Whether they’re a solo act or part of a group, every singular person behind the artist is what gives that chosen name its meaning and identity. Without the creator, we’d end up with nothing. That’s what makes all forms of art special; it’s passion projects for the people behind them. Their life, their story, their experiences, all presented for the world to see in an established form that ends up forming the identity of those same artists. The unfortunate thing about established artists is that fans expect to continue to see the same story they’ve been seeing for so long and when that artist wants to change the story to fit their current life, we see a split in fans acceptance. These circumstances have led to alter-egos to tell a different story through different sounds. This scenario is what famed DJ / Producer tyDi has gone through with his side project Wish I Was. Officially unveiled last year, Wish I Was shows the darker, grittier and more raw sound that Tyson wanted to release to the world, but felt he couldn’t under his original identity. With a new name and no restraints holding him back, the debut LP On Your Mind is now set to drop on May 6th and it takes listeners on one hell of a ride.
For those who simply want to know whether or not the album is worth the time: absolutely. While many of the stylings listeners will hear have been done before (stuttered effects, chopped vocals, orchestral arrangements to name a few), there’s an undeniable effect that the pure emotion and sound combinations have on making the album come across fresh and unique. Clocking in at just over an hour, On Your Mind is not only longer than a typical album, but also quite different in its approach. Contained within the core concept of it is an emotional story of loneliness and despair which is what makes it almost instantly connectable from the get-go to the average listener. From the opening track “I Wish I Was” utilizing the sounds of footsteps running to the last track “We Can’t Go On Like This” and its simple acoustic approach, the album is the pure and true sound Tyson set out to create with Wish I Was.
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As previously mentioned, On Your Mind is dark, gritty and raw. Three key components combine to make this sound fully realized: brooding synthesizers, orchestral arrangements and powerful, heartfelt lyrical content. Synthesizers live throughout the album which give it an edgier, more industrialized sound and help create the darker, down-tempo atmosphere. The orchestral arrangements and piano backtracking carry over from track to track to give it a continuous and more cohesive sound. Lastly, the lyrical content has such an impactful depth and truth to it that seems to rarely be realized in many electronic-oriented projects. Parts of tyDi’s sound do shine through with the occasional more upbeat moments. From the use of chopped up vocal effects on “We’re Better Than This” giving it a brighter sound to “Shot Girl” and its’ pulsating bass-line, he shows that album isn’t entirely dark in sound or meaning which makes it all that much more attractive to the listener.
The electronic music world finds itself seemingly stalled in the musical creativity department due to the popularity of massive drops and big room tunes – On Your Mind comes at the perfect time; showing off his flexibility as a musician with a more down tuned, yet melodic side to his work. Tyson has created not only the perfect album to show off a darker, more personal side of himself, but also an album needed by a stalled out genre. Whether from its sound, style or musical journey; you’d be hard-pressed not to find an audience for this album. This is only the beginning for Wish I Was and we will assuredly hear more from him in the future and that is a future we are eager to see.