"Them man there are so fearless and so cool. They express themselves how they want to express themselves and just don’t care"
Neo Music sat down and had a virtual chat with 22-year-old r&b singer Tyrell Trey. Growing up in the small town of Basingstoke, Tyrell always had big dreams of pursuing a career in the creative industry. He started taking music seriously when he was 11-years-old, developing the confidence to really go for it after stints as a model. With influences ranging from Stax and Motown records to early rock n roll, as well as the 90’s R&B swing and soul his mum would play him, he was soon inspired to start playing guitar and piano. “I connected more to rhythm guitar right from the off and I fondly believe that this is linked to my Nigerian heritage from my dad’s side - a natural sense of rhythm is in my blood,” he states.
NEO: Who are your musical influences?
TYRELL TREY:I used to live with my Nan and Grandad in my teenage years so I used to listen to their records like Stax, Motown and anything from that era and I also used to listen to early Rock. It is a very random combination but it gave me an understanding of a wide range of music. My very first record that I bought was ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ (Sweet Home Alabama) and then you had my mum who listened to a lot of R&B like Ashanti and vocalists similar to her.
NEO: How long have you been making music?
TYRELL TREY: I started in college and would say that was when I first started using the studio properly. I was still learning but instead of me actually learning the subjects I chose I would go to the music room and the music tech teacher would let me record, I have been playing guitar and piano since I was young.
NEO:What other music genres would you like to explore?
TYRELL TREY: I don’t just want to sit in one lane, for me that is not progressive. I really do however love the Punk scene. Them man there are so fearless and so cool. They express themselves how they want to express themselves and just don’t care. At some point I do definitely want to make some sort of record and encompasses that a little bit. I also love Afrobeats and everything coming out from there at the minute. I just want to be able to show all of my influences through my music.
NEO: What are you currently working on?
TYRELL TREY: Currently, I am working on a 6 track EP. I am about to release another single, which should be coming out very soon. The focus right now is versatility, I just want to be able to show what I am capable of doing.
NEO: What is the biggest achievement for you in your career so far?
TYRELL TREY: It is difficult to pinpoint one thing but getting to this point right now as we speak for me is a big achievement. It’s difficult out here especially for young artists in these crazy times and the industry itself can be a lot. You have to be thick skinned and take what people say with a pinch of salt. It is not just about being good at what you do but being good with people and being able to make those connections.
NEO: Give us 3 things on your bucket list?
TYRELL TREY: I want to play at a festival that is definitely on the cards for the near future. I want to work with an artist called ‘Tems’, she is an incredible Nigerian artist who you absolutely amazing! And I want to win a Brit Award, in fact I am going to win a Brit.
NEO:If a millionaire decides to fund all your expenses on a one week trip to anywhere, where are you going and what are you doing?
TYRELL TREY: Minus the Coronavirus, a part of me would say somewhere with a different culture like Marrakesh just to experience something new and be that interesting guy but I’d have to go with Miami, I love the hectic lifestyle. I'll go out there for a week and just record bare tunes and absolutely mash up and live my best life for the week.
NEO:If you could make a difference in the world, what would you be known for?
TYRELL TREY: This question is deep. Going back to what I said earlier about how difficult it is for new artists and new talent to emerge in any of the creative industries. I would want one of the people spurring on young people and to just stop the gatekeepers from being able to have as much power as they do over the whole industry. I would definitely want to shine a light on how difficult it is for young creatives in the industry. I really don’t think anyone should be this young and stressed.
NEO:If you could star in a TV show, what would it be and why?
TYRELL TREY: It would genuinely be a TV show about my life. I swear at least 5 times a week I have to sit back and look at my life and say “For real, is this really happening to me”.
NEO:If you could create a fortune cookie given to yourself when you were 16, what would it say?
TYRELL TREY: I’d say straight up Pattern up. Get over the confidence issues, no-one is going to fix things for you, get yourself together. At 16 you tend to think you are grown but once you reach your twenties it's a whole other ball game.
NEO: Let us know where to find you on social media