In an environment of record sale slumps, generic singles and an over all sense of the blind leading the blind, it's no surprise the musical soundscape within New Zealand requires some much needed incentive and reason. A perfect time for the resurgence of MTC records' and their lead singer/songwriter/rapper Tyree and his aptly named album 'Motivation'.
It's been six long years since Tyree's debut album 'Now Or Never' (2007) . Since then, Tyree achieved 'Best Male Artist' at the Australasian UMA awards of 2007; he along with his group Smashproof achieved local records status by having the longest running number 1 single with the socially poignant hit 'Brother' as well as a slew of awards to solidify his place in New Zealand music royalty, and perhaps his greatest achievement – a beautiful daughter named Mila.
Tyree's much anticipated sophomore opus 'Motivation' calls on all of that experience and maturity into a project that encapsulates Tyree and his current struggles to maintain a positive outlook on life and career.
"It's got a lot of songs that will motivate you" Tyree speaks of his sophomore release "The reason I named it 'Motivation' is because since 'Now Or Never', it's been so long to drop this album. There was a period in my life where I was like 'F*$k this!' – I was willing to throw in the towel so to speak."
Thoughts that were dismissed once he got the green light from MTC for the new album "I needed to be motivated [like that] just to get that second shot. Seeing the success of SmashProof, having a child – it was meant to happen in those stages; [so] there are heaps of motivational songs on there [as well as] emotional ones too – A side of me you didn't hear on 'Now Or Never'."
The lead single 'I Do It For My City' (produced by Khaled of Cash Money Records), is a particularly personal ode to Tyree's home of South Auckland. The Papatoetoe native enlisted the colourful faces of his own family as the extras to his video – a personal salute to Auckland's bustling Nuiean community.
"Since 'Now Or Never' my life consists of music, family and where I'm from." Tyree explains "That's what I'm all about, and that's what I wanted to portray in the first single. I wanted people to know that's what matters to me. [Seeing the world] made me respect home more."
'Motivation' has been an on-going project for Tyree, one that strays from the conceptual web of his work with SmashProof to focus more on Tyree's creative vision and individuality.
"It's not necessarily a song related to the next song, to the next song [like the SmashProof album]." Tyree reveals, "'Motivation' is an album full of solid songs – like 'Now Or Never' – but I'm pushing the boundaries [like] with more singing."
Drawing inspiration from family, music and his environment, Tyree's ability to translate personal up's and down's into an entertaining medium that can be understood by and influence anyone who listens is a testiment to the mastering of his craft. 'Motivation' is essential listening, from one of New Zealand's most experienced and revered artists.