Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Originality according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the “freshness of aspect, design, and style.” This next musician is not only demonstrating originality and versatility, but he’s an all-around artist possessing many talents! In addition, he plays not one but five instruments, how amazing! I think we all can agree he’s off to a phenomenal start. A Closer Look would like to present to you, the poetic astonishing rising Hip-Hop artist, John Tyler.
John Tyler was raised in Baltimore, Maryland roughly 50 miles from the nation's capital. Growing up, he lived in nearly the only African American neighborhood between Roland Park and Hampden, Maryland. John recalls living in that location of Baltimore as being “Extremely racist, especially in Hampden. I’ve been called the N word a few times in that area.” Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there - distasteful behavior, commonly known as bullying, followed John into his educational environment.
Being made fun of and laughed at, was a taste of what John endured in school due to his appearance. “I was an easy target.” John stated. However, John took the negativity he received from bullying, and began to create music as an escape from the harsh reality. In fourth grade at the age of 10, John would spend hours with friends enjoying the game of “Guitar Hero 3”. He found himself practicing on the game daily until he eventually learned and began playing on the real guitar. The following year in fifth grade, John formed a band with others and performed for about a 1,000 people at his elementary school talent show. “We killed it!” John stated in excitement. Not only did “Guitar Hero” play a part with his start in music but, John also credits a vast amount of influence from his admired inspirational figures.
Initially, unique hip-hop artists like Childish Gambino and Tyler, the Creator influenced John in his early teen years. He credits them for their “Unique sound, creativity, and visuals they present to others. For example, Childish Gambino “Because the internet” album and screenplay.” Now, John stated, “What really inspires me, are the people I’m surrounded by accomplishing great things.” John uses this inspiration from friends to continue striving to the next level in his career.
He then recalls a time in eighth grade, when others doubted his talented abilities. Yet, these people only added fuel to a fire raging with heat. Instead of giving up, John ultimately decided to prove the non-believers wrong. From there, he worked and released an album consisting of 17 songs and countless features on his album “True Art” in 2016 and followed up with "True Love" in 2018. “[After releasing music] I realized that I have to do this [music],” John stated.
When it comes to his musical sound “You never know what you're getting.” Since his musical style is influenced by almost every genre, it led him to create a new category for genre-less artists called "Journey". Across John’s projects, be sure to hear out distinctive sounds and use of many instruments across all tunes.
On the topic of D.C, John is fascinated and amazed at the diversity in D. C’s music scenery. “If I wasn’t from Baltimore, I would definitely want to be from D.C.”
Aside from music, John shares with us that he admires the sport of skateboarding and was once on his way to becoming a professional skater! “I was extremely good at skating and dedicated my life around it with competitions until unfortunately busting my head opened twice while skating.” Recently, John has returned to art of skating, but plans on slowing down the crazy stunts such as ollieing down steps. “I’m too old for that now.” John stated.
In addition, after finding his passion in skateboarding, John fell in love with the art of writing and became very passionate about screenwriting. “I have a whole TV show idea! With a script fully planned out.” he proclaimed. If John wasn’t doing music, he stated you could probably catch him writing screenplays for films. In the meantime, you can catch him on tour!
In 2018, he achieved one of his major accomplishments when he graduated from high school. Now in 2019, John has the goal to tour and perform across the United States, hoping to target a diverse crowd regardless of age. “If lucky,” John stated, he would be thrilled to tour across Europe, Africa, and Korea. With a laugh full of purity, John mentioned, he would cry at every show once the desired opportunity is granted.
Speaking of opportunities, when it comes to advice for aspiring artists, John would tell them to do music because you love it, and not for the money. In conclusion, John stated to “Always be yourself, and never let the money change you.”
Read more about John Tyler with a closer look below.
Looking back, what has been your worst job to date and why?
In High School, I was a part of a program called “Youth Work” based in Maryland. In this program you were given paid jobs every day ranging from cleaning up trash on a beach to landscaping. It was terrible, including the car ride back afterwards but, a job is a job.
What song do you currently have on replay?
“King James” by Anderson .Paak and “Know Who You Are” by Pharrell Williams featuring Alicia Keys.
If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would practice playing guitar with the extra time I have.
If you can hang out with any celebrity for a full day, who would it be and why?
I would hang out with Tyler, The Creator. Since I was 12, I’ve been looking up to him; he opened my eyes to different views in fashion and music. As we hang out, I would take notes all day because he’s so knowledgeable.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is repeating a statement more than once.
What’s your favorite saying or quote?
My favorite quote is when Pharrell stated in an interview, " Take it or leave it, this is who I am." This quote holds great meaning to me because it taught me to break out of social trends and be yourself instead of following others. I’ve applied this quote spiritually, emotionally, musically, and stylistically. In all, it has made me a better man.
Magnified Topic of the Week: John Tyler “No Color” EP
John Tyler’s No Color touches on racism, stereotypes, and life as an everyday black man. Across this EP consisting of four songs, you’re able to step into John’s realm of thoughts and experiences with his use of powerful diction and poetic delivery. In all, No Color speaks truth and an underlying message we should all take note of. Lastly, as said by John, “The world would be better if racism didn’t exist.” Be sure to tune into fan favorite “Slam Poetry” and John’s favorite “Make the Change” featuring Dacey today!
Written by Dejah Moné