At 23, Tre’von Griffith has packed a lot of living into his young life. An 11-year veteran of the musical theater stage, he was a child when the critical acclaim started coming his way, thanks to performances in plays like “Caroline, Or Change” and “Raisin.”
“It’s really been a great ride,” Griffith said. “And very interesting evolving in front of people.”
He was still a teenager when he began the framework for The G Arts Foundation. He founded the nonprofit organization to aid the next generation in pursuing the arts as a career, providing a creative outlet for them to perform – mainly through the showcases he produced and presented that featured fresh talent from the St. Louis music scene. Through G Arts, he mounted shows and produced a live recording of the production of “VOICES: Sounds of America,” a musical montage he created with Lauron Thompson
Griffith left St. Louis for the East Coast to attend Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music – where he earned a bachelor's degree in Music Business and Management. Now he’s home and is diving headfirst into music with his recently released EP, aptly titled “I’m Back.”
“If I jump off, I want it to be from home,” Griffith, who goes by TreG as a musical artist. “I’m all about St. Louis and putting my energy into the arts community at home.”
The seven-song project reflects the hip-hop flavor of the current R&B scene, but with vocals that pay homage to the genre’s classic form.
“R&B is not dead,” Griffith said.
He was itching to delve back into the performance side, but wanted to step outside of the box that made him a familiar face on the St. Louis arts scene.
“Me coming from the musical theater world, I just wanted to do something different,” Griffith said. “This EP is basically my stamp on the adult Tre.”
Getting his grown man on, he unapologetically laid his feelings over the tracks.
“For the first time, I feel like I was able to create from an authentic place,” Griffith said. “These songs really are about where I am mentally, spiritually and emotionally right now. It’s all about truth – being in the truth and enjoying the process. At first I was nervous, but then I thought, ‘If not now, when? If I don’t stop being worried about what people think today, will I ever?”
His intention with releasing the project went beyond him simply making a splash on the mainstream music scene through music that details his life journey.
“I just want people to know that whatever they put their minds to, they can really do it,” Griffith said. “One thing that was really important about me getting back into music was that if I’m going to try to tell younger people about doing it, then I have to be doing it – and if I’m doing it, they’ll see that they can do it too.”
Griffith is so passionate about emerging talent because he sees so much potential in St. Louis’ arts scene.
“We’ve always created good stuff here – the quality is really good – but a lot of it is the culture,” Griffith said. “What needs to happen is make sure you expose different communities to it so that it becomes the norm.”
He’s still pouring his many gifts into the St. Louis arts community through his theater roots. He works with the Black Rep in several capacities on the administrative side, and he’s in an upcoming Washington University production of the hit Broadway musical “Passing Strange.”
His love for music and theater is more than just to share his gift – for him, the gift is in the sharing.
“It’s all about how your passion for your art really makes an impact on somebody,” Griffith said. “Whether you’re doing a play or a show or making music, you have the opportunity to change a person’s life in that moment – to take them to a new realm or place through your art. To hear somebody say, ‘I really needed that today,’ or ‘you really touched me’ – that’s what all of this is about for me.”
TreG’s “I’m Back” is available through all digital music outlets such as iTunes and Amazon – and through the independent music digital sales site bandcamp.com. For more information about Tre’Von Griffith, visit www.tregmusic.com . He can be found on social media channels Twitter and Instagram via @treg_music.