Within the span of two months, Tay Keith earned his bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and was nominated for his work on Travis Scott’s song “Sicko Mode” at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.
At only 23 years old, Keith has made himself a force to be reckoned with in the music world. He’s worked with the likes of 21 Savage, Drake, Cardi B, DJ Khalid and Beyoncé.
The Memphis native said one of his keys to success was building a strong foundation in his hometown.
“If you want to be a successful artist, you have to start in your city and build on up,” Keith told In The Know. “A lot of the rappers I listened to [growing up] were rappers in Memphis.”
Early in his career, Keith realized he couldn’t produce music and rap at the same time. He felt like he needed to channel his full energy into only one thing, so he picked production. Inspired by the rappers he grew up listening to, Keith describes his music as a “Southern, bouncy type of sound.”
He enrolled in MTSU and took social media and marketing classes, which he credits for expanding his point of view and his understanding of how to be successful in the music industry.
When Keith graduated, his name was listed in the credits for the No. 1 song in the country, “Sicko Mode.”
“The reason I do what I do, it’s just being a hometown hero,” Keith explained. “To make the imprint on something that had so much influence on me growing up — like, damn, I really did this for my city.”
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