T.J. Simon is unforgettable. In addition to his raw talent: he’s humble, kind, and a man about his business. Trust me, if you hang around him for five minutes, you’ll make the same assessment.
For those who don’t know, “T.J. The Beatman” comes from a long line of musicians. His granddad plays a mean piano, his grandmother has a voice from heaven and his father is a drummer. T.J. himself picked up the sticks at age 3, and eventually taught himself to play the keys.
“My grandparents have a traveling gospel group that’s been together thirty plus years. I played drums for them as a little boy. Music was always around. I was intrigued by it,” he said with a smile.
Beat making first became a hobby at age 20 after T.J. bought a Mac Book Pro. It was a natural fit, considering his background. “I focused on learning the process behind composing.”
T.J. doesn’t read music, but that’s just a testament to his God-given ability. He has the same appeal and charisma as any major artist, but would tell anyone in a flash he prefers to be behind the scenes. At his best, he’s in the studio banging out beats and creating the freshest new sound. I asked him to sum up his style, and after a brief pause he said “A lot of my tracks are like that grown man, cigar type of sound. I would call it ‘Hood & B.’ It’s street, but it’s melodic. Simple as that. Just real.”
At 25, The Beatman has already made a stamp on his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. In 2013 and 2014 he was awarded Duval Diamond Awards “Producer of the Year.” And it doesn’t stop there. He’s teamed up with artists from Miami to L.A. and has tackled every genre, including gospel. When asked who he’d like to collab with in the future, he rattled off some of the hottest names in the game. “Ryan Leslie, Pharrell, London On The Track, and of course Rick Ross. If I could bring one person back and get him in the studio it would be Marvin Gaye.”
The horizon looks bright for the up and coming star. He’s getting ready to drop his first instrumental album called “The Renaissance” and aims to bring folks back to the good ol’ days of creativity.
“Listeners can expect big sounding tracks. They can expect a lot of strings, orchestra. They can expect me. I’m going to keep it real sophisticated. Besides the guitar, I’m doing everything myself — instrument by instrument. As for the title, I first thought of it in a literature class when we were talking about the early 14th century and the world transitioning. I wanted to take it back to that era where there were no rules. You couldn’t box in what was going on at that time. You had artists such as Michelangelo becoming worldwide and musicians captivating the new sound during that time period.”
“I just want to work with dope artists who are serious about their craft, gain supporters with my sound and motivate people to chase their dreams,” T.J. continued. “On a bigger scale, I do want to open up my own business. It’s normal to have hoop dreams or music dreams in Jacksonville, but I want to do more. I want to do as much as I can.”
It’s clear you’re soaring to the top Mr. Simon. Can’t wait to see you reach the moon.
For a peek at T.J. behind the scenes (and his original music) watch here:
If you’d like to keep up with The Beatman’s career, you can do so at tjbeatz.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @TJDaBeatman and Instagram: @tjdabeatman. As soon as “The Renaissance” is available on iTunes, you can check back here for the link.