A Kick Snare And An Idea Part 1
Released: 8th Apr, 2013
Label: Tru Thoughts
“One of the UK’s greats.” - ZANE LOWE (BBC RADIO 1)
Out 8th April, “Kick Snare And An Idea Part 1” is the first of two upcoming singles under the “Kick Snare And An Idea”banner, from the Mercury nominatedproducer, rapper and all-round preternatural musical talent that is Ty. Marking the next step in an illustrious career, Ty signed toTru Thoughts in January, sparking Music Week and CMU news features and high anticipation for new sounds from one of global hip hop’s best loved independent artists.
The lead track on this single, “Like You Never”, is a deep and multi-layered cut that finds Ty setting out his stall and airing his concerns about the state of his beloved music scene today, his philosophical and measured flow carried up on a euphoric melodic hook to a resolute chorus. The upfront video premiere for “Like You Never” was met with a Twitter storm, over 20,000 YouTube hits in a week, and official Playlisting on MTV Base.
Two more brand newies showcase Ty’s fabled versatility: the sparse, loping beat and laid-back fluidity of“Knock Knock”, and “Playing With Fire” with its staccato delivery over a melodic, dreamy soundscape. The latter track warns of the dangers of ignoring and undervaluing people, especially the young; fittingly it features celebrated rapper and poet Akala and grime MC Durrty Goodz, these younger performers each coming with a verse and injecting Ty’s fresh yet timeless sound with a vibrant, urgent hit of grime. Tydescribes Akala – whom he first hooked up with on the 2010 Nas and Damian Marley ‘Distant Relatives’tour - as “very influential, a leader. He’s driven, intelligent and talented.” He continues: “And Durrty Goodz expresses so much. The way they came and made the record – I wish I’d filmed it! They got it straight away. It’s gonna talk to the youth audience.”
While many know Ty simply as a great rapper or MC, he has always been involved in the composition and production of his music, and this has deepened over the course of his four albums (also leading to additional work for Scratch Perverts, Talib Kweli, Blak Twang and Arrested Development). These new Ty tracks, co-produced with long-time collaborator and musical brother Drew Horley at his London studio, have Ty’s DNA running right through them from beats to composition to lyrics. Elaborating on his creative process, he says, “The music comes first. Then the music calls out and says ‘THIS is what needs to be said’. The music, always, is the boss. Beats are personal. Everything starts at home, late at night…I have an idea, I get it down, and then we build on it in the studio.”
If there is one thing we can predict about Ty, it is that he will never be predictable. While a lifelong love of hip hop initially set him on his path, Ty’s influences come from prog rock, jazz, and strange records of all descriptions. With a reputation built on his originality and instinctive refusal to hop on any industry bandwagon, he is known for his frank and honest lyrics which have set him aside from much mainstream hip hop and allowed him total artistic independence. In 2001, Ty signed to Big Dada to release his acclaimed debut album, ‘Awkward’. 2003’s ‘Upwards’ then won him a Mercury Prize nomination, and the attendant media attention; and ‘Closer’ followed in 2006, again to many plaudits. Since his fourth LP, ‘Special Kind of Fool’ (2010 via BBE), Ty has featured and collaborated with acts all around the World, including a recent track with former Radio 1 DJ and producer Kissy Sell Out. Also respected as a spoken word artist, in 2012Ty was asked to perform and host workshops for the British Council, culminating in the end of a 35 year halt on international performers in Port Sudan. He is also a member of The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company - having become involved at the invitation of Akala - running workshops with young people to show the influences of Shakespeare in today’s scene. Recently, Ty founded the Beat Inn, a Facebook group where beatmakers can share their creations. “It was a case of finding somewhere people could communicate this fanaticism with making music. A lot of people share this love affair, and I tip my hat to anyone who appreciates that process”. Now with over 1600 members, from bedroom producers to international stars, it clearly struck a chord.