Troi Irons : As Real As It Gets
Troi Irons — As real as it gets
Troi Irons had me at Charles Bukowski. Sure, the music of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter will captivate, but come on, how many folks of Irons’ generation still read, let alone read Bukowski? She could sing her grocery list and release it and I’d be the first on line.
“I’ve always read a lot and I try to read every day,” Irons said. “I’m always looking for new things. I did a road trip in San Fran and they had a section of things you should have read by now. And a Charles Bukowski book was there. He’s really funny and a realist and I liked how blunt he was. I don’t like fluff.”
She doesn’t write or perform fluff either. With her first EP, Turbulence, Irons comes at the world with something it should be ready for but probably isn’t. Easily skipping between genres with the ease of someone who has been doing this for decades while still keeping everything cohesive, she will pull in anyone willing to listen. But not fitting into a particular genre is risky for a new artist. Luckily, she knows it, but she’s not willing to compromise, and with Def Jam on board, you’ll be hearing a lot of her.
“Initially, it makes it harder,” she admits. “That’s why it took me so long to find the right team because people were like, ‘What is it?’ There was a lot of that, but ultimately, I think whenever something new comes out, it’s a trendsetter in a way. It’s a scary thing but it’s also a fun thing because if you do it right and actually break, you get to keep creating, which is something I’m interested in.”
The song “Today” hits particularly hard, drawing listeners in immediately with the opening line, “Today I feel like suicide, tomorrow I might say I’m all right.” It’s provocative for sure, but it also comes from a place Irons wasn’t so sure she wanted to go to.
“I feel like I’m an open book most times, but then when it comes to my emotions, I’m not even an open book to myself,” she said. “So when I wrote that song, I actually felt like I overcame something in that moment, and I’m actually really proud of how vulnerable it was. That’s really the only song where I honestly talk about my feelings in a very blunt manner.”
It wasn’t planned to be like that, though.
“I can’t try,” she said. “Things like that just come to me. I was feeling miserable at the time and it’s not like I sat down to write it. It’s more like, here comes a song, I better get somewhere and write this down before it leaves me.”
She laughs, knowing that in a world of manufactured messages, she comes from a musical place where everything is raw and real, and that doesn’t just go for her own music, but the music she listens to as well.
There are other artists that are really honest and, to me, that’s the beauty in this and that’s what makes me listen,” Irons said. “I listen to albums eight times in a row for months on end because it’s real and I’ve always listened to music like that, so it (writing ‘Today’) didn’t process to me that it could be too vulnerable or a controversial thing. It was like, okay, this is what it is.”
It will get attention and will affect people who hear it, though, and Irons is just starting to realize that her reach is starting to grow and that can be an interesting process to go through, knowing that something you wrote in your room now has a world listening to it.
“I’m just starting to experience that,” she said. “I put stuff out and they have their own interpretations, and sometimes they’re on point with what I meant, but then sometimes they create this whole other thing that I wasn’t meaning at all or they’ll quote me and then use it to support a point that’s not at all something I support. That’s a little weird.”
And it’s probably going to get weirder as more people climb on the bandwagon. So is Irons ready for all that in what is shaping up to be an interesting and perhaps life-changing 2017?
“I think preparation always comes from a spiritual level and I’ve been focused on my spiritual maturation and progress and grounding,” she said. “So I would say I’m as prepared as I could be, knowing what I know.”
If all else fails, she can always go back to Bukowski, whose work has provided some touchstones for a songwriter who refuses to be pigeonholed. So if you think a listen to Turbulence has let you figure out Ms. Irons, think again. She’s already on to the next chapter.
“There’s a poem he (Bukowski) wrote about how people review you,” Irons explains. “By the time they talk about you, they’re talking about someone who’s no longer in the room because you moved on to something different and evolved. But I do think it’s important that people see the back story of where I was and catch up from there.”