Real Dreams Episode 17 – C-Tru & Swissivory

The way I met C-Tru was very unconventional. I used to have a large fanbase on Soundclick, a music platform mostly known for selling instrumental beats. People like Soulja Boy were also active on soundclick at a certain point in time.

In 2005, I organized a contest, where the fans could vote for whoever had the best freestyle over one of my beats. The first prize was a free beat and 100 dollars in cash. The winner by 60% was C-Tru. His rap battle skills impressed everyone.

After that we kept in touch and started making music together on a regular basis, him being in San Francisco while I was living on the East Coast in Boston. We both noticed that our styles were a perfect match. In 2006, C-Tru won a contest for a remix of “Lord Give Me A Sign”, and in 2007 he won a national Freestyle battle challenge sponsored by Energizer. Against 1200 competitors, C-Tru won the 1st prize and got to perform on stage with Chamillionaire, Crime Mobb, Lil Scrappy and more, in front of a crowd of 4’000 people. Still, that hit song evaded us, like so many other talented artists in the industry. A number of stars just have to align in the sky for your song to be on radio and to blow up as an artist. On top of that, we’ve had many ups and downs in our respective personal lives, between the move from the US to Europe from my side, to the family struggles and failed relationships for both of us. The struggle was not only financial but also emotional and psychological.

So when I started the “Real Dreams” project, one of the main goals was to put my artist C-Tru on as many tracks as possible, without the entire record becoming a “C-Tru & Swissivory” album. So we found the right balance overall, kept some tracks for his own EP, which can be downloaded here. And on other songs, he’s either on a chorus, a bridge, or a verse. So even though he’s the most present artist on my album, it doesn’t feel as though it’s over-done. I’m really lucky to have an artist like him in my portfolio, because his work ethic and dedication are second to none. And that’s what pays off these days. So many artists are talented, but not all have the discipline or the drive it requires to be successful. But C-Tru has shown his dedication, his ambition and his commitment to creating his own history. And it’s paid off in a major way.

C-Tru now lives in Hollywood, and is living his dreams: he’s a recording artist living from his passion. I respect him throwing away a well-paid day-job, for having the courage to leave his family in San Francisco behind him, to go to L.A. and risk everything in order to pursue his dreams. That’s the true meaning of #realdreams. And it’s already paid off. The record with Papoose has hit #3 on College Rap Radio Charts in the US, and #12 in Canada. The Youtube video surpassed 100’000 views (I know it doesn’t seem much against the Justin Biebers and PSY’s of this world, but we’re independent artists) in the first 2 months. As a result of this success, I got signed to Ryan Leslie’s label as a producer and as an artist. Our music videos are on MTV, VEVO, VH1, Fuse, Radio stations worldwide and the song has been remixed and played on mixtapes and in club sets / podcasts by DJ’s from all corners of the Globe. I get pictures, text messages, and e-mails / recordings from people around the world playing or hearing my song wherever they’re at, from Brooklyn New York to Bangkok, Thailand, to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. #realdreams