Having known him since our MKI days, I can attest to that. Standing at 6’2, the 29-year-old South Manchester native boasts an undeniable presence that when matched with his measured cadence, oozes a solemn self-assurance.
He is an interdisciplinary artist. When asked if he feels spreading his focus across rapping, producing and engineering makes him a ‘Jack of All Trades’, ‘Master of None’, he confidently retorts: “I feel like right now, I’m king in all ov em because I’ve put in the years with each discipline“. When you consider he’s been rapping since 10, dj’ing since 13 and producing since 14, he’s built a strong case.
I caught up with Dyno ahead of his inaugural headline show at Manchester’s prestigious Band on The Wall, (which once played host to then emerging Manc legends, Joy Division) alongside fellow Midication label-mates Kayess, Persia, RJ and Prima. Headed by Virus Syndicate’s Nika D and JSD, they pose a formidable roster. Watching their rehearsal session earlier in the day at Loft Studio, I was privy to a camaraderie evocative of a collective that is more than music. This is family.
I’m happy where I’m at now.
Arriving at the venue ahead of soundcheck, we navigated the famous downward sloping narrow hall backstage to find ‘Dyno’ emblazoned on one of two dressing rooms prepped for the night. I can’t say who, but I can say their name rhymes with ‘screamer’ jovially remarked: “Why does he get his own room?” to which JSD replied: “I want him to get used to this”.
And used to it he has.
I survey his mannerisms. I observe his poise. I study his gestures. This student of the game has attended enough classes to know that he ranks in the top percentile. One can see how under the label heads’ tutelage, the cap and gown is inevitable.
Citing JSD’s flows (in his CBD days) as the reason he began writing, it’s fitting that he signed their dotted line three years ago. Pausing in between sips of a strong cup of tea with two sugars (in the twelve plus years I’ve known him I have never seen him drink alcohol!), he adds: “I don’t even think he knows that for the cheek”. He does now
Tyler Dyno. I’m at ease with my triple rum on the rocks.
From Nik ‘n’ Jay, he has seen first-hand how passion and business co-exist to achieve success. “Jay is the music. He has so much passion. And Nik is a go-getter like I’ve never seen before”. Studying the dynamics of their relationship has had a profound impact. Confessing it wasn’t until he joined that he started taking his music seriously, he conveys the realisation that: “steppin’ wid dem man has shown me dat bam, you gotta do it properly”.
Now I’ve been given an opportunity and I’m being taught stuff, I know how to do it now.
The self-awareness he possesses stems from a renewed focus garnered from working alongside veterans. He’s matured. When you sit with him, listen to him speak and hear the passion in which he delivers his responses, you’re conversing with a man confident in who he is, where he’s at, and where he wants to be.
You feel the glare of positivity radiate when in close proximity. Declaring: “it’s rare for me to think negative”, he attributes his optimism to his older cousin Duane, who tells him to “eat the biggest ugliest frog”. In short, if you have a difficult task at hand, rather than putting it aside, make that the first thing you do. Each time he references the ‘trinity’ (Nik, Jay and Duane), he speaks with reverence. Like the youngest of four siblings whose elders are masters of their craft, he harnesses the best elements from each to aid his development. “If it wasn’t for Nik, Jay and Duane, I wouldn’t know where I’d be today”.
Though he considers himself an “Urban Artist”, you would be a fool to believe that defines his musical style. The label have a band that imbibe elements of funk ‘n’ soul in which he has participated. The “ultimate creative space” he encompasses means he is at ease within any genre. “When you spread yourself across the board, you can apply aspects from each genre to your own music”. The self-proclaimed king is no knave.
If you’re passionate and intelligent enough, you can make your art your work.
Signing with Midication has bolstered his already profound confidence. He states that with them: “I have travelled more than I have ever done before”. Last year, he performed in Paris at YOYO and at Madrid’s Candeleda festival to thousands. His calm demeanour gives way to a feverish glow that abandons his natural preset when we discuss the live shows. “European crowds are sick!” he asserts. “If I was to do this forever, I’ll be happy”. I hope the crowds ‘down-under’ show our home-grown legend the same energy when the label arrives in Australia/New Zealand in May for a fortnight stint.
In Dyno, you find an artist with a steely resolve at the helm of his own destiny. “I’m very comfortable”. This a man not shackled by fear or doubt. Regarding Manchester’s “thrivin” ‘urban’ scene, he believes “the love of music powers everythin’, and if you’re takin’ it seriously and your intentions are pure, you’re good”. Those are words of wisdom to any individual pursuing any goal.
Historically, he has been that naturally gifted student with flashes of brilliance. But now, on the cusp of his first home-coming show, can he sustain the momentum needed to graduate?
I think he can. With honours.