Taraj Livesay, also known as, TARAJ, is an upcoming rapper that hails from a small town called New Haven.

 “Even though it’s a small town that pretty much no one has really heard of  [New Haven], it is a very diverse place; both economically and racially.”

Even though rapping is his main outlet of artistry, Taraj has fell deeply into the music world and has pulled more gifts than one in his journey of music. Growing up, he has always seen music as his first love, which influenced him to learn various instruments. He started with piano, but it didn’t quite stick. Around 5th grade, he learned trumpet and played it throughout his high school and college years, as well as, picking up guitar.

Raj’s knowledge of music was influenced by various genres. Since he had these skills in playing instruments, he had the opportunity to play music from all the different genres he listened to and learned from.

“The fact I played every genre all the time made transitioning to rap music natural”

Another factor for him to transition into rap music was writing poetry.  Taraj started this habit in middle school and it lead him to now owning 10 full notebooks of poems.  His influence didn’t stop there, he also was inspired to write his artist name is all caps because of his favorite rapper, MF DOOM. Taraj is heavily influenced by conversation, as well.

“Talking to people about concepts, talking to people while I produce, talking to people while I write and record, just talking to people helps drive my creativity.”

Taraj admits that as an artist, his sound is still developing. Although he has a lot of material released on souncloud, he wants to work toward a style that he can perfect as his own while creating a real body of work. Just because his skills in rapping are still being developed doesn’t mean he is not knowledgeable in other forms of portraying music. He is a singer-songwriter, producer, and engineer.

Currently, he attends Central Michigan University. His journey to the school, however, didn’t start off as planned. Originally, he wanted to be a music teacher, but after some trials, he had to switch gears.  That didn’t stop him from still wanting to pursue music in school, which gave him the new path toward audio production and engineering.  He joined a hip-hop organization called JustUs League and participates in the events and behind in scenes planning.

Moving forward, Taraj is taking things one day at time and living in every moment as its current.

Ways to Contact TARAJ:

Twitter: @Taraj_Mahal_

Insta: @Taraj.Mahal

Soundcloud: tarajmahal