I’m no scientist or nothin’ and I can’t prove it, but I firmly believe music is the most powerful force in the world. Music has the unparalleled ability to reach our souls, to stir something inside us, and change us. Often, that power is only harnessed on a surface level–a great song can set the party off or make a road trip fly by– but every once and a while, we are reminded that the truly great songs can change us in deeper, more powerful ways.
— Tre Andrews (@wikidtechn9cian) February 4, 2017
In the middle of dealing with pre-orders, tweets, and website posts, Tre’s tweet reminded me why Strange Music is so important. It was both motivating and humbling to see how the label can be much more than just beats and rhymes. I thought it was important to share, and Tre was courageous enough to let us tell his story, so we hopped on the phone to talk about his fight to stay clean and the role Strange Music played in it.
Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?
I’m 32 and I live in Oklahoma. I’m on the Strange Music Street Team and was personally trained by Ike. Ike is a really good friend of mine. But pretty much, I’m just a dad. I used to box & wrestle, but eventually got out of those.
When did you first begin listening to Strange?
Oh, shit! It was before Strange. It was way back in the day. I heard the song “The Anthem”. I’ve been a KRS-One dude. Then, there’s this part where this weird lookin’ dude walks up with his face painted and I’m like, “oh shit, who is this guy?! I like him!” Since then, it’s been Tech and Strange!
That’s awesome. So, the tweet you sent was about how the song “Withdrawal” helped you stay sober. I’m curious – when did you make that commitment to stay sober?
I got caught with dope and ended up going to prison. I literally just got out in November. You know, being away from my son really got to me. My son is my life. I listened to that song, “Withdrawal”, while on the city bus and it had me in tears like, “I’m done. This is it.” I thought, “I’m not half the man I’m supposed to be.” I pretty much let drugs ruin my future so right then in there, I realized that it was time to grow up.
Would you go back to that song a lot?
I continue to listening to it. I also listen to a lot of Rittz’ music. He’s having a similar struggle, saying “stay away from coke”. It’s something I can relate to. I remember when most of Tech’s songs had something about him getting fucked up. As he moved along his path and make it through that struggle, let me know that I could do it.
Specifically about “Withdrawal”, was there anything about that song that jumped out at you?
It’s mostly about the chorus. After I got locked up, if I continued to have withdrawals, I’d be done. Throughout the whole song, it tells me that it’s an everyday struggle. It prepared me to go through what I still continue to go through to this day.
Are there any other Strange Music songs that help you?
A lot of Rittz’ stuff. Especially “Turning Up The Bottle”. That song really gets me.
Have you had the chance to meet Tech and The Strange Music artists?
Like I said, I’m a part of the Strange Music Street Team, so every show, I go back to the meet & greets. I’ve never sat and talked to him on a really personal level, but I know a lot of the artists there. They know me by face. I’ve been around so long that I’ve watched most of them come up. That’s my motivation. Strange Music is pretty much the only label that a lot of us have seen come up. I’ve watched this whole struggle and grind. Strange Music is literally my inspiration. My goal is to be able to pick Travis’ brain for like 5 minutes and see, you know, how he continued to move forward when things got hard.
What would you say to anyone who is struggling to try and stay clean?
Fight your ass off for it. It’s well worth it. My wife, my son, and I are happily together after I destroyed my family with addiction. I used to kickbox, dude. I used to get in a lot of fights, but this is the hardest fight I’ve ever had. As long as you know that and you put your mind to it, nothing is going to stop you. Once you become an addict and sober up, you’re fighting for your life and your freedom and you’re fighting for your family.
Music is powerful but the decision to get clean, and the strength to see it through, all came from Tre. The fact that “Withdrawal” played even the smallest role in Tre’s story is humbling for everyone from Tech on down. Congrats Tre! And again, Thank you for sharing your story.