Nowadays, versatility in the industry is a must.

Artists are challenged with defining their individuality or are forced to suffer the incurable consequences of monotony and a far less appealing form of anonymity.

Some years ago, within the cocoon of his Texan upbringing, singer-songwriter, rapper, and producer Tim Ned became master of the very craft of versatility and is now set, more than ever, on proving his worth to the game.

First discovering his calling after receiving a keyboard gifted to him on Christmas Day, Tim Ned has developed a portfolio of creations that have served as background for the likes of Slim Thug, Nipsey Hussle, and longtime influence R. Kelly.

“I would mimic every song I would hear on the radio,” says Ned. “I would replay it, restructure it. I was like ‘You know, this is what I want to do.’”

Fresh off of a performance opening up for Monica at Houston’s Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival towards the end of September, Ned was also named as a featured artist for iHeartRadio during the same month, making waves with his single “Black Diamonds”, and shows no clear signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Let’s talk about performing at the Black Heritage Festival and being featured on iHeartRadio. What’s  that experience been like?

Any time I get recognized for any accomplishments that I receive, it’s a blessing. It’s a step towards my goal and what I’m trying to reach. I was really honored by the whole situation.

What about the creative process? Walk me through that.

The process varies. If I have a story that needs to be told, it starts from there, my experiences, my testimonies. I put it into my situation. I sit down, get on the piano and whatever sound that justifies that feeling, I go from there.

It’s kind of like when you open up a dam. It just comes out. That’s the overall process. Once things start rolling, it’s like a domino effect.

What are some things or influences that are always at the forefront when creating the music?

My heart. In any situation whether it’s songwriting or production, or making music for myself, I always put my heart  into every situation. It just comes out genuine to me. It’s a better way for me to connect with the people as well.

Let’s get specific with Black Diamonds, how was the process and your experiences applied there?

I took the approach where there are a lot of people who are just going to tell you no, tell you that you can’t do it. A lot of people are going to try and put you into a dark spot where you can’t do anything.

It’s about believing in myself. I know I can do it. I know I’m the shit. So, regardless of what you say or what you perceive me as, I’m still going to excel at what I’m doing. I’m still going to shine. I’m still going to be that Black Diamond.

You originally started off producing, how’s that transition been from going from behind the board to in front of the mic?

It’s pretty much the same as far as just presenting it in my way, telling my story. I believe in just making the transition and telling my story vocally, connecting with other people even more.

How much of a producer’s mind do you pour into performing?

I’m in depth with it even more. I pay more attention to the detail and layer of the track. Even with the words as well, I really pay attention to how I say it and what I say.

It has to be perfect before I release anything. I listen to every detail from the high hat to the kick drum because I believe everything has that feeling.

Who are some people that you’ve been especially grateful to work with, and who are some others that you hope to work with? 

When I found out I landed placement with R. Kelly that was a big accomplishment for me. R. Kelly was the first CD that I ever purchased–the 12 Play album. Now I’m able to work with him, I did a record with him. So, that was amazing.

The people that I look forward to working with is Pharrell. He’s a big inspiration to me as far as production and being an artist as well. His connection with people, his message–that affected me. I’m hoping to give that same affection to my fans.

What’s next for Tim Ned?

The EP comes out October 20th. I’ve got about 8 records on there. All the production is by me; all the writing. I’ve got a few featured artists on there.

I know there are a lot of kids out there  who don’t know what to do in their life. Some are even afraid to pursue their dreams. I want to be that example like ‘You can do it.’ I’m living my dream out right now.

There are a lot of sacrifices that need to be made, a lot of hard work that comes into play, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to live your life. This is your life. You’ve got to live it the way you want to live it not any other way somebody else wants you to live it. I want to be that example like, ‘I saw Tim Ned do it’.