EDM to the next level: Tra’ Byrd aka 3rd Heaven brings hard trap music with his single release “No Fear”. The DJ from Columbus, Ohio, makes from a dance record a feeling as if you’re living out an adventure: The mixture of electronic beats, from bouncing hard sounds to sonic echoes, plays with aggressive charm that calms down now and then, basically giving time to breathe in between. With the effects of a low tone bass voice exclaiming to not be scared of no satanist, Isis, and a virus, the track builds up inner strength in a club-ready format.
For Tra’, “No Fear” is what he envisioned his music to be – by hitting a breakthrough in sound and uniqueness. In addition, remixing hard trap versions like for Kanye West’s “Closed on Sunday”. So when early on he found EDM to be his passion in music, he actually didn’t find his sound from the start, but rather noticed a journey ahead. As knowing most DJs were located in Europe, he tried to learn German in High School to relate to DJs at that communication level, while also connecting with local DJs in Columbus where he lived. All the bits and pieces turned eventually into a puzzle when Tra’ found gigs to play his music and VJing visuals on his old Mac laptop, chilling with DJ Corrupt on stage and opening up for dubstep producer Borgore.
However, while Tra’ aka 3rd Heaven was going strong, the journey was not without its rocky roads: From living in his car to hitchhiking to Los Angeles, he went back and forth from his hometown to stay close with his family, to getting back to LA chasing his dreams. Hard paths lead to cross-country roads with truck drivers, to homelessness to finding a shelter in the big city, eventually discovering the Musicians Institute where he dabbled his way into hard trap. A knowledge upgrade for Tra’, who then boosted his know-how further when deciding to go to college in a Christian Music School in Memphis, Tennessee, later on. A graduation in Audio Engineering and some tracks in his arsenal like “No Fear” brought him back in the game.
‘Dream big’ is Tra’s motto, and is shown by his eagerness of creating music, traveling throughout the United States to steer towards the direction, and facing his challenges to fulfill his purpose. It’s all about not giving up, and, as the title of his song goes, not having fear.
Below, 3rd Heaven speaks with The Urban Twist about his single “No Fear”, his Kanye remix, the climate of electronic music, and future plans.
Your recent release “No Fear” is like an energetic train when starting off the words “We love hard trap” and diving in influences of house and trance. Can you explain the concept of your track?
The concept of my track “No Fear” is to lift people into boldness and having no fear. Whether that’s against Satanists in the music Industry (taboo to talk of), a military personnel going to war against ISIS, or someone not trying to get Covid. But the track came from me just not having fear. Very atmospheric vibes with a good drop. I think I finished the song in 2 days. It was right at the beginning of COVID and I didn’t want to have to be around people with fear.
Apart from “No Fear”, you also remixed Kanye West’s “Closed on Sunday”, titled as HardTrap Remix. Your mix brings in an underground feeling, similar to electronic festivals and/or exclusive trance locations. How did the process go of mixing the song, and are you planning to put out more remixes in the future?
Thank you for pointing out the awesomeness of that Track. 😂 (I’m not that confident of the song). My standards are pure perfection when it comes to producing, almost there though, and still learning.
I don’t remember that much about creating the Kanye track. Though, I just wanted to be the first hard trap producer to remix it. To me, I was trying to catch a trend I saw Kanye was in with his Christian side. Usually, when I make a song I try to incorporate God in the process of making music with me. All I want is bangers that I can produce. Kanye’s remix is not one of my fondest creations though. But a learning experience I’d have to say.
In regards to more remixes, yes, I have around 20 remixes that I want to be the first to touch in the hard trap game. No one can touch them… or I blow them up with a grenade launcher. (jk) Modern warfare reference.
Many famous Deejays are based overseas. And still to this day, mainstream dance music is guided by artists/performers based in countries from all over Europe. Do you feel that American DJs are underrated? Moreover, are there DJs out there that inspired you to become one yourself?
I never knew that an American DJ could be underrated. I always thought it was an equal playing field. Now, does an American DJ have a better chance of becoming a superstar in Hollywood than a European DJ would in their fashion of Hollywood overseas, I don’t know. The DJs that inspire me are Lit Lords and all the DJs that have been trained by him, SayMyName, Armin van Buuren, Illenium, and Seven Lions. Anyone that can produce heavy bass tracks with those loud screech samples. To me, I think there are no better bangers coming out than what hard trap producers make. It’s like an Elite Club of producers in the community of Lit Lords, me hopefully being one.
Oftentimes Deejays have to present themselves differently than vocalists. While vocal artists use their voice and stage performances to engage a crowd, a DJ usually stays in their booth and relies more heavily on their music and the vibe of the location. Do you see it this way as well or are there certain benefits to performing as a DJ we don’t know about?
For me, I’m someone who is both an artist and DJ and like to express myself through dancing, which will be later in my career. I plan to dance to some tracks on stage just as Justin Bieber would or any other dancing artist would work with. I currently dance with animation style and look forward to having a team of dancers doing hard choreography, which will be new for the EDM scene. The fact I’m a Christian means I can add some killer cinematography with images of Jesus or videos that tell a story of God’s Love for people. Mini music videos though, that no one’s seen. Like, Angels picking me off the ground into Heaven, sort of style. Words can only tell so much when visuals can just sum that up in FX Graphics. No corny stuff.
Aside from Deejaying, you also considered rapping and singing. What is the most fun to do and where do you feel most comfortable?
The skill that I like the most out of singing or rapping would have to be singing, though I need vocal lessons. I have a signature sound that I know would sound perfect after some lessons. Rapping is fun, but most of the time I’m just freestyling. I feel more comfortable with rapping of course because it just flows for me.
Last but not least, do you have some big plans coming up? An album, EP, or basically more music?
As far as EPs or singles coming out, I plan on making an EP for my brother in the Air Force. I feel for those in military families. It’s not easy. Whether it’s a Navy Seal jumping out of a plane in their Halo-style tactics or someone of a high caliber career, I want to put powerful music in their hands that can change a city or continent. When I get all my music gear back, I’m going to be busy.
“No Fear” is out now on all digital platforms. You can listen to “No Fear” on Spotify here.