- Words Notion Staff
Classically trained Afro-fusionist Tim Lyre shares his musical firsts after releasing his latest creative odyssey, MASTA.
Tipped as one of Africa’s rising stars, Tim Lyre is the Afro-fusionist using his classically trained beginnings to shake up contemporary music. Synonymous with positivity and mindfulness, the singer-songwriter’s slew of singles and 2022 album Worry < bring an energy that’s infectious. On Wednesday, he released his new EP, MASTA, which brings the vibes with a range of features and genre explorations.
As adept on the piano as he is on the guitar, organ and bass, Tim’s multi-instrumental abilities can be heard throughout his back catalogue. MASTA experiences a similar creative odyssey, transcending borders and skipping between hip-hop, dancehall, Amapiano and R&B. Making music from such a young age enabled him to see the scope of what his sound could be: a profound versatility followed, which has caused a stir both in Africa and the UK.
Croydon rapper Jords, Nigerian singers Tay Iwar and Minz and South African vocalist Khanyisa provide an eclectic range of features to the project, which was made between London and Lagos. To honour its release, we sat down with Tim Lyre to discuss his musical firsts, from early Felabration memories to why he’s still riding with the same friends today.
First song you ever made?
Officially, A song called ’10 to 3′ with Mojo AF, but I had been making random songs since secondary school.
First bar you remember writing?
Can’t remember specifically, but I wonder if it was any good.
First CD or record you owned?
Face 2 Face by 2Face Idibia
First time you realised you wanted to be a rapper?
When I started recording with my friends in 2012 I felt like we could do something, I’m still making music with the same people now.
First gig you went to?
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
In 2018, I moved back home to do music full time but it was way tougher than I expected and I’ve seen dreams go to waste more times than I can count, so I was thinking about quitting and doing something else but I’m thankful for the community I found through the music I was making and that kept me going.
First instrument you owned?
My Dad bought an upright piano for the house when I was 12 so I could keep up with my lessons.
First time you felt like giving up?
In 2018, I had a lot of self-doubt. I wasn’t making any money and I felt stuck, some friends talked me out of it but I don’t believe I ever really had it in me to quit.
First time you felt starstruck?
I met Mikel John Obi in 2006, as a young Chelsea fan, you can imagine how this went, I got a signed t-shirt out of it.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
There’s no bucket list right now, I’m trying to stay present.