Life Away From Home- An Interview with Tim Gent
By Von Nolan
WU-TANG CLAN : 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Tour with Tim Gent and Nacirema
Upon walking into Old Forerster’s Paristown Hall, you could literally feel the bubbling excitement and anticipation from every attendee in the building for the headlining act of the night: WU-TANG CLAN. As expected, the show would turn out to be a night that would be remembered forever. The crowd was dialed in heavy as the Wu performed classic after classic, including C.R.E.A.M., Bring The Ruckus, Protect Ya Neck, and Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta F’ Wit. No one missed a beat or a step.
In commemorating such a successful tour stop, we can not fail to mention the opening acts who set the tone for the night: local artist Nacirema, and a rising artist from Tennessee - Tim Gent.
Tim Gent, who had recently opened up in the area for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, returned on a bigger bill to make an even bigger impression in the Bluegrass State. Tim performed a couple of fan favorites from his latest album Life Away From Home (333 and Pain Pills) and a few unreleased tracks (including Focus & Positive and October). He took the crowd on his life journey through song and commanded the crowd to feel every emotion with every flow.
I caught up with Tim Gent after his set for an interview to talk about his experiences throughout his music career.
Describe Clarksville, TN in three words:
Abysmal. Diverse. Thriving.
What about the music scene in Tennessee has influenced your style?
It’s really instrument heavy.. [focused on] storytelling and songwriting.. It’s easy for people to speak about being the common man and making it sound cool.
At what moment when you starting making your own music did you decide that this is something you want to take serious? What was your pivotal moment?
It was J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights. When that tape had dropped, it was one of the first projects that I had listened to just from start to finish, and I didn't stop until it was over. I was like “Man, Imma go ahead and start rapping!” It was pockets in my life where I kind of rapped a little bit, but I never took it serious. But after I heard that tape, I was like “Okay, I want to do this forreal.” Then I heard Section.80 (by Kendrick Lamar) that same Summer and I did my first tape after that. This was a pivotal moment for me.
When you're creating your music - are you writing off your emotions, your life story, or just whatever comes to mind at the time?
All of the above, depends on how I'm feeling, but all the above for sure.
What statement did you want to make with your project Life Away From Home and what did you want people to take away from it?
It was really a story... me describing a situation I had with a woman, in the city that I'm from... and finally leaving both of those situations and how I felt after those situations had set in.
Have you had any unexpected reactions from that release?
Two of the songs on the project got placed in a movie that’s about to come out called The Violent Heart with Mary J. Blige, and Tobey Maguire is producing it. Two of the songs got picked up from that project and that’s a big surprise for me. It's been a little over a year and we are into new music and what we have next, and then this opportunity came forth, so it’s really dope.
In your career, so far, what has been your biggest accomplishment?
Opening for the Wu-Tang Clan man! You know what I'm saying!? That’s dope! I have so much going on... This opportunity right here is really dope in a way that it all came about. It’s one of the highlights right now in my career.
So far, what has been your biggest lesson learned and how did you apply it going forward?
Biggest lesson learned is that you can’t expect anybody to want it more than you want it. I can’t expect anybody working with me, or anyone to come in, a producer, whoever; I have to take what I'm doing the most serious, because if i don’t then nobody around me will. I feel like that has been one of the biggest lessons that I've learned up until this point.
What advice would you give to another artist coming up behind you?
If you really love it, don’t stop. My first tape came out in 2011 and its 2019 now. Opportunities that weren't presenting themselves earlier, are presenting themselves now. So just don't stop. You never really know who's listening or what opportunities are going to come forth.
Life Away From Home is available on all streaming platforms.
Instagram / Twitter: @Tim_Gent
Instagram / Twitter: @InFluentNolan
The Layover with Von Nolan can be heard Saturdays, 7-9am on WRFL.
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