Roqy Tyraid (pronounced Rocky Tirade) hails from Southern California but currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Roqy has forged a name for himself through selling his cds hand to hand in the Southwest region. He’s appeared on numerous websites as “best up and coming indie artist” and performed on various such as Shade 45, The Wake Up Show, Redy Set Radio and many more. We caught up with Roqy on his European and UK, Dichotomy Tour.
Roqy Tyraid, introduce yourself
Peace! RoQy TyRaiD. Emcee. Introvert. Nerd. Foodie!
How did it all start for you!
Man, I’ve been in love with hip hop since the beginning. When you love something you find yourself in its realm. I would imitate artists on rap songs until I could rhyme it in the same intensity as they could. That’s when I started knowing the code of lyricism. Once you start critiquing some of your favourite lines and figuring out ways it could have been executed better, you just naturally start trying your hand at it yourself. At the same time, my friends and I would battle rap in school. It just all came naturally from there. Been one weird ride, ever since!
In 2010 you dropped your first project, The New Millennium Man; can you tell us about that release?
I call it, “An Artistic Test of Strength” because I had never exerted that a level of lyricism, prior. Hope that doesn’t come off cocky, but what I meant is I was experiencing a level of personal growth which also came with a new level of lyricism for me. I wanted to let the world of indie hip hop know that I am here. Took some original joints like “Woosah” and “I Quit”, mixed it with some beats I always wanted to rhyme over, and did it. Check out “Hi-A” and “Hi-C” ha!
Seriously, it was definitely an experience, what it taught me was perseverance. It was a beautiful thing because you get to meet people and build with humanity. As an introvert, I’m fascinated with the human experience. So, seeing how many different souls appreciate music, and appreciate it enough to check out my music, was astounding. I sold a little over 20k in a little under a year and a half, I literally lived off it.
What myself and my dude Checkin Trapps did in Phoenix changed the direction of indie music in that direct region. But that can only take you so far, so I started a process which ended with me becoming RoQy TyRaiD, dropping New Millennium Man, and attacking the National circuit. Now, I’m watching weird French cartoons in my Hotel in Rennes, France, while I’m talking to you in the UK. Humbling, fam, wildly humbling.
How would you describe your sound?
The spirit of the golden eras, plural; with the contemporary edge of today my music is the perspective of the everyday man. Yes, there’s a stress on dope production and lyricism, but there’s so many ways to approach the easel. My music is, comical, social, introspective, universal, romantic, somber, angered and jovial. It’s a blessing to transcend boundaries. It’s not about how technical my lyrics may appear it’s about how it’s executed.
What other releases have you had out?
I released RoQy TyRaiD at The Podium: A Musical Editorial, where I would go on air once a week and basically ‘memarap’ a song about the week’s current around the world. It had a very solid impact. I touched on issues such as the conflict in Egypt, Libya, the Japan Fukushima crisis, etc. Those things were detailed on a weekly basis; you can listen to history unfolding track-by-track. I need to do another one of those. You can still find it online.
Tell us about The Dichotomy album.
The Dichotomy of RoQy TyRaiD is based on my name, which is a celebration of duality. To describe the album, I’d say it’s black and white with every shade and nuance of grey in between. It’s triumphs and tragedies, a sonic journey through a manic world. Right now you can hint the direction it’s going with my first couple releases, from the energetic “Hey You!” to the mellow “Over the Horizon”. Just threw hint out there for you all, real quick.
Ah yes, as I was saying earlier, I’m currently in France. I just wrapped up the Dooinit Festival. Shout out my dude Charles for organizing that. Fantastically hip hop; you know how I keep stressing ‘the community’? Well, it’s surreal making fans out of the elderly. When literal children come up and ask you in French if you’re going to provide more music. There were literally all forms of humanity there and the park was packed. Success! The tour is crazy, in general.
Amsterdam was another highlight; its social climate was artistically displayed all over the build via incredibly dope graffiti. The Dutch don’t play when it comes to that for real. We packed the building out and killed the hell out the evening. I’ve had so many dope experiences. It’s time to go back to the UK for some wilding out, before I head back to the states. I’m extremely excited about the work that’s going to take place this week out in London.
What do you think of the UK?
I love the culture, the environment. How it immediately impacts the microcosm that is its own hip hop subculture. It’s a deeply expansive world. It’s proper but rough around the edges. It’ll come at you with love but put you on your ass if you step out of line.
Basically, from my perspective, honour is a huge part of the scene out there. The way it used to be in the states. To my American hip hop heads who are reading this, know I’m telling the damn truth!
Have you heard of any UK Hip Hop artists?
Of course! I was bumping that Kano “3 Wheels Up” earlier. I was out in Amsterdam and the DJ threw on Stormzy’s “Shut Up”. I know one of the easiest ways to get a crowd hyped is to put on “Shut Down”.
I got into a debate about the recent Chip vs Yungen battle. Wiley, Bizzle, Leshurr, I’m not just some Yankee coming out and trying to set up shop, fam! [laughs]. I know my stuff. I think the connection between my music and the artists out here is kindred as f***.
In an interview on The Wake Up Show, you said that you don’t write any of your lyrics down, you freestyle.
Yeah, I call it ‘Memarap’. I come up with lyrics in my head, memorize it, and deliver. A lot of people do it; the only difference is people see my lyrics as “complex”, so that’s what the wow factor is about, though. To be honest, I’ve tried writing a few lyrics down as of lately, only because I love having something tangible, as well.
I figure constantly mastering multiple forms of lyricism, makes me more formidable. Someone insert maniacal laughter here! Batman isn’t just nice with his hands, right? He’ll pick up a bo staff and beat that ass, if the opportunity arises.
Roqy Tyraid thanks for doing the interview! Is there anything that you would like to add?
I just want to thank everyone who supported my project The Dichotomy of RoQy TyRaiD, went to a show, looked out for me online, or even found themselves interested in my music after reading this.
Shout out to Writer’s Guild, my dude Jim at Soulspazm, DLC, I can go on and on. But basically I just want you all to give my project The Dichotomy a chance in your playlist. It’s available in all digital outlets or through physical courtesy of my site TheCultureIsBack.com. I’ll be back out in the UK soon. Until then, harass your promoters!
Interview by Jai Boo