Therapy is not something that is typically viewed in the most positive light in the Black community. Though times have changed and people are more understanding of it’s benefits, it is still a stretch to say it is universally understood and appreciated in the culture. The thing is though, therapy doesn’t always happen sitting down with a psychiatrist and talking out your problems. Sometimes it can be done through our passions, such as music.
For Reno-born, Jackson-based MC Ty Knight he is definitely using music to help him overcome his battles. With his new EP “Therapy Vs. Theory” available worldwide he is now looking to help others be inspired to face their issues and become better by it. We were lucky to have the opportunity to chat with Ty Knight about the project, what the words Therapy and Theory mean to him personally, his trek from the west coast to the magnolia state and much more so follow along.
For those who may be reading that are unfamiliar with you, tell us a little about yourself.
Alright well yeah, so the names Ty Knight, Chicago(IL) born Reno(NV) made. I’m a creative currently based in Jackson, Ms. I say creative because I’m not just a artist/produce/engineer/photographer etc. I’m more about making dope content period, music is just the medium I’m most passionate about.
When did you decide to pursue music seriously and was it a hard decision to make? I know sometimes people can be a bit apprehensive when they are getting started out.
Well, in high school back in Reno when I was 15, my little brother approached every rapper on our side of the city and formed a collective with everyone who was with it, and if you asked me 5 years ago I’d have told you that’s when I got serious. But lately as I reflect I realized that it wasn’t until I got hurt playing football and lost a scholarship and basically saw all my blessings jump out the ride right before the finish line. That’s when I decided I was really all in, about 3-4 years ago. As far as being a hard decision I’d have to say yes and no, I’ve been writing songs since I was 9 so it was always on the list of what I want to do when I grow up; but being a straight A student and all state athlete who gravitated towards the negative things there was always pressure from my parents and authority figures to do something else and stay away from the clubs, parties and streets.
Since starting out what do you think is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the music industry?
Everybody got to eat, artist/producers/managers/drivers/security It doesn’t matter that person has to eat, which means you gotta always watch your back but at the same time you have to make sure anyone willing to affiliate themselves with you is getting what they need from you.
How do you feel about the state of the music scene in your area and do you have any favorites?
In Nevada the music scene is aching to noticed on a bigger scale but there’s not enough unity among artist. When I got to Mississippi I instantly noticed the difference whether it’s the backpackers or the street guys there’s an underlying love that seems constant.
Favorites? Well I’d say you got to check out K-rizz, David James, Savy Balboa and Danger Will Robinson those are my favorite hometown artist. Down here in Jackson I’ve become a fan of Coke Bumaye, Timaal Bradford, Vitamin Cea and Dev Maccc. If ain’t heard any of those artist do yourself a favor and go check em out.
You just dropped your new project “Therapy Vs. Theory” and I’m interested to know what was your goal coming into creating it? What kind of vibe did you want to capture?
I just wanted to stay true to me that was really the only goal. As far as the vibe I wanted it to represent me, my personality and my energy. I’m a moody person a lot of ups and downs on this side so if I made a graph of my average emotions throughout the day, it would somewhat match the energy you’ll feel from the music.
The title also stands out for the statement it makes. Tell us how you came up with Therapy Vs. Theory and what it means to you?
It was real natural, I didn’t make any of the songs with the intention of a project it was more like cathartically throwing my emotions into the art. At the same time I was working on the music I was having a lot of conversations with people around me about black mental health, why I love music, how therapeutic the creative process is for me and how I believe we all need some type of therapy. I started to notice how easy it was for other creatives to understand me but for the non creative they always wanted to suggest what they thought I should be doing or argue why I was wrong. So the title Therapy Vs. Theory represents the idea that society is meant to follow the theories of the crowd. That ends up causing a lot of us to need a release/therapy whether that be music, drugs, racing, working out or family; most of the time therapy starts as an escape. It causes us to forget society’s theories then reintroduce and test those theories and finally form our own correct theories about our own lives.
How do you feel this particular batch of music compares to anything you may have done in the past?
I feel like this is some of the best music I’ve made in my career so far. Plus everything that went into this project was all me lyrics, beats, engineering, and artwork. So its almost impossible to compare to previous projects
I know you are excited about the entire EP, but if you had to predict a song that will catch on more than the others on your project which would you pick and why?
That’s hard I think F.H.Y.F will probably catch a little more just because it sounds different.
Was there any interesting stories about the creation of the project?
Nothing I haven’t already shared but a couple fun facts I guess, the title was almost going to be Suicide Rhythms which would of been the worst mixed message, and I shot the cover out in San Francisco for those who were curious.
What is the main feeling you want to evoke in people’s thoughts as they listen to “Therapy Vs. Theory”?
Confidence. If you can say “Yeah, today’s going to be straight” then I’ve succeeded.
Outside of the release of the tape what else can people look for from you in the near future?
People can expect performances more good music and future collaborations, and they can follow my instagram @tyknightslaydragons for those announcements.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome and what do you think you learned from it?
Self doubt definitely, but I would say it taught me who I am and what I can accomplish.
If you could predict where you would be in 10 years what would it be?
I’ll still be making music of course, and probably producing a lot more. The vision is to own a label and be ushering in the new wave and be able to jump out into other avenues like clothing design and writing books/screenplays.
If you could change 3 things in this world what would they be and why?
All my answers gone sound crazy but I’d get rid of cellphones. I mean iPads and tablets cool, but cell phones are annoying. You ever been talking to someone and they start texting then have the audacity to say “huh? What’d you say” when they finish texting. Second, I’d kill currency barter and trade systems only, what skills you got? Third makes all drugs legal, I grew up on the west coast and never saw anyone die over weed connects till I came to the south so I really believe making all drugs legal would reduce the robbing and killing but who knows what that would do for the users.
Any last words before we conclude?
Just want to say thanks for the opportunity, and huge shout out to the 1st Day Fresh readers who read all the way through. You can follow me on twitter @WhoTyKnight and instagram @tyknightslaydragons. Go listen to Therapy Vs. Theory out now on all streaming platforms.