â€œMy fans always know how to cheer me up and keep me going. It’s the strength from them, my team and from God that pushes and motivates me every day to keep going even when things get rough.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â TJ Prodigy
TJ Lasinski or better known as TJ Prodigy made his debut on Rivenmasterâ€™s Place back in March of 2012.Â Now over a year later Tj has multiplied his fan base many times over and has brought his message of Love, Respect, and Tolerance around the country raising awareness about the problem of Bullying to a whole new level.Â
I personally have never hidden the fact that Rap Music is not my favorite genre and while it does not play a major role in my music collection, I make the exception when it comes to TJ Prodigy.
While his YouTube Channel has been a little absent of new music videos lately there has been a whole lot going on behind the scenes of this exceptionally talented and busy young man. TJ has been working very hard with his team to bring new material to all of his fans.
In fact this was accomplished just a few weeks ago with the launch of his new EP entitled â€œ Flightâ€ which created such a frenzy that his fans literally Â took down his website with the boom of activity purchasing a signed physical copy of the new EP!
A LOOK BACK
Towards the end of 2013, Tj made history when he became the youngest artist to be invited to perform on the Winterfest Tour in Ocean City, Maryland in February of 2014. Winterfest is a nationwide Christian tour that has featured Grammy award winning artists in the past, such as Toby Mac. Tj performed on both the main artist stage, which averages over 6,000 people, as well as the kidsfest stage, which is packed full with over 800 kids.
TJ kicked off the New Year with a brand new music video to a song he was featured on, called “anthem.” The location of the video is a historical graffiti warehouse found in the inner city of Syracuse, NY, and the video portrays an opening scene providing background information on the history of the warehouse.
“I wanted to do something no one else has done,” Tj explains. “For me, music is a way to express myself. Â However, everyone expresses themselves in their own way.. For some, it may be by playing sports and for others, it may be through art. This song is my testimony and tells MY story, so I really wanted to put a visual to that for people and tell someone else’s story too.”
When asked “why graffiti?” TJ responded with,
“I think rap is one of the most misunderstood genres of music… thereâ€™s this huge stereotype around rap music that all rap is negative and derogatory. I’m trying to change people’s minds and show them that rap can be inspirational. The same goes for graffiti, many people think graffiti artists are punks and vandalize private property.. i really wanted to show people the artistic side behind these beautiful master pieces all of the graffiti in the video was done legally.”Â
Having just recently relocated to Baltimore, Maryland to be closer to his new management, TJ and Team Prodigy have been hard at work preparing for upcoming shows, label meetings, new song arrangements, and an overall new sound.
Tj has been working very hard to show the world that he is not just another teen YouTube singer. You could say that he is more of a movement. He may be young but many people have said he is wise beyond his years.
â€œ When he is in a studio session, he knows exactly how he wants his music to sound and always sets the bar to a professional, yet creative level for everyone.” one team member noted.
“My fan base has tripled since my last few songs were released, and
I’m so grateful that people are connecting with the songs that I write. Itâ€™s a lot different than putting out a cover. When you put out a cover of a mainstream song, you already have people who like the song. But when you release something completely original that you wrote yourself, you have no clue how people are going to respond. I just feel incredibly blessed. I really feel like making music that brings attention to the problems surrounding my generation and takes a stand against negativity is what God wants me to do. I just want to reach as many people as I can.”Â TJ interjected.
The thing about TJ that has caught a lot of A&R reps and fans attention is his stage presence. It has been said several times by various industry professionals, fans, and even parents that when Tj hits the stage, he captivates his audience and makes the stage his own. This fall TJ was invited to perform in New York City at the Gramercy Theater. The show sold out and there was a packed house of over 800 fans, with a line STILL outside wrapped around the building! Tj performed one of his new singles, “Crank the Bass,” and took the time to meet fans before and after the show.
“One thing I always do is try to meet every fan that comes out to see me perform,” TJ notes.
“It’s important to me that I take the time to thank them for supporting me. There is no team prodigy without my fans. Meet and greet passes or not, if you come to a TJ prodigy performance, I promise I will meet you.”
When asked about his craziest fan encounter, tj replied with
“Oh man, there have been so many! I’ve been recognized out in public before. One time I was in Wal-Mart with my mom, and this group of girls were looking at board games and I walked by, and one was like (Oh MY GOSH that’s TJ Prodigy!) and the other girls turned and looked at us. I waved and they all like, giggled and waved. It made my day.
Â Another time, before the NYC show I walked outside to go to Dunkin Donuts. A few fans followed me inside and asked for a pic while I was ordering donuts.. the sales guy looked more excited than the fans haha!”Â
Over the summer, while in Baltimore to record new music, work with his managers, and do some outreach performances, Tj made time to visit fans at the local Ronald McDonald House.
“I got a ton of DMs from a few fans telling me that one of my biggest fans, Danielle, was having knee surgery (again) and would be in the hospital all summer away from most of her family. She said all she wanted to do was go to a TJ Prodigy concert. So one of my managers reached out to the Ronald house and asked if it would be cool if I came to visit her and put on a little show for the patients. I met so many amazing kids. I mean, some of these kids were dealing with rare, life threatening diseases, and yet they still were able to smile and share with me what their dreams and goals were and how I inspired them. But really, THEY inspire ME. It was just a really special experience.”Â
2013 was a year filled with a lot of travel, live performances, and outreach for TJ, and he and his team plan to double their efforts in 2014 and really kick it off with a bang. In 2013, TJ was invited to perform in several major cities such as Los Angeles California, Tampa Bay FL, Nashville, Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Syracuse, and more! Â What’s most important to TJ is staying true to himself as a person, and staying true to his fans. They are the ones that got him this far and they have been growing with him since day one.
â€œI’ve honestly never seen a relationship like the bond between him and his fans, it is incredible,” a family member notes.Â
“My fans always have my back. And there is so much behind the scenes that people don’t know that is involved with this career path, and it gets really hard sometimes. But my fans always know how to cheer me up and keep me going. It’s the strength from them, my team and from God that pushes and motivates me every day to keep going even when things get rough. It’s for them that I do this for.”
Tj’s music caught the attention of some of his music idols, such as Aaron Carter in 2013. Â
“It was so cool! Aaron found my “crank the bass” live footage montage video on YouTube and tweeted me saying that he wants to get me on tour with him and mentor me. I met up with him when he passed through my state and we hung out on his tour bus and just chilled. He’s a really great guy and is making a big comeback with his music. Heâ€™s been through it all and I know I can learn a lot from him on and off the stage.”Â
Another artist who took notice to Tj in 2013 was Toby Mac.
“He followed me on twitter and told me to keep doing my thing. I hope to meet him soon and inspire as many people as he does someday.”Â
You can stay updated on TJ and his future endeavors at: