Chris aka PRO
Steve aka AYU
AGE: 25 & 23
BiRTHPLACE: Cleveland, OH
This rap group is keeping it in the family. Brothers Chris and Steve are music innovators that won’t stop until they make it to the top. For them, music is about more than just beats and lyrics; it’s about finding your purpose.
WRiTTEN BY: Khrystian McCalister
KM: When did Young Troubled Minds come together?
CHRiS: In 2010. I used to rap with my cousin when I was in high school, but I fell off until I got to college. Steve and I started making music together, and he started producing. Our friend Malcolm came up with the title Young Troubled Minds for our group of friends, so we just carried that name over to our group.
KM: What inspires your music?
STEVE: Everyday relatable situations. We want that rawness, so we aren’t necessarily going to give a solution in every song. All feelings are valid. Emotion inspires the music, too.
KM: How did you know that this was the right path for you to take?
CHRiS: I feel happy. We both have lots of talents.There is a lot of things that we do to make music possible. I know how to do graphics, but I don’t want to make people logos all the time. Everything is relative to making music, because that is something that I can see myself doing 24/7.
STEVE: I am pleased with the personal connection. I love every song that we make. We have purpose in our music.
KM: When did you realize your musical talent?
CHRiS: I noticed my talent when I was told that I couldn’t rap. My brothers used to rap in the church in a hip-hop group. When I tried to lay down a couple bars, they told me that I couldn’t and that I sucked. After that, I started rapping on my own, and after a while, my uncle noticed my talent used to let me sit down in the studio during recordings. He helped me learn how to make beats. My cousin picked me up and told me I was a pro, which is how I got the nickname Pro. Ever since then, I have been serious about music.
STEVE: Whenever I realized that my music has the power to make other people feel emotions and change lives is when I realized I had a true talent.
KM: How would you describe Young Troubled Minds’ sound?
CHRiS: It’s a ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ type of thing. We look real rugged, but when you have a conversation with me everything is elegant and beautiful.
KM: How has music changed your life?
CHRiS: It saved me. I was really messed up, and I was always feeling down. I struggled with being satisfied with whatever situation I was in for a long time. Music allowed me to reflect over my situation and appreciate the good, the bad, the sad, everything. Honestly, feeling all of those emotions at once is better than feeling nothing at all. Being able to reflect and make music based off of our emotions gives me a great outlet.
STEVE: It gave me purpose. In life, you really just want to find where you fit in. Music was the answer for me. It gives me a reason to live. We are all created for some divine job. Making music makes me happy and enthusiastic, because it’s something that I really have a passion for.
KM: What 90s artists have influenced your music?
STEVE: From the 90s, the melodies are very catchy. Bone Thugs N Harmony’s melodic sound influences us. The Midwest is home of soulful music.
KM: What is it like to work with your family?
CHRiS: I realized when I went to college that one rarely gets to know their family on a personal level. I got to know my brother as a person and not just as a family member. I know his ideas and his thoughts, but even as much as I know them I could never know them enough.
KM: How much time do you dedicate to your craft?
YTM: Every day. Not a day goes by, whether its ideas, photoshoots, or designing a site.
KM: Have you had any dope collabs?
CHRiS: I like collaborating in the moment. We have some records with Francis Fall that I really appreciate. I rock with any record that we do with One People.
KM: Where have you guys performed?
YTM: We have performed at the House of the Blues in Cleveland, the Agora, Kent Stage, the Outpost, and a few other places.
KM: What purpose does music serve for you?
CHRiS: It helps me keep my sanity. In periods of time when I don’t create, it’s like I’m constipated. I just feel like there’s something in me that I need to get out, but I can’t.
KM: Do you guys have any favorite songs and videos?
CHRiS: Rotation and Zone will always hold a special place in my heart, all of our songs do. Zone was the first the song that we made from our perspective, and from there everything started spewing out. For that video, we put a green screen in the living room and went to work. To me, it represents all of our hard work and how we started leveling up.
KM: What are some of your biggest goals?
CHRiS: I want to be a respected creator in the industry comparable to Andre 3000 or Pharrell. If I can make a living off of what we do, I will be happy.
STEVE: I want to be successful, of course. I think I have day to day goals. You never know what is going to happen the next day, so taking care of all the details is important. Every day, I want to complete something that pushes me forward. My goal is to be as progressive as I possibly can.
KM: If you could create a new genre of music, what would it be called?
STEVE: Young Troubled Music. When people hear the name they figure it has a negative connotation. I believe everyone is a young troubled mind, because nobody has it all figured it out. It’s everyday music that is controversial and relatable. It doesn’t always have the popular vote, but sometimes it does. We definitely reflect the times and the youth.
CHRiS: It’s music you ain’t know you needed.
IG – @ytm216
Twitter – @ytm216
Facebook – @YTM216
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Mechanical Kingdom
STYLED BY: Braisha Owens