Rising Stars - A Conversation with R&B Artist, Tyler V.
interview by rachel funderburk
photos by Shervin Lainez
What are some of your earliest musical memories? Has music always been a major part of your life?
I’ve been singing since I was about 3 years old. I remember the first time music made me feel something when I sang “I believe I can Fly” by R. Kelly in pre-school. Music has always been around me since I was younger because my dad, who co-owned a record store in Harlem, and my grandfather, who was apart of a singing group in Jamaica. They were my musical influences and always always gave me the desire to sing and perform.
You've been influenced by artists such as Toni Braxton, Brandy and Jazmine Sullivan. What inspires you about these artists and how are their influences reflected in your own work?
It all goes back to how these artists evoke emotion into their music. If you don’t feel something when you sing a song, then the message won’t get across to the listeners. These vocalists were able to do that every time and that’s something I strive to do as well as a singer and songwriter.
How would you describe your personal music style? How has it grown or shifted through the years?
I’m all around an R&B/soul singer but I do explore in other genres as well. Vocally I have a very soft, smooth tone but I like to surprise the listener with big hooks and punch lines. Over the years I’ve grown overall as an artist, and learned to trust who I am and became so much more comfortable in my sound. I barely used to speak in a recording session, afraid of getting my ideas shut down until I realized there really isn’t a right or wrong way when an artist is creating. As long as you’re happy with what you put out that’s all that matters.
The song "Let it Go" is about facing truths and pains, always moving forward. Will you tell us a little more about the making of the song and what you hope listeners will gain through hearing it?
This song came to me around a very interesting time in my life. It was inspired after an encounter with someone who I had met for the first time that instantly picked up on my energy that I was struggling emotionally. I had so much emotional baggage that I had suppressed for so long I didn’t even realize it. With this song it helped me realize things about myself and things that I needed to face in order to go to the next level and so I did. I wrote “Let It Go” and searched deeper within myself. What was it that I had allowed to hold me back from achieving my dreams? I hope whoever listens lets go of whatever emotional baggage they need to let go and forgive whoever they need to forgive.
The music video for "Let it Go" is clearly very symbolic and personal for you. Can you tell us a little about your vision and the ultimate creation of the finished product?
We wanted to capture the isolated feeling in the video so it was shot in a grungy dark warehouse. Throughout the video I start to strip myself of my jacket and water being poured on to me to represent the cleansing process of discovering who I am as a person and letting go of everything that has held me back in the past.
What are your passions outside of music and how do you think they shape what you choose to create?
I love to go to shows, support other artists meet new people and learn from other creatives. I also love to dance and travel. I think experiencing new things gives me a new perspective and fresh mind to create.
One of Gold Hand Girl's main goals is to encourage women to embrace their talents in going after whatever they want, not letting anything or anyone stop them. How has your own journey as a woman in the music industry been? Do you have any advice for our readers?
It is so important to go after anything that your heart beats for. I for one know all about letting outsiders thoughts of me change the way I had looked at myself. I was ridiculed about my body image since I was 10 years old and it made me question my talent for years. I didn’t think I was good enough because of what people thought I should have looked like. My biggest advice is to never let anyone make you feel you can’t go after your dreams because of what you like. If it’s destined for you, it will always be for you.
We know you’re a strong advocate for spreading body positivity among young women (thank you!)—will you share with us some ways in which you work towards this goal and why you feel this mission has spoken to you?
Talking and sharing my experiences is the best way because so many women need representation and to know they are not alone. I like to also share any tips of my go to stores and shops of my favorite fashion finds since a lot of curvy women struggle with styling themselves.
Finally, where do you hope to see yourself in a few years? Dream big!
I hope to go on a world tour, and be done recording my next project, which I have already begun writing for.
Check out TYLER V.'s new video for her song "Let It Go" below:
Author, Rachel Funderburk
Rachel is a part of the Gold Hand Journalism team
Heyo! I'm Rachel Funderburk, and I'm from Edmond, Oklahoma soon to be in New York City studying business and film at NYU. I'm all about girl power, creative vibes, and world travels, and I spend most of my time obsessing over my dogs, filling my home with plants, rewatching 80s movies, and listening to a ridiculous amount of political podcasts.