Meet Tyler Major, producer, freestyler, and jazzcat

The Georgia-based artist is your new go-to for a fleeting, introspective balance of psychedelic jazz, funk, and conscious hip-hop.
A singer-songwriter from Boston, MA that also writes blogs about music from time to time. A loud and proud as fuck member of the Alt-Black, LGBT and autistic community.

Last year, Andere 3000 proved you can be a dedicated genre-hopping artist if the inspiration strikes you. There are no rules, no boundaries, and all passion and inspiration. Nothing can truly get in your way if you rap and want to be a classical artist or house musician. This leads to having some of the most multifaceted artists to date, and no better time than now to introduce someone who does that. Meet Powder Springs’ own Tyler Major, an artist who not only raps but produces beats and composes jazz/new age music inspired by artists such as Lonnie Liston Smith.

Like his former peers in Los Angeles collective NRK Pyramids—short for Nobody Really Knows, which boasts singer, producer, rapper, and guitar player Jay Cue and Odd Future/The Super 3’s Vritra—Major’s music, be it through raps or keyboard compositions, lies more towards the introspective and fleeting. His sound is purposefully ignorant of the trends of the time and has taken more inventive measures. You can even say this made NRK a high-key influential bunch.

One thing to understand is that Major never seeks to dominate the beat, rather he treats them as if they were a mere background soundtrack to what he’s thinking at the time. Yet, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deliver in a commanding way. Think of Major as the one-man descendant of Souls of Mischief or A Tribe Called Quest. Have U Ever Touched Moss in the Rain?, the first of three EPs released late last year, demonstrates this.

From contemplating both his career on “Live than Dream” and his next move in life on “Moss In the Rain” to wondering what form of dance music he was listening to in whatever city he was in on “Loose Screw”—the only non-Major produced track—you feel as if you are reminiscing with him on both the past and the future, all with the same length and immediacy of your most recent thought. Features such as Vritra and Sawyerjeorge, the former, who remembered he had to clean and rebuff his floors, add to the slice-of-life approach to lyricism. In “Facets of Life,” Major reflects not only on the days of NRK but how they would approach music. “Gary Wilson and Björk was our point of reference,” recalls Tyler while reminiscing on older days before the split.

Between Birds Singing, his most recent tape from November is a direct example of why he calls himself a “nature-inspired musician.” Both his imagery and meditative beats sound like a stroll in the park, where people pick apples in the springtime (the title track) and water streams (“The Calm”). This project balances being breezy and lightly funky with just four tracks.

But where Moss was more reflective, and Birds was more meditative, Valleys and Pines is more of-the-moment, off-the-cuff freestyling over equally jazzy beats and certainly much briefer at five minutes. There’s no picture painting, no meditations on the past and present. Valleys and Pines is Major’s casual bar-out record. 

All of this can be found on Major’s Bandcamp, along with instrumental albums such as 2014’s jazz keyboard EP Colours from the Valley and 2016’s new age-leaning Dance of Petals. In this age of introversion, if you want an artist who can balance psychedelic jazz, funk, and conscious hip-hop, you know the very person to go to.

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