Celebrity and success is always presented in this perfect easy-to-acquire package, demonstrated on a linear graph or a straight road map with no u-turns. How many are willing to expose the silent struggles of achieving success, to lift their porcelain primp personas to gift their art with authenticity and expose the flustered flesh of the struggle. Self-taught, South London songster, Kadeem Tyrell, is not shy to expose his truth; a hustle that has gifted him a unique sound and a firm foundation for him to build a career. With his second single ‘Let me know’ doing well and a E.P set to be released, he took time out from his schedule to chat with ThePalaceOfTheDogs, here’s what happened when we met up:
TPOTD: Tell me about your music influences growing up and life in Battersea?
KT: I grew up in a Christian household; I was in church every single minute, but was too shy to sing in the choir. So no-one knew that i could sing until i was 15. But yes, It started with Gospel 100%, its where my soul is rooted really. I have quite an eclectic taste in music; i love R&B, Indie, pop and futuristic sounds, but it has to have soul. I love Donnell Jones, Aaliyah and Brandy!!!
TPOTD: Which artists are inspiring you at the moment?
KT: Obviously i listen to a lot of other singers and they inspire me, but i’m also inspired by producers. Soulection is a collective of producers who make these really strange futuristic sounds and i love it. I’m influenced by life, friends and the little everyday things that we all deal with.
TPOTD: How to were you able to fund your creativity in the beginning stages?
KT: The whole music thing is expensive. I had to teach myself, using YOUTUBE, how to record and by this point i was working double time at Harrods to be able to afford my mic. and my speakers. I worked as hard as i could, so i could afford the best gear, but even so its disheartening when you don’t really have the skill to make it sound the you want it to.
TPOTD: So when did it all start to pay off?
KT: When I recorded ‘Moon’, a guy from america sent me over the track and i finally finished a song by myself. I was so proud of myself and the song. Then an old friend contacted me wanting to have a chat and I was like “no… only joking yeh”, so he went onto say that he has been watching what i’ve been doing for a while, that he’d been working with the OIM and he’d like to manage me.
TPOTD: What has been the benefit of having a manager?
KT: Well, they got the recording of ‘Moon’ mixed for me and it sounded amazing. They’re super supportive, encouraging and extremely positive; constantly motivating me and driving my ideas forward. Obviously you have friends and family that are encouraging, and it’s good surround yourself with them, but you really need a strong foundation and a team.
TPOTD: Now that you’re on the front foot with your career, how do you measure your success?
KT: What is success? everyone has they’re own, individual ideas. I like to see mine as stepping stones, if I can get my small goals accomplished, i know that I’m one step closer to my end goal. Its also do rewarding to look back and see how far i’ve come; But what is success really, especially in London.
TPOTD: How do you schedule in and manage those stepping stones?
KT: I was thinking the other day, when i was high, that a lot of the time people spread there goals over a year and in end up procrastinating because their goals are up in the air. So i set goals over a week as its a shorter time frame, then once you look back at your year you’ve accomplished more than you would’ve on the 1st January.
TPOTD: So you mentioned weed how much….
KT: Do I consume ?… lol
TPOTD: No lol, how much does it play a part in the creative side of things?
KT: Not a lot. Everyone is always says “oh i write the best when i’m high”, but personally, i think the most craziest things when I’m high, but i cant put it into words. It does help when I’m doing ad-libs though. But i wouldn’t want to depend on weed to write though.
TPOTD: So how and where do you implement those crazy thoughts and epiphanies that you have when your high?
KT: Into my life and my wellbeing. it’s like with the stepping stones idea, that was an idea I had when I was high. It just allows me to think outside of the box.
TPOTD: How do you balance your career and your personal life?
KT: Its hard, i’m still growing. I have to give myself time to evolve as an artist. Recently i quit my full-time job because I want to give music 100% and I had to give myself that time. To be honest i was working in high end retail, it was very demanding and was just really messing with my sanity. So i let that go and now i work in a cafe.
TPOTD: So recently i saw that Genuine went into the big brother house, what are your thoughts on these 90’s singers popping up in reality T.V shows?
KT: I’m not hear for it. Especially in Britain, because the kind of success people are looking for is not offered in the U.K. Its very very cheap. However in America it seems to make more sense, it’s more of a platform. Like Cardi B!!! But Britain, maybe if your not black it might work for you, but for our people it doesn’t seem to work.
TPOTD: Have you faced any adversary because race in your career?
KT: No… Not yet… As this is life and it does happen. However I have felt pressure with my appearance because I’m not your typical sexy R&B singer, i’m just very casual. Also my music isn’t your typical Bryson Tiller R&B sound and there is a pressure to conform to that because thats what everyone is listening to. Its just not me.
TPOTD: Going Back to reality t.v and your comparisons to the U.S and the U.K in terms of opportunity, would you ever consider moving to a different country?
KT: Recently i went to L.A. When i jumped off the plane i could felt a connect to this city, you could smell the opportunity in the air.
TPOTD: What is it about U.K that has you looking at other countries?
KT: It’s the people and the mentality. I’ve heard people say “Oh but America is so big”, but England is small and we still don’t help each other. Everyone is for themselves. I do get it, because it’s so rare to make it London, that once you have your like “OMG I’ve arrived, I’ve got to go, I’m so sorry i can’t drag you, I have to leave”, however in the U.S its like “Ima put my people on, we’re gonna build together”. Clearly the U.K hasn’t realised both creatively and politically, that together we’re stronger.
TPOTD: So you went away to make your upcoming E.P, tell me about that process?
KT: Yes i went to Istanbul. I worked with the same producer that did “Let Me Know”, which i co-wrote with Pia Morris. I love the way Pia writes; i hit her up and was like ‘i cant write this song without you’ and we started writing it that day. I worked with a bag of producers like Rom, who does a lot with Emma V, but the last track i did was in Istanbul. It was so fun to just to write for a whole week, I was felt like Pia Morris. I’m really proud of it and i finally feel like I’m letting people know where i’m coming from and my vulnerability.
TPOTD: What have you left in 2017 that wont be making an appearance this year?
KT: PROCRASTINATION. last year i had so many self limiting beliefs, but i want more for my music and my projects. I deserve to give myself that much you know.
TPOTD: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice, what would it be?
KT: Just do it. Have no fear.
TPOTD: So tell me about the inspiration for the visual for Let Me Know?
KT: Well Pia writes in metaphors and i love that about her and i wanted to reflect that in the video without it being obvious. Me and my friend we get high, watch music videos and its like I’m in a trance, you can see the marriage of the music and visual so vividl;. Thats what I want for my creative, for people to watch it when there high and feel it on a different level. Hold tight Sonny Jake for directing!!!
TPOTD: Whats the plan for the rest of the year?
KT: To just be consistent, keep releasing music and keeping on with those stepping stones.
For more music CLICK HERE for Kadeem Tyrell’s Soundcloud.
Words & Interview by Daniel Bailey
Video & Photography by Daniel Bailey
Instagram : @justbailey
Twitter : @JUSTBAILEY91
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