Yesterday, we spoke with Kendal, who’s known as @tthraxx, about his style as an artist, life as a creative on the West Coast and some hints at future projects. Reichr0: What do you categorize yourself as? An artist? DJ?
Kendal: Oh man, that’s a good question. I categorize myself as a content creator because it’s a lot that I do. It puts me under an umbrella: photography, DJ’ing, graphic design, videography; anything media related.
Where were you born/raised? Do you think this has an influence on your art?
I was born in Riverside (Southern Cali) but was raised kind of all over the place. Being raised in so many different places has a lot to do with my abstract art. I choose to do a lot of abstract work for this specific reason; you can see that it shows in my work. It’s weird.
My mom and dad were separated since I was two, so I dealt with a lot of custody BS. Wherever my mom went I had to follow her.
Today, all of my clients are in Los Angeles/Hollywood.
Do you have a specific process for creating or are you inspired at random/at any given moment?
At random or when I’m feeling depressed. I create some of my best work when I’m depressed or moody. I’m always in my feelings. It’s usually because of boys haha. Then when I say fu*k them I create some dope sh*t.
So, what made you to start DJ’ing? How many years have you been doing it?
I’ve actually only been DJ’ing in front of crowds for a year, but I’ve been mixing music for over 8 years. I was always low about it but I’ve always made music.
I started on my phone on an app called DJay 2 and I realized it could really teach me. So, when I learned more, I made full songs on there and produced a song for this dude and it went on from there.
Find Kendal’s Soundcloud by clickingHERE.
Do you plan on doing more with DJ’ing or do you only DJ leisurely?
I do want to DJ more for the gay crowd because they have more range musically vs straight clubs. Straight clubs look for trap, which I like, but you can’t really throw in Destiny’s Child, you know? I don’t really like the club though, unless I have a table. It’s one club I do like though, it’s called “Blow”.
Who have been the biggest influences on your work?
It’s really been the internet instead of one person. I like to look around a lot. I watch a lot of specials. I watched a special on Basquiat; it’s just his take on things that’s inspiring. I like Kanye because as a black artist he’s ever-changing plus he’s never stagnant; style, music, etc.
But really, online influencers inspire me the most. Just seeing other people push the boundaries, for example seeing these regular guys wearing make-up. If I see Andre 3k doing it, it’s not nothing because famous people do it all the time, but if I see other people doing it, it pushes me to think different, create different and reminds me that I don’t have to be super crazy to make it to the top.
What’s usually running through your head?
I’m usually manifesting in what I want to achieve, things I speak, my energy. Keeping the focus in mind of what I really want and how I can get there.
Has there been a time when you’ve been completely uninspired?
The last time I was uninspired was when I went to a rave and I tried E for the first time. I was so tired. Now that I’m out the Navy I’m experimenting more but I won’t try anything too crazy. But yeah that was the only day. I’m always inspired.
People can be uninspiring, though. I’m so sick of this Migo era and everybody looking like Quavo. I’m tired of people looking the same.
You’re a Navy Vet. What made you join? Has this been an influence in your work?
I joined because I grew up with no stability so I had a fear of living unstable. I had this fear because of my parents, and I love them, but I knew I didn’t want to be like them. I knew that life would be stable in the Navy but it wasn’t for me at all.
I was in the military for 5 years, but I didn’t realize that it wasn’t for me until the last minute. I was stationed in San Diego on a ship called “The Boxer” for 2 ½ years. I found out I was HIV positive on June 5, 2015 and was put off the ship, but I didn’t mind. I was actually relieved after getting off the ship; the ship was depressing. I was like “hell-yeah!”
You have no life on the ship. I was working supplies so we were constantly working, sometimes for 18 hours a day.
Photography, videography, visual art or DJ’ing: what’s your preference?
It changes but right now it’s visual arts.
I’ve been getting hit up a lot for videos lately though, but video editing is very annoying and tedious, especially after so many effects.
But my go-to is music. I usually go straight to sketching or doing a song. You can easily make a beat and find a groove.
Working on any projects now?
I’m currently working on two different mixtapes; one is a beat mixtape and the other has beats and vocals that I threw in.
And I’m constantly working on videos that people hire me to do, and that’s just it right now, but it’s always something coming up. My main focus right now is getting into school though, which is a project in itself.