PREMIERE: T.Y & Chef Byer’s Hands Are Tied In A Beautiful Exchange


“My name is T.Y. That’s Trae Young, that’s Truly Yours, that’s The Youth. That’s pretty much whatever you want it to stand for.”

Today, Hamilton artist T.Y and Toronto producer Chef Byer debut “Hands Are Tied,” the first emotionally driven and relatable single off of their upcoming collaborative EP, The Beautiful Exchange. Individually, the two are hot off a successful 2014 and only adding more vibrancy to the blaze of their promising 2015 with the pair’s latest release.

Throwing recent performances at ManifesTO, A3C and a win against LA at the Beat Academy’s Battle Of The Americas beat battle into the musical mix, T.Y and Chef have certainly started to earn acknowledgment for their own work among the Canadian rap landscape. But combined, the rapper and producer are a new auspicious team prepping to up the ante with their forthcoming project.

“Hands Are Tied,” is an intricate affair, showcasing not only T.Y’s lyrical ability, but a softer side of Byer’s production, which almost reassures the story-telling protagonist throughout the relationship-based release with strings and piano. Take in the premiere of “Hands Are Tied,” read One Woman Army’s exclusive interview with T.Y and look out for The Beautiful Exchange coming soon.

T.Y. Hands Tied

 Link: “Hands Are Tied” Prod. Chef Byer

YOU’RE MAKING A TRANSITION NOW AS AN ARTIST AND I’M ASSUMING YOUR STORY HAS EVOLVED. WHY DOES THAT T.Y STORY MATTER TO RAP NOW? As an artist, I’m trying to keep it as honest as possible and I think sometimes it makes it hard to just make a straight up rap song. I wrote my first song when I was 11 or 12. So since then, I’ve been working on it and trying to perfect it. As far as my journey, I think it’s pretty early in its stages but it has taken me around. I’ve gotten to see some pretty cool things. It pretty much started out of heartbreak and then that turned into cocky rap music and from there, it’s kind of mellowed out and trying to keep it as honest as possible. I don’t know if my story matters so much to rap so much as I want it to just matter to music in general. I don’t really like to box myself in. People ask “you rap?” And I mean, I do but that’s not the only thing I’m capable of doing. I feel like when you put such a strong label on something, it limits you and you can only do so much with that. I don’t know if rap needs my story but I feel like it’s going to reach somebody eventually and it’s going to have a nice impact on them. The way that some people’s music that wasn’t necessarily rap had on me. I want to keep the domino effect going. An each one teach one kind of thing.

TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW SINGLE THAT WE ARE PREMIERING. It’s kind of a combination of a couple different relationships that I’ve been in that I tried to present as one relationship. They weren’t all serious relationships. They weren’t all long-term relationships. It was just a couple people that I talked to and I noticed a pattern that girls are all really confusing and weird. Then I kind of wrote about it and tried to tie it all in together. It’s not one long story. It almost presents itself as a conversation between said guy and said girl. They’re going through some things and the man in the conversation just doesn’t understand to the point where he has to decide if he’s just going to walk away or continue.

GIRLS BEING CONFUSING SOUNDS LIKE A RELEVANT LIFE PATTERN. I just think the internet made it super hard for people to talk and actually be honest. So I think where the guy’s confusion comes in and not knowing what he wants or she wants – they keep going back and forth – I think that’s something that people will pick up on and take something away from that.

AND THIS IS THE FIRST SINGLE OFF OF YOUR UPCOMING PROJECT, THE BEAUTIFUL EXCHANGE? Yeah. We toyed with a few singles. We did “Sucker For Love,” and I haven’t stopped making music. But now that we finally have a project, that is the first single. And it’s one of the first songs we recorded.


WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE MUSIC ON THE UPCOMING EP? Well, it took us a long time to make it, so I think we’re going on two years making this project. I was really happy a lot and I was really sad a lot and I was really angry a lot. So each song is representative of that. There are five songs and an interlude, but they are all pretty different and they don’t tell the same story. I wanted to make a project and just cut out all the filler. As far as psychology, I think that’s something that the listener will have to judge for themselves, then try and tell me where I was in that two year journey. I think it will come across pretty apparent.

YOU’RE DOING THIS COLLABORATIVE EP WITH CHEF BYER. HOW DID THAT COME TO BE? I had heard “Money Made Me Do It.” That’s still one of the theme songs to my life. It’s amazing. I found out who made the beat and then over that, we just started communicating. Then we went out to the studio and we started making songs. It’s just easy with Chef. There’s no ego in the room. At this point, he’s just my friend.

DESCRIBE THE PERFECT CHEF BYER BEAT. WHAT DOES THAT FEEL LIKE AND SOUND LIKE? He’s got really heavy drums. It would pop. You know when you hear a drum kick and it either seeps into the ground or it bounces off of it? He’s got the perfect mix of that. He’s got really high symbols. A high hat combination that he always does. He’s super dope. An intricate base-line, some crazy synth and then he’ll take it back and add an eloquent cello or violin or something. I feel like he takes from different inspirations. He’s like, “I’m gonna make a good beat, but I’m going to take it somewhere else so it’s different.”

WHERE WILL THE BEAUTIFUL EXCHANGE FIT IN SYMBOLICALLY TO T.Y’S CAREER THUS FAR? So far, the people that have heard my music coming up have grown to appreciate my music. It’s not off of an image or a persona. It’s off of coming to a live show and actually seeing the show. I feel like that’s when a lot of people really start to understand it. The opportunities that have presented themselves this year were just exchanges of time and honesty. I’m going to stand on that stage and I’m going to be honest with you. In exchange, give me your ears. You broaden it beyond that and everything you do is an exchange with somebody. Whether it’s a business relationship or a romantic relationship, there’s always an exchange going on. There is a give and a take and a push and a pull. I want it to speak for itself if anything. I just want to put out the best thing I can and once you’ve heard it, it’s out of my hands.

Chef Byer: Twitter


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