Young Money’s youngest signee Torion has been turning heads as of late with his mixtapes The Initiation Vol. 1 and 2: The Dream Sequence. The 14-year-old R&B newcomer, hailed by some as Hip Hop’s Justin Bieber, first emerged onto the scene in 2011 but as of yet not much is known about him bar some videos and an introduction from Lil Wayne.
Reporting for SoulCulture, Alya Mooro caught up with the rising star over Skype to learn more about his inner workings.
Perhaps the most striking observation when when speaking to Torion is the fact that he really still is just a child. A facet that may be easy to forget when viewing him as part of the global phenomenon that is Young Money. But, luckily, it isn’t something that he forgets. “I really have my parents to like ground me,” he says, when asked if reaching fame at such a young age is something he worries about.
“I mean not as in ground me as in like [punish me]… You know what I mean,” he is quick to add – giving away his age. “I mean put me in the right position to know don’t get big headed at this young age because it’s going to get bigger than this.”
Having first realized that music is what he wanted to do at the age of nine years old, Torion was quick to immerse himself in the scene – something that undoubtedly paid off. “I joined this competition at my school,” he says. “I won the competition for county… and then I went to the state, and then after that I went to the nationals, and I got second place.”
He goes on to explain that this is really what got his parents to sit up and pay attention, and when his world changed. “After that I was like, ‘Man I’m finna go hard.’” A resolution that his parents echoed. “They were like ‘ya we’ll take it more serious, take him studio and vocal practice and things like that.”
His signing with massive conglomerate Young Money seemed, also, to occur pretty organically. “Mostly I got to give it up to my manager, Dave McPherson; who “knows a lot of people in the industry” and brought along the CEO of Young Money to watch Torion perform in church – something he used to do regularly.
“He said if I could sing he wanted to sign me. So then he heard me sing, and he was like ‘I really wanna sign this kid…,” Torion says. “And so he flew me out to New York, then Miami.”
Torion goes on to explain how he met Lil Wayne and auditioned for him, brushing aside suggestions of how he must have been nervous; “At first I was kind of nervous but then I thought about it… all the practice and everything I was going through, I was just like – ready to do it.”
The ease with which Torion recalls this story and the confidence he had – and still has – in his abilities is undoubtedly rooted in reality, as the story has a happy ending. “They was like ‘man we wanna sign him,’ so, quick like that, it was done,” he concludes.
This self confidence is something that pervades his very essence; refreshing – and vital in those that wish to succeed to the full extent of their capabilities. When asked which artist he would listen to if he had a choice of only one for the rest of his life he responds easily and quickly, “myself.”
But despite this, the young star in the making has his head firmly screwed on, still focusing on his school work and family duties despite his early success.
Homeschooled since January, Torion is taught by his cousin and is careful with budgeting and scheduling. “I plan things out so it won’t just be budging up together, I have things scheduled, like when I wake up in the morning I’m like do this, do this, do that.” This is something his parents help him with although as he says, “it’s mostly my decision to wake up in the morning.”
Despite his tender age of just 14, Torion knows that this isn’t quite the fairytale ending yet. “What keeps me going,” he says, “is mostly thinking of the position I’m at now and how much bigger I can get. Thinking like, how huge can this get? And that motivates me; like you can go a little bit further, you can keep going, don’t stop.”
To this respect, when asked where he sees himself in ten years Torion replies, “Superstar. Being a superstar.” But his definition of success encompasses more than the average; “Success is pacing, being peaceful. Getting everything that you want, in the right position, in the right things. And just loving every bit of it.”