Over the weekend, I got a chance to link up with local MC TyreseJohnsonMusic. We discussed his upcoming project For The Lost Ones, his musical inspirations, and his journey. Check the interview out and get to know him. 

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TyreseJohnsonMusic is a 23 year old rapper from Oakland, CA. Although he wrote his first rap when he was 10 for show and tell, he didn’t start recording music until he got to highschool school. He finds his musical inspiration in anyone making a substantial dent in the music scene. 

“Growing up that meant Kanye, Jay, Lauryn, Nas and Outkast Eminem. Today it’s Weezer, Chance, Radiohead, Duckwrth, Dayvid Michael and Kosb¥. My inspirations change a lot, but I’m always intrigued by how people create good shit.”

He is also inspired by the everyday, which helps him get into his creative space and write some amazing songs. 

“In order to get into my creative space, I usually close my bedroom door and chill at my desk with beats playing hella loud. These days I hate everything I write though, so I’m trying to live a little more life, and get sucked into the space. I usually write songs about things I’m obsessing about at the moment. Whether that be school, a recent break up, or being interested in a girl whose in a relationship that I don’t want to tamper with – that song’s dropping soon. “

How would you describe your sounds?

“I mean I could spend time saying how I sound a little like this one rapper whose album I obsessed over in middle and high school, mixed with a little bit of this other rapper who never really got as huge as I had hoped he would, with a sprinkle of that neo-soul songstress everyone loves, but I don’t think that’s as beneficial as checking out my soundcloud profile. I think people will make their own comparisons after they listen. I’m still hella trying to find my sound, so my next project, sonically feels different than my last, and the same will be true for the one after that.”

With his music, he hopes to show people that it’s ok to be yourself and that it’s ok to not have all of the answers. He wants to encourage his listeners to value every moment, and to not take anything for granted. 

“Ultimately I think it’s about knowing life is short, but life is long. As long as you’re breathing you have the chance to figure those things out. And if you aren’t breathing those things don’t really matter any more right?”

It seems like music has always been a large factor in his life, but heres a fun fact, if he wasn’t doing music, he’d probably be doing something in Psychology which is why he went to Saint Mary’s and got my degree in Psychology. Having spent a large amount of his life creating music and learning industry lessons, I asked him what he’d tell his 10 year old self. 

“I would tell little me that the show and tell rap would lead him to something he’ll grow to love. Sneak and watch more BET, while it’s still good. I’d tell him to learn the damn words to “In Da Club” so he can join in when his classmates are rapping it word for word in the lunch line. I’d tell him to cherish the moments with his friends because they won’t all make it.”

With the Bay Area as his stomping ground and his job at Thizzler, I was interested in knowing which local artists he slaps on his way home from work.

“Ranging from gangster ass motherfuckers like Mozzy and HD of Bearfaced, to cats like Caleborate, and Duckwrth, A-1 etc. I also listen to Caleborate and Duckwrth who have both dropped really great projects this year. I’m really interested in seeing what they have coming next. I’m also slapping Larry June, GOT DAMN!”

What can you tell me about your For The Lost Ones project?

For The Lost Ones drops on Wednesday October 14th and is a collaborative album that I did with DJ Basta. After finishing school, I felt some fears about what was coming next. It felt dark at the beginning and started to ligt up at the end. For The Lost Ones focusses on that feeling. Feeling like you’re drowning in your bad decisions and indecision, but that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Understanding that these feelings aren’t unique to just one person and that everyone can relate.”

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Tyrese will be having a release party this Friday, October 16th at Good Mother Gallery in Oakland from 7 to 10. You can also catch him supporting J. Lately at the concert for the release of his album, Let’s Just Be Friends which is on November 8th at the Stork Club in Oakland. 

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No interview is complete without shout outs and last minute mentions. If he didn’t mention you, don’t beat him up ok? I’m sure he didn’t mean to.

“Shout out to VLTRN. Shout out to every Bay Area platform that showcases dope art, so Youthful Kinfolk, Thizzler, Wine & Bowties, MuzicZoo, RiseNPine, Nook N Kranny, even the ones I don’t know of yet! Also, I want more shows, and I’m free, as in available and I don’t charge, so book me!”

Make sure to follow this genuine spirit on SoundcloudTwitter and Instagram. He’s trying reach 1,000 followers on each so he can officially call himself a local rapper!

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