- Damaris Chanza
Hip Hop Artist, Tye Talley, is Committed to Making Their Music Career Take Off
Tye Talley demonstrates creativity and hard work with their latest singles.
Tye Tally, 29, has always had a powerful connection with music. After their father, a prominent rapper in Jersey City, passed in 1994, listening to his music was one of the few ways they felt connected to him. Tye's mother made sure they were close with their paternal grandmother, where the respect for their father and his craft was palpable by everyone they met.
"I was usually told stories of block parties where he freestyled whole songs and lit the place up. Sometimes there was stories of him going to the studio in Jersey City making music."
Eventually, Tye was encouraged to freestyle and discovered they had a talent for it.
"That's how I started rapping . . . just loving that I could do the same thing he did meant everything."
Tye was gifted their father's "First Music Video" on VHS and watched it religiously to learn everything they could about their father and his music.
"I just wanted to be able to rap like him. It made me feel close to him."
With such an emotional connection to music, it was a natural progression for Tye to turn that love into a career.
In high school, some friends encouraged Tye not just to freestyle but write and record lyrics. Although they loved expressing themselves this way, they needed more knowledge and experience to thrive, so they never delved too deep. It wasn't until Tye "succumbed to alcohol and gave into depression" that they knew they needed to find something worth getting excited about.
"I just knew I had to give myself to something. . . put my soul into something because my life was meaningless to me and I needed a reason, not to self-harm. As cliché as it is, music saved my life."
Inspired by Queen Latifah, Kid Cudi, Linknin Park, Denzel Curry, Earthgang, and Flatbush Zombies, Tye Talley started their music career as a hip-hop producer and songwriter.
Tye Talley recently released four singles: Wasabi, Urban Folklore, Dead of Night, and Fly.
Wasabi is a collaboration with Dizzy Valdes.
"Dizzy's rap style and dembow energy gives the song catchy vibes while my verse is just sliding along some bars. It is a great combo and fun song to perform live."
Urban Folklore is about the lessons learned growing up in an urban environment. This song has gone through many iterations. Tye initially created the beat but needed to figure out how to make their vision come alive. After revisiting the project multiple times, Tye decided to reach out to engineer, Tanaja Hall, to help transform the song into its final form.
Dead of Night has an original beat by "dear friend" Rocky Liles.
"The beat was super dope and totally hit my ears differently."
After writing the lyrics, Tye realized their "mixing skills were just a hair short of what [they] needed to really make the song translate and sound good." However, another collaboration with Tanaja Hall made Tye's vision a reality.
Unlike some of the other singles in their catalog, Tye decided to take a more personal approach with the lyrics in Fly.
"Fly was written during a time where I was doing a lot of retrospective work with myself; was also doubting and struggling with depression and self-hatred; it felt very raw and personal to me."
With so many singles released at the start of 2023, it's clear Tye Talley has been hard at work creating music, but it doesn't always come easy. Tye is a self-described DIY independent artist.
"Being a jack of all trades makes my life easier and ability to work way easier because it's on my time; I just have to get up and do it."
Due to a recent work injury, Tye has been unable to perform as often, leading to a severe lack of funds, but perseverance is key when trying to build a career. They have taken this extra time to study, research, and practice skills that will help market, advertise, and fund their music and coincidentally help other creatives in the process.
Other than financial issues, Tye's biggest obstacle is ignorance. Tye Talley identifies as nonbinary and has discovered that the hip-hop music industry is not necessarily welcoming of people in the LGBTQ+ community.
"The people who have weight and voices in the community also don't tend to love [queer people], especially if we don't fit certain aesthetics or types. The same goes for my blackness in queer spaces; I deal with ignorance either way. . . I embrace the space that embraces me for being me, but I make a point to take up space being unapologetically me everywhere I go."
However, obstacles won't stop Tye from reaching their definition of success in their career. Although traditional fame and recognition might be excellent, Tye is more concerned with stability and financial security.
"[I want] the ability to build something that not only feeds my mouth at my table but other mouths at their tables."
Even so, creative notoriety for their work would be the next goal.
"The first time everyone in a crowd says my song word for word. . . Success."
Tye Talley's dynamic set of new singles shows their creativity and determination to create the future they imagine for themselves. With their music, they continue to spread the mantra they use to motivate themselves and others.
"Fuck the system, love life, and keep going."
Keep up with Tye Talley here.
Support Tye Talley by buying merch here.
Follow Tye Talley on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.