The name is Terrence Nicholas, but I’m musically known as T.R.A.C. I’m the last born of 5 siblings and a first-generation American of Guyanese descent. I’ve been part of the music scene and nightlife for quite some time. It’s been one filled with plenty ups and downs; still, it’s the power to influence and encourage people into more positive spaces, along with my latest successes, that keeps my passion alive and ongoing.
To me, the Black experience is about understanding where we are, how far we’ve come, and our great contributions to the world and its many communities. Growing up in the Bedford Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, and Brownsville neighborhoods of Brooklyn, I’d say I had a pretty good childhood. My family was middle class but my parents were still working hard to make things work for all of us. Being the last born it felt like I was the most protected from the environment we lived in. Every day wasn’t bad, but bad did pay a visit a few times.
Most of my friends consisted of jokers who chased girls, loved sports, and played video games. I ran with an innocent bunch, who are all doing fine to this day. Still, with all the family protection, I did see a lot beyond my years — its effect keeping me more focused on the straight and narrow. I think that in NYC all kids grow up fast in general. We see so much so quickly that at times we take it all for granted. It wasn’t until I started to travel that I began to picture a more balanced idea of life. Traveling still has that effect on me, even if I’m going just a few minutes out of the city. It’s a humbling thing.
Music has also created the travel guy in me. I have performed in the UK, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, among a host of other countries. It’s always business first and play afterwards, so after shows, I always try to make time to see, feel, and taste the culture. The world is filled with some amazing people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Of course, there are moments that weren’t so friendly. There’ve been many cases where I was pretty much the only black guy in the room, catching a few weird looks from strangers. There were also instances where people may have had some issues with me simply because of my skin. Racism is everywhere, but so is love. It’s all about who and what you surround yourself with. I’m all about destroying biases and stereotypes as best I can, and to my surprise so are all the people I’ve met in these countries. But you can’t fix the whole world in a day — it’s just too big.
Good music always brings out the best in people. It doesn’t even matter the circumstance. You could be waking up to a new day, and the first thing you might do is turn the music on to set your mood. Music can transcend past every human ignorance known. It’s one of the most useful healing mechanisms that we know about. Personally, it’s my therapy, and to know I have sonically helped people in some way across the world feels invigorating.
2018 is a special year for my girlfriend and I. In a few months we are bringing someone new and special to our lives — our firstborn daughter. As an expecting father, I’m filled with so much anxiety that its nerve wrecking yet still it’s the happiest I’ve been. I bring this up only because her soon-to-be mother is of Sicilian and Irish descent. Hence, our daughter will be one of many flavors and she will also go through her own road of travails. Our job will be to make sure she understands everything and anyone she comes in contact with. Live, learn, and travel. We’re going to make sure that her world is a better place than what we experienced. Especially in these challenging times — I’m not sure what to think about the future. We will do our best.
My latest project is called “Life in Motion”, and its filled with music that’s a good fusion of hip-hop, soul, reggae, and drum & bass (Breaks, Broken Beat, Dance music). Its theme is all about life’s travels. All the people involved in this span from over 3 different continents and 7 different countries. All of whom I personally met, all from different backgrounds and cultures, and all are passionate, traveling musicians. My English is no better than anyone’s German, Portuguese or Russian — plus, we all speak through the language of music. I consider this album a personal achievement for all the work and patience it took to make that happen.
To conclude, I’ll (not so) quietly ask myself again, “Come on Tee, what does the Black experience really mean to you?” It means to have pride in one’s self, it means not to be scared to chase your dreams, it means leaving your own mark in this world through all the adversities and obstacles. It means to teach, as well as to learn. It means to overcome hurdles. It means earning respect and paving the way for the future. It means friends. It means family. It means traveling. It means human. It means love.
You can connect with and listen to T.R.A.C. on: