Nobody owes you anything — I learned this quickly. If you are up and coming, the sooner you learn this the better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known a person 20 years, they don’t owe you anything. Support is not a birthright. The sooner you get this in your head, the easier it will be to deal with people that you thought would share a link or buy a shirt, or come to a show. Just put your head down and keep at it.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tyke T.
Memphis rapper Tyke T’s accolades prove he is a veteran songwriter. Having previously climbed the Top 50 Billboard charts, Tyke’s work has also made it to the Top Ten in VH1’s “Make A Band Famous”. Opening up for notable acts like B.O.B and Boosie Badazz, Tyke T keeps his career momentum as strong as his lyrical delivery. In 2015, he had the honor of performing John Legend and Common’s hit “Glory” at the NAACP Freedom Awards to honor the director of the historical film ‘Selma’. His continued grassroots focus would benefit Tyke in 2017, when his sophomore effort, The Prelude, debuted in the Top 15 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, as well as the Top 50 on the Rap and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. His new hit taps into inspiration from 90’s R&B musical influences like Jodeci and Bobby Brown while seamlessly pairing up with his Hip Hop roots. Consistent in his honest heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics, his new single “Lottery” is guaranteed to succeed during a time when our world could use a little love.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/024e8b5764d4c52b44a651ddbacbcd94
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Man I feel like I grew up how most of America did. Single parent household, living in government housing. It was just me and my Momma. We didn’t have anything (in the world standards), but we never wanted for nothing, if that makes sense. She always made sure that I was good. Food clothes, love and support. That’s just the way it was and still is to this day.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I honestly feel like this path was my destiny. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken more time to learn about my family history and I found out that basically everyone in my family has done music in some shape or form. We are just the offspring of our past generations. My brother is/was a DJ. So he would bring in so much music. When he would go to class (college), I would go in his room and make my own mixtapes lol, and it really just grew from that. I started writing my own rhymes and it was over. I was hooked.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Man I would say being on the Red carpet at the 2018 Grammys and seeing all of those celebrities. Having full conversations with Logic, Victor Cruz, and yelling at Cardi B how dope she is and to “never stop” lol. It was a moment I’ll never forget. It really just hyper motivated me though. It let me know how human these people are, and that we can do it too.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Lol the funniest thing I ever did was back when I first started, I performed at a show on campus. And the people were somewhat feeling me, but not really. So I had another song and I asked the crowd, “do yall wanna hear my next song” and the whole crowd shouted out “NOOOOOO”.. lol I’m stubborn though, so I remember looking at the DJ and saying “RUN my song” which meant play the song anyways. I learned not to ever ask a wild ass crowd do they wanna hear my next song. Just do the set and move on lol.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Man, I’m so excited about this R&B album that I’m writing. I have written songs in all genres, rock, pop. Gospel, funk/blues, country and of course hip hop. Now I’m bringing all of this together and enlisting some of my favorite artists to sing these records and I can’t wait. We are only a few songs in and it’s turning into something special. I want to transition into Quincy Jones, and this is the beginning.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
- For too many years, we’ve had such a lack of representation in these industries and it shows by the lack of authenticity. By actually having diverse backgrounds in these writing rooms, casting agencies, lights, make up etc, it only allows for more authentic experiences for the viewers.
2). Better Stories
- I alluded to this above but, when you actually have a diverse writers room, you will have better stories. It’s proven.
3). It’s Overdue
- It’s past time for this honestly. It’s 2021 and we are still seeing stories of “This was the first black person to do XYZ” or “This was the first woman to do “XYZ”. Like, why weren’t these opportunities granted to minorities and women years ago? The time is now man. Seriously.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) You will want to Quit
- Most of the time when you start something you never think about how you are going to feel in the middle of it. Basically, this industry puts you through so many emotions and you will want to give up, but, if this is something you want to do you will need to push through.
2) It’s expensive
- Man, I think this one is self explanatory. This industry is expensive and you will spend a ton of your own money. Get a budget immediately!
3) Be flexible
- There is no one path. Have a firm idea of what success looks like for you but be open to pivoting if you need to during the process. That’s one thing I wish I would have learned earlier on.
4). What you saw on TV is not reality
• Growing up, I actually used to watch videos and see all my favorite artists having nothing but money, cars and partying lol. That’s not really what this industry is. It’s a ton of work especially as an INDIE. If you’re not ready to put in the work then don’t do this, seriously. You will just be very disappointed.
5) Nobody owes you anything
- I learned this quickly. If you are up and coming, the sooner you learn this the better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known a person 20 years, they don’t owe you anything. Support is not a birthright. The sooner you get this in your head, the easier it will be to deal with people that you thought would share a link or buy a shirt, or come to a show. Just put your head down and keep at it.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stop letting analytics and numbers push you and take a break. It doesn’t make you any less of an artist or you’re not less of a “grinder” if you get some rest man. Absolutely nothing wrong with taking a step back. Just don’t quit!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I want people to move away from what we traditionally view as successful. Like, if you want to go and be an artist, then go and be an artist. No two paths are the same and I hope we can get away from the thinking that if you have this amount of money, or this car, or this type of house that you are successful. Real talk — once you get older you see, the only thing that matters is time and family, so put more focus on those things.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
First off, GOD. I believe he has a plan over my life and I think my steps have been ordered. I’m nothing without his grace, so I always give honor to him. Secondly, I’m super thankful for my manager Shay. Tons of people say they will have your back but their actions will show you if they actually do. I can honestly say good or bad she is always riding for me and that’s something you need in this industry.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It’s the quote from Michael Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” I try to live by this. It’s all about taking the shots. Of course I want to win, but there is beauty in the attempt, and we need to learn to live in that space.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Man there are a couple. Barack Obama, Drake, Master P, Michael Jordan, P. Diddy and Naomi Osaka & Issa Rae just to name a few. I would just love to pick all of their brains. They are all great and have dominated in their respective fields. Just being around them, I know would soak up so much information man. Sorry I can’t name just one lol.
How can our readers follow you online?
If you’re looking for Tyke T just visit DrivenByMusic.net or shoot me a text 901–295–3058. Of course you can follow me on all of my socials too:
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!