What if we could pause time and stay in a certain moment forever? Talented artist Tyra Chantey has recently released her new single, ‘Stay In The Moment,’ so we sat down with her to chat about her new release, what it means to her, and her upcoming plans.
Q: Congrats on the release of your second single. Can you tell us more about how ‘Stay In The Moment’ came to be and what it means to you?
A: The lyrical content of SITM is pretty straightforward – it’s about being in the moment. About how you never know if when you make it to your goals, whether that feeling is going to exceed whatever you’re experiencing now. You don’t know what the best moments in your life are going to be. It might just be being with your family one evening. The overhyped moments are not always what they seem to be. I’m on a journey right now where I’m trying to share my music with as many people as possible, but at the same time, I want to enjoy the journey. That’s what SITM is about.
The song came together super quickly; it was kind of like a freestyle if you listen to the lyrics. I knew I wanted to mix that poppy sound of the instrumental with a soulful vocal style. The way that I’m singing it is kind of low register, but when you hear the instrumental, you think that it’s something that’s going to go up. Writing a pop song that stays in the same register, that never really has that euphoric break, is something I haven't done before. I’m really inspired by artists like Nina Simone and Tracy Chapman, who can put a soulful twist on something poppy.
Q: This second single had a massively different vibe to the first release, ‘Sweet Talk.’ Can you tell us more about this change in direction and why you chose to do that?
A: I have so many cultural influences, so my music is going to reflect that. Culturally, I draw inspiration from Sweden and from my African heritage. I want people to know that I’m not going to stick to one thing; I’m going to switch it up. You’re going to feel the consistency through my voice.
I also want people to – when I drop a project, an album, or an EP – expect songs that are going to be different from each other. There are going to be songs that you can dance to, songs you can cry to. And songs in all types of different moods.
Q: The track feels so relevant after the past year we’ve had. Did the Corona pandemic shape your songwriting process at all?
A: The pandemic was kind of traumatic because almost out of nowhere, the world just stopped. Before, you could always find some way to work around things, but now there is no way to work around things.
That’s actually how the freestyle in the track came about. If I can’t do anything else, this is the perfect opportunity for me to just be present, learn what it means to be present, and give that to others. The people I have in my life who have the most positive influence on me are the ones who are present, friends who are great listeners, and who enjoy the here and now. That is a gift in itself, so giving that to other people is special. I think a lot of people have learned that from this pandemic.
Q: You directed the video yourself while you were in the US. Is this the first time you’ve done this? How did you find that process?
A: This is my second music video I've done. Before making ‘Sweet Talk,’ I had no clue what a director was. I didn’t know anything about how important all the parts were. It’s super important to have a good director, someone behind the lens who understands why you need to film a scene five times over and over.
It was actually very difficult to film the SITM video because I was super stressed and, at times, I felt like I was working against myself. I was like, “you’re doing a video that’s called SITM, but you’re not present at all. You’re super stressed”. But every time the song was playing, I was reminded that “ok, I should try to enjoy this.” Eventually, everything came together.
Q: What do you enjoy about working with Epidemic Sound?
A: Seeing other people enjoying the track, that’s all that matters, really. Seeing people from so many different countries dance to it and receiving messages about how it’s cheering them up. That’s one of the good things about Epidemic Sound – that the songs reach out globally. That’s been great because it’s what I want. I want my music to be music that a lot of different cultures can experience and enjoy.
‘Sweet Talk’ is a fun song that works in a lot of different scenarios. That’s what Epidemic Sound does – with YouTube videos, commercials, and stores. I never wrote the song and thought, “it needs to fit vloggers or this and that specific space.” But whoever and whatever it’s a good fit for, that’s perfect.
Q: What’s coming up next for you? Are you working on any releases?
A: Right now, I’m working on something more uptempo, but which doesn’t just feel like a dance song. It’s going to be more uptempo, but it’ll also have a darker vibe. There are a few different tracks, but they are all fun, dark, witty, and danceable. I’m excited to release more songs and shoot more videos, too – I have specific visions for each song I want to do.
Check out Tyra's new track and music video below.