Virginia celebrity didn’t always have a musical career in mind. As a child, there were no voice or piano lessons. In fact, all through high school, Trey was doing what most kids his age were doing: playing basketball, throwing parties, and getting dragged to church by his grandmother, who sang in a gospel choir.
“I wasn’t even paying attention to R&B at the time,” says Trey. “I was listening to straight rap, like Biggie, Jay-Z, and Nas.”
Although Trey Songz loved hip-hop while growing up, the only R&B he could get into was R. Kelly. When his friends heard his perfect tenor voice, however, they pushed him to drop rap and start crooning. Songz did just that, and after winning numerous talent shows in his native Petersburg, VA, the 15-year-old singer met Troy Taylor, who had worked behind the scenes with such artists as Patti LaBelle, SWV, and B2K.
Trey to finish high school first, and then they could talk about a possible music career. Trey received his diploma and immediately moved to New Jersey to work with Taylor. Soon, the singer was appearing on Kevin Lyttle’s debut album and Trick Daddy’s Thug Matrimony as a sideman, as well as striking out on his own with “About the Game,” a solo cut from the Coach Carter soundtrack. As he was working on his debut album – not to mention several collaborations with Lil’ Kim, Trina, and Snoop Dogg – Trey Songz released some street-level mixtapes under his alias, the Prince of Virginia.