How does an upcoming artiste with under 17,000 YouTube subscribers attract almost 200,000 views on a video in one week?
“I would say it just being a good song, great visuals, concept and a strong support system,” a taciturn 450 told BUZZ.
The song in question is Imperfection, an intimate account of 450’s wrongdoings and flaws, from sleeping with his best friend’s girl to cheating on a good woman with another who’d leave him for dead.
His transparency heightens as he describes himself as a “f**ked up individual” who wishes he could go to God “but mi nuh spiritual.” It’s a kind of introspection that’s unpopular in music with more artists opting to only lyrically exalt themselves. 450 says this anomaly has aided the song’s growing popularity.
“That’s a natural thing with me writing; I’m always trying to find something that’s not being said so it was strategic,” he said. “People can relate also so that’s a next thing.”
Imperfection was written a month ago within two hours of 450 hearing the Week.day-produced instrumental. “Music overall helps me with my problems so this was definitely one of those situations.”
For the record, he’s also in a good place with his best friend. “We’ve passed it, we’re still friends.”
The music video
The visuals show a contemplative 450 retreat to the hills with his thoughts, excess pills, and a loaded firearm. Damaniac Visualz documented the storyline which was conceptualized by Tru Ambassador Ent’s Jahvy Ambassador.
In an era of popular culture where young artistes like Mac Miller, Juice WLRD and Lil Peep have died from drug overdose, 450 wasn’t afraid of receiving backlash for the visual direction.
“I only expect it to get bigger from here.”—450
“What I was trying to get across really was me being frustrated with the decisions I had made and I guess that was the best way of trying to cope with it – contemplating suicide or not,” he said. “I guess the lyrics speak for itself. At the end of the song I say, ‘I guess it could be worse; I’m not a friend killer, mi nuh badmind’, so I guess I kind of calm down at the end of the song. No matter what happens in life you can always look at it and say it could be worse so don’t really overthink it.”
He also subscribes to the argument that music and artistes influence youth but noted, “I was just really expressing myself through the music and the video.”
His efforts are paying off as the video occupies the number nine trending spot on YouTube for music in the region.
“I only expect it to get bigger from here. I have a strong support system so (I’m) just trying to maximise the potential of the song so mi expect great things.”
450’s mystique begins with his moniker. His given name is Tristen Escoffery and he wanted to stand out from his peers.
“I was brainstorming and got the idea of numbers as a representation and seeing that no one really names themselves off numbers. Thinking of a way to make the numbers have meaning, I came across the idea of my birthday and trying to find out how I could put it as a representation of my name. I came up with ‘4’ representing the fourth month in the year, ‘5’, the fifth of April, and ‘0’ representing 2000.”
Raised between Kingston and Clarendon, 450 recalled wanting to pursue music as a third form student at Lennon High School.
“As soon as school was over I came to Kingston (four years ago) and worked towards that without any plan really but it all worked out in the long-run,” he said.
He made his music debut two years ago and is now signed to Talk of the Town and Tru Ambassador Ent.
As for the future, 450 sees himself going to the top and adding “multi Grammy winner” to his bio.