Torrey Tee
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Torrey Tee

Sacramento, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The many lives of Torrey Tee"

Torrey Tee leads two lives. He’s a rapper who loves to hit the clubs, smoke blunts and talk women. He’s also a working stiff trying to make Sacramento a more youth-friendly place, spending most of his days with developmentally disabled kids.

“Of course I wanna be the rapper and I wanna do all the shows,” he says. “But at the same time, I want to be the catalyst for change in communities I once lived in, from Valley Hi to North Highlands.

“Kids are important; they’re seeds. You gotta give them nutrients and water to help them grow. There’s a lot of poisonous activity out there.”

So when a new rapper asks for advice, Tee passes on one of the biggest tenants of hip-hop: write about what you know, who you are, what you do and where you come from.

Tee didn’t always think that way. He started rapping at age 13, pushing out mixtape after mixtape through high school. His early album covers show him looking a little ridiculous, perched on the hood of a Bentley that he could never afford or surrounded by Gucci bags that he didn’t own. But now, at age 27, he’s segued smoothly into honest lifestyle rap.

More layers: Tee passionately wants to represent his hometown of Sacramento, but he also feels a deep connection to Dallas, where he was born and where much of his family still lives. At the same time, he’s the son of a Nigerian immigrant, and Tee emphasizes those African roots as well. He’s even planning his first-ever trip to Nigeria, hopefully in the next year or two.

“I’m excited to go on my own street with my last name on it—seeing that deep-rooted history is going to be huge for me,” he says. “I think how I approach music is going to be totally different after that.”

Tee’s real last name is Thomas-Ogiamien, but “Torrey Tee” stuck ever since his uncle came up with the nickname when he was just 2 years old. Ogiamien is tricky to pronounce.

No one can guess how Tee’s music might change after coming face-to-face with his family’s history, but it’ll probably continue to be radio-friendly rap with flashier production than most in the underground hip-hop circuit. Still, his ethos has changed quite a bit from just a few years ago, when he signed with management and constantly hustled to open for big acts at Ace of Spades. In 2013, he took a break and went dark, focusing on writing and independence. His show on Friday, April 17, at the Colony will be his first since then.

“When you get managed by someone, you can only take it so far,” he says. “There are some steps you have to take on your own.”

During this hiatus, he’s been focused on a concept album that’s nearly complete—hopefully out in May—and about a weird phenomena: whenever Tee would glance at a clock, it would read 9:16.

With the time also signaling Sacramento’s area code, Tee took it as a push to make a record about everyday life in his town. He started writing down everything he did at 9:16 a.m. and 9:16 p.m., and these random activities will form 9:16, two connected EPs with an accompanying DVD of music videos. There are even short skits with real people who matter to Tee, linking songs together to create a narrative arc. The first album will build to a cliffhanger, then pick back up with the second record’s climax and conclusion.

“I’m trying to make timeless music,” he says. “I’m not trying to put out content to put out content—I’m not a microwave artist.” - Sacramento News and Review

"Torrey Tee – DTF"

Torrey Tee is a name in the Sacramento hip-hop scene that definitely can’t be ignored. It’s been a minute since we’ve heard anything from him, but he hit us up recently letting us know he’s back on his grind and that’s he’s got some brand new sounds he’s proud to release this year. This one, “DTF”, is the first glimpse we’re getting at that new Torrey sound and it’s very nice. Listen… - HOFisBetter

"Torrey Tee – My Life (Music Video)"

Torrey Tee dropped his new visual for “My Life” at 9:16am this morning. I immediately peeped it while getting my day started which fit perfectly with the soundtrack. The track produced by Nate the Producer with visuals directed by Shortstack Entertainment goes hand and hand. The high quality sound of the track teamed up with the high quality video proves Torrey Tee is taking this next tape seriously. Check it out below. - HOFisBetter

"Of choirs and air-raid sirens"

Mr. Tee: You know what I’ve learned about Sacramento hip-hop emcees? They sound best when they do everything themselves. For example, take Torrey-Tee, who just dropped Follow the Leader (mixed by DJ Oasis). The 23-track CD is good, but it really excels on songs where Torrey both raps and produces. The track “Imma Boss” benefits from Torrey’s laid-back but energetic flow, but really shines under his excellent production—a nice piano loop interacts with the drums to create a song with suspense and energy. Torrey utilizes a half-thug, half-backpack rap style that Sacramento is becoming known for, most evident on “Northern California Music”—a worthy anthem that was made for cars with loud systems. Torrey’s production on “Anybody Out There” (featuring Bosse of State Cap. and Sirron) isn’t just good, it’s excitingly weird. His choice of melody and instrumentation (is that a pan flute?) is interesting, and Bosse’s verse adds a different flow that contrasts Torrey’s but works. With enough braggadocio to fill a swimming pool with testosterone, enough lyrics to create a set of urban encyclopedias and enough great production to construct a sweatshop in Mexico, Torrey-Tee has a solid effort in Follow the Leader. The only thing: Hey, DJ Oasis, can you please stop using that air-raid siren effect? It’s really unpleasant. (Josh Fernandez) - Sacramento News and Review


2008 - Follow The Leader
2009 - MandaTorrey Business
2010 - The Tutorial
2011 - The Tutorial 2: CIS
2012 - #TorreyTeeTuesdays
2016: 9:16



Class is in session and Torrey Tee wants the industry to take notes. The Dallas-bred and Sacramento raised emcee has already opened for the likes of Big Sean, Dom Kennedy and Young Money’s Tyga to name a few. Releasing successful mixtapes such as Mandatorrey Business and The Tutorial series, Torrey Tee is leading a new age of artists illustrating that Northern California is not just a one trick pony. With an uncanny flow, radio friendly hits and formula that has the clubs banging and ladies swaying, Torrey Tee is one bar closer to that Eureka! moment.

Music and God have always been at the forefront of Torrey Tee’s life. His mother was a devout Christian and sang in the choir at the church they attended. Although Torrey’s mother and father separated at the earlier ages in Torrey’s life, his father remained in contact with Torrey and made sure he visited him every summer. It was these stages that ingrained Torrey’s faith, responsibility and taught him to always remain God fearing and more importantly, humble. “My family never had a lot,” recalls Torrey. “But they had enough to provide which allowed me to appreciate the things that I did have. My mom sacrificed and worked very hard.”

Such good works did not go unwarranted. To help alleviate the struggles that came with raising a child in a single parent household, Torrey began mowing lawns and working at the local movie theater. While other preteens were enjoying the empty responsibilities of teen hood, Torrey was helping his mother make ends meet. But, whenever he was given a moment to relax, Torrey explored his first love and passion –music. Inspired by the sounds of artists such as the Notorious B.I.G., Torrey began experimenting with Hip-Hop, jotting rhymes on practically anything he could find.
“Paper, napkins, my hands…you could always find music on me,” says Torrey. “I loved music, but never took it seriously. I saw the Jay-Zs and 50s on TV but didn’t think that that life was a possibility for me –at the time.”

With friends and family continuously encouraging Torrey to pursue his dreams in the music industry, Torrey began writing, recording and even producing his own records. By performing at local high school open mics, talent shows and even having a record on the local Hip-Hop radio station in Sacramento, the word was out and Torrey Tee was IN. His first mixtape, "Mandatorrey Business" received a tremendous amount of attention from his peers and even the attention of major label executives.
“It’s been a blessing to be accepted by people in this business,” states Torrey. “But this journey is only getting started. I have my eyes set on becoming the voice of my city!”

With directing, producing and photography under his belt, Torrey Tee is one of those rare breeds of artists that take their career in their own hands. Charisma and an undeniable hustle, Torrey Tee is creating a legendary footprint in the Northern California Hip-Hop scene. Let the lesson begin.



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