‘I See Us Being At The Forefront Of The New School’: In Talks With Tre’ Amani

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

26 Aug 2022

Tre’ Amani is making waves right now on both sides of the Atlantic. Part of the ‘Lost Kids Collective’ with R&B superstar Brent Faiyaz, Amani’s sound takes influence from a multitude of genres. His honest, hard-hitting lyricism coupled with a gravelly, gruff vocal tone makes Tre’ a distinctive character in the Rap game. We spoke to him about growing up in Maryland, his musical influences, and what is next in his burgeoning artistic career:

How are you, Tre’?

I’m good, man. I’ve just been back in the studio, I’m being a Dad, I’m smoking good weed. I can’t complain.

Are you working on new music at the moment?

Yeah, I’ve actually finished a new EP. Well, it’s almost finished. It’ll be finished by the end of next week. I’m going to LA to wrap it up but it’s pretty much there.

How are you finding balancing Dad life and your music?

It’s pretty easy, right? Like if you’re a real motherfucker, you take your responsibilities and handle them no matter what, because you know, as men we don’t have time to fucking pussyfoot about shit. All my obligations have to be handled so I’m just manning up, bro. I got to do that shit.

Who would you say are your musical influences?

A lot of shit, man. I have a very eclectic taste in music. Even like, early years my mom played shit like Bob Marley in the crib, you know what I mean? She wasn’t really into the Hip Hop shit but when I finally got my hands on 50 Cent, you know when ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ dropped? That was fire, and I had to circle back and find out about Tupac and those guys by my damn self. Then by High School I was big on like psychedelic music and shit. Fleetwood Mac is big for me. I love Stevie Nicks, that’s my bitch! (Laughs) Excuse my language. I like The Beatles too.

Your mother has a big influence on you musically. Is that who you get your love of music from?

For sure. My Mother used music as an escape, you know? That was big for her, she moved around a lot so she was exposed to a lot of music. She grew up in like the ‘60s, well she was born ’58, she’ll probably kill me for saying that. But she had like the Motown era, then in the ‘80s She moved to the UK and she discovered Bob Marley out there because she said they weren’t playing it out here. She was from the hood so she uses music as like a big escape for her. Man, she would just play everything.

Coming from Columbia, Maryland, do you feel as if you’re paving a way for musicians in your city?

I feel like we definitely paving the way. There’s not many musical acts, not any musical acts out here, at all. I feel like Lost Kids, we’re like the first motherfuckers that are really doing anything. So yeah, for sure.

What was it like growing up for you there?

It was fucking boring, bro. Because like no one else is on the same shit. If you didn’t play sports, or weren’t like playing lacrosse out here on some Maryland, America shit then like, you didn’t fit in. Your father’s either doing politics, engineering, or a fucking sportsman. We’re just like, ‘nah, we don’t wanna do that. We wanna make music, we wanna be dope’. It was kind of hard for some motherfuckers to get it but now they do, you know?

Is that how the ‘Lost Kids Collective’ came about?

That shit started in High School, for real. Originally it was ‘Civilized Human Beings’, which is now my own company, but it started off as that with me and Brent, then he branched off and did the ‘Lost Kids’ thing, and that grew as well. We started in ‘09, just me him and like, a few other friends who wanted to rap this shit, you know? We kept fucking with it and you see where it is now.

You just featured on Brent’s last record and he has featured on yours. Do you feel like you’re all winning together?

It’s gonna take a little more time for me because, you know, our paths are different. I definitely do see the blueprint on how to make this shit work and like, we’re both cut from the same cloth so it shouldn’t be too far fetched for me to reach the same success. I feel like if I stay focused, stay solid, and 10 toes down, it will come. 

How would you describe your sound? To me there seems to be some Grunge and Rock influences in your music…

I have a lot of grunge influence, especially my vocals because my raspy voice can be like, yeah, on some grungy shit, so I agree with that. Like I said before, having so many influences musically, I don’t want to say it’s all over the place because it is pretty polished, but I just can’t really put a finger on it. If anything, I feel like my approach is more classic than the modern day because I don’t I don’t allow myself to get influenced by this modern day, so called Rap music. I just try to make sure that I don’t sound like anything that’s popping right now.

There must be some people who are popping right now who you respect, though?

Sure. Well, RIP Mac Miller, For sure. Kendrick, Future, free YSL, free Young Thug. A lot of people are dope. But do you know what I mean? There’s also a lot of bullshit out.

Do you have any artists you would like to collaborate with?

M.I.A, Little Dragon. I’m big on contrast. I find the reason that me and Brent work so well together is because my voice is really gritty, and he has like this angelic shit going on on the other side. Sampha would be fire, I’d love to work with Young Thug and Kendrick as well, for sure. Kid Cudi would be dope as well. I can’t believe the way they did him at Rolling Loud.

When you’re in the studio, do you try and listen to Rap music or do you go for other genres?

I try not to listen to Rap because I don’t want to go in the booth sounding like anyone. Most of the time I’m listening to instrumental music, like Unknown Mortal Orchestra or some shit. I listen to Trance music sometimes to get my mind right. I just get in the zone of like, in my own little world. If I’m listening to music, I try not to listen to Rap before I rap.

Finally, what’s your vision for Lost Kids and yourself over the next 5 years?

I see us being at the forefront of the new school. I want the kids to really have like some real role models to look up to, you know? Without promoting fuck shit, without putting emphasis on the wrong shit. It’s about preaching positivity and creativity and being yourself, man. I just want us to lead, because you know the music is powerful and obviously speaks for itself but love motherfuckers get that power and use that shift for everything but what it’s meant to be used for. Of course I want to get the bag and be known as the best motherfucker in this, but at the same time, I want that to be like a positive impact, you know? Like how the greats used to do it back in the day. I want us to be legendary, which I think is possible. 

Tre’ Amani therefore has set his sights on not only bringing his music to the masses, but also spreading a message of positivity. As the ‘Lost Kids Collective’ continue to expand their influence, Tre’ will be hoping he is a leading voice in the Rap game for many years to come.