learn about the people he respected. He figured that if he wanted to be great, he would have to do what the greats did. He heard numbers like 5 beats a day thrown around, so he got back to work.
“All the guys I was seeing get major placements were making 5-10 beats a day, and they were using loops and stuff. So I was like ‘okay, if I want to get to that position, I gotta make 5-10 beats a day.
In January [of 2019] I finished 30 beats. In February, I had exams so I only made like 15 beats and although I wasn’t proud of that, one of those beats changed a lot of things from me. My first placement came from a beat I made that February. “Lessons” by Duvy racked up like 100,000 views and who would have expected that? Once March came around and I was motivated to go harder. I pushed out like 40 to 50 beats that month, which was more than the first two months combined. In April, I made 60, then May hit, and I made 80. I probably made like 200 beats by June 2019, and I was super proud of myself. I was sending them out, I was networking a lot too, with Benji! Him being around really helped motivate me, because I saw him winning, and him winning made me want to keep going harder, so I kept doing my best.”
TN speaks highly of his friend Benji, who not only helped motivate him, but let him in on tips and tricks that could carry over from Benji’s lane of design into TN’s lane of music production. TN was ready to take in learn from anybody and everybody.
“Benji showed me how to network, he told me to take screen shots of everything that might be useful, or like introduce yourself when you’re networking. I would literally facetime him everyday. I remember asking him like ‘how do I do this? How do I get this major placement?’, and he would help me so much so shout out to him. Having him around really helped me.
And since school was over at the time [June 2019], we would just keep going out. We would go downtown and meet up with a couple artists I was working with at the time, and just network and build. I was creating like a face card here in Toronto, and that really helped me. I was able learn from people that were further along than me, study their work, and take tips and apply it for myself. Whether that be in business, or production, I just learned from everybody. It could have been an artist, a designer, anybody.”
Like we said, TN is a student, always learning, always figuring out new ways to better himself. TN spent the summer of 2019 networking, building his personal brand, creating beats, but also plotting. He knew he would have to go back to school in September, but this time, he was going to do it on his own terms.
“Once September hit and school started up again, I decided to do co-op at a studio. I would have a half day at school then have half a day at the studio, so I just had a bunch of time to make beats. It was a crazy semester, but I was super excited about it. I was practically an intern at the studio, I learned a lot from the engineer there, and I met a lot of artists and connected with people like Bvlly (RIP🕊), which eventually lead to songs like “For Life” with French [off Making Money Moves]. ProdBySaj helped me get that placement. He and I have been networking together too. We try to help each other out. The same way Benji helped me, I’m trying to do with others. The things I’ve learned in just one year, I want to share with Saj, and eventually I want him to pass that down to someone else. Having someone there to help you out is so important, and that’s my cousin, so I’m going to help.”
2020 has been a crazy year for all of us. There has been immense hardship in everyone’s life, but if you’re looking for them, blessings can still manage to shine through. TN feels the same way. Although he wasn’t able to be around his friends, and share his successes with them the way he would have wanted to, 2020 granted him the time and blessings to take his career to the next level.
“2020 is when things really started going off. I started making melodies. In 2019, melodies were never my thing, I wanted to make beats, but I realized later on that melodies were kind of the cheat code. Melodies can help you get your foot through the door. Getting a major placement is easier if you’re getting melodies placed. I was sending melodies to popping producers and they would make beats to it, and because they already had the connections to major artists, they would send it to them, and we would get placements. That’s how a lot of my biggest records came about. Like for Toosii’s “Club House”, I just sent the melody over to Pluto and Pluto did his thing with it, then sent it to Toosii, then boom, the song came out, which again, changed a lot for me.
Even Social Distancing [off My Turn (Deluxe)], I just sent Chi Chi an email and he hit me back saying send him more, so I sent him more, and the social distancing melody was one of them. Section 8 was in the studio with him, so I connected with the both of them. The first beat we ever made together was “Social Distancing”, and it made me Platinum, it made me Billboard #1, and gave me all these titles. It was a blessing being able to connect with those guys. So yeah, making melodies changed my life. That’s what I’ve been doing all 2020. January, February, March, April, May, I was just locking in with Section 8 and making loops for him literally everyday.”
TN’s story is unique, but it’s by no means far-fetched. Of course, he’s gotten lucky, and been blessed, but what is it that made YoungTN different from other kids that picked up a keyboard?
“I never really felt different or anything honestly. I was just doing music because I liked it. I guess for me, it was just that I really, really liked music, and I wanted to be like the top guy, so I guess that mentality has helped me achieve what I have. But, I mean, I used to get scared too. I remember people would say ‘only 1% of people make it’, and eventually I realized that it was true. It’s tough to stay consistent with something. I think that’s what I had that some people didn’t. I stayed consistent with it, and I studied the game properly, I did my homework – and I think that’s why I’ve gotten as far as I have.
But that’s looking back now. When I was a kid, I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I was just making beats like any other kid would. I guess Highschool is when everything happened. Even with everyone trying to bring me down, that kind of just made me want to go harder. I think being more consistent in Highschool, and putting my work out there, in front of people helped me get better.”
One of TN’s many dreams is to collaborate with Polo G, whose Die A Legend kicked off TN’s love for modern Hip-Hop production. By the looks of it, TN is getting close. Polo G can be seen enjoying TN’s production via an appearance in the video for TN’s latest placement, “Moods”, an absolute banger by Scorey of Syracuse, NY.
TN has been getting closer to all his goals, and although he has more to do, he’s still thankful for everything he has.
“I want to travel. I want to go to LA and make beats there, I want to go to Atlanta and make beats there, I want to go to New York and make beats there. I want to do business deals, have meetings, you know? I want to be that type of guy.
I want to impact the industry because it has given me so much. It helped me grow, it helped me become a better person. It helped me believe that we can do anything. Getting a platinum title to your name is so hard, but I got that. I’ve always wanted it, but I didn’t expect that it would come now, you know what I mean? I remember watching Producergrind interviews and really trying to learn and ask all these questions so I could get to their position, and now I’m the guy who’s answering people’s questions, you know? Music has showed me that if I really put my mind to something, I can do it.”
TN is going to get to the top, and once he does, he’s gonna teach us how to get there.
In addition to the gems and email template he shared with us, he also wanted to leave our readers with some of his notes… The way any student would.
1. Be Consistent and Persistent
· Try to outwork yourself every month
2. Stay Patient
· It won’t come overnight. It might take one year, it might take two, but the work you put in now will pay off one day, so stay down and keep working.
3. Study, and Do Your Research
· Figure out how to get placements, learn how to network, watch interviews, read articles, ask questions – 80% of being a producer is business, 20% is music – make sure you’re good at both.