“I just want to make albums, sell out shows and make my mark. More importantly I would like to take Afro-Dancehall to the world stage, something we talked about with Patoranking and he is doing that right now,” said dancehall star Tyler-himself when we met recently for an interview.
Tyler Himself is an international dancehall artist, born and raised in Port Bell, Luzira in Kampala, Uganda.
He attended Dade Nursery School in Luzira, Bat valley Primary School and St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) for O’ level.
He moved to Aga Khan High school and later Kabojja International where he completed A’ level before joining Coventry University in the United Kingdom. He would later enroll for ACCA in where he says his music career went professional.
Tyler has since released a number of hit songs most of which have been enjoyed and some topped chats in a number of countries globally.
Below, we trace his musical journey and what he plans for the future.
When did you join the music industry?
I started doing music professionally in 2012 in London, but had been recording right from as I was pursuing my degree in Coventry University in 2010. So when I moved to London, I started concentrating on music.
What would you say has been your best moment as a musician?
Best moments to me are never about achievements but rather stage moments where one gets chance to interact musically with the crowd.
For me such moment was the reception I got in Kenya, a show in Tribeka. The crowd knew the music word for word and the energy was crazy.
Which of your songs would you say gave you a break through?
Basically it’s been two projects for me.
Tight Skirt remix which I did with Washroom entertainment Jamaica played worldwide on countdowns, ads in Cyprus, Japan, Malaysia, Kenya, UK, Nigeria several places.
The second is my most recent project, ‘Bali Badem’, that I released last year and it got a buzz in Africa on major platforms.
What’s your best project so far?
Every project I do, I give my best. I always make music that the world is gravitating to at that moment.
Do you write your own music?
I don’t write music but sing off my head. It’s always a depiction of my mood, surrounding and vibe.
For example in my most recent song, ‘Feel Nice’ with Slim Prince (fire dancer singer), we were basically feeling nice, and we made a song about it.
Do you have any collabos with big name artists?
In terms of collabos, I’ve never really sorted out big names. I work with friends, people I feel the right vibe and energy with.
I have a song with Skales that we recorded in London 4 years back, another one with Bigdeal, a UK-based Nigerian and Shatta Wale from Ghana.
Also recently, I recorded a song with Slim Prince from Nigeria.
Who is your role model in this industry?
Growing up I always looked up to Sean Paul because of his success and musical journey. He has contributed to making Dancehall as a Genre more mainstream. I believe in commercialized dancehall sound, sound creativity and working with different genres which I feel he has done quite well.
Locally, I feel Peter Miles set the stage and platform for us, the younger dancehall acts. He made it mainstream in Uganda and basically we have picked up from that precedent to grow the local scene
Where do you see Tyler Himself, 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I just want to make albums, sell out shows, make my mark. More importantly I would like to take Afro-Dancehall to the world stage, something we talked about with Patoranking and he is doing that right now. With more people in the movement, we can definitely take over.
I would love to bring new talent on the scene, through the record label I’m signed to “Xtreme Entertainment” and grow an everlasting brand that can bless different musical generations.
What, a part from Music do you have passion for?
I want to branch out into different ventures for example right now we merchandising Xtreme hoodies and T-shirts plus a lot more coming.
I’m also setting up a studio to do commercials and give new artists chance to voice.
What advice do you have for pulsers who want to join the industry?
For the younger people, I think patience is key. Set your goals and stick to them whatsoever because as you achieve people increase, as you lose they always reduce, so it’s always about you and the ultimate goal.
And where can one find your music?
You can follow me on twitter and instagram @tylerhimself1, tyler-himself snapchat, and like my page Tyler Himself on facebook for updates.