We connected with Raleigh based rap artist Oneway Ty for an exclusive interview to talk about his newly released single “What I Like”, which features Chapel Hill artist K.A.L. During our interview with Oneway Ty, we also got to chance to discuss why he changed his name from Young Ree, his thoughts about the Hip-Hop music scene in Raleigh, what he looks for in production and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Oneway Ty, be sure to connect with the talented emcee on his social media and be on the lookout for his debut album "Then There Was Me", coming soon.
Big ups to you on the release of your new track "What I Like". How did you connect with the featured artist K.A.L. and what inspired you to write the track?
I met K.A.L at a Carolina Waves artist showcase event back in December. I felt like he was a great artist. I liked his voice, his vibe. I felt like he was a dope artist.
What inspired the track was me having a need of a breath of fresh air. And by breath of fresh air, I mean a lot of music I hear from my peers sounds the same. So I wanted to bring back an old school vibe and most importantly “feel good” music. I felt a collaborated track with K.A.L would bring that feel good energy. Whether you’re riding in a car, at a party or just something you can vibe to.
Why are you releasing this new track under the name Oneway Ty and not Young Ree?
Young Ree was my first artist/stage name. But over the years as time went by and I matured, I wanted my own identity and a new start. That brought about the name change Oneway Ty. The music that I’m making now is what I would like to represent me - who I am as a man now!
What can you tell us about your upcoming debut album "Then There Was Me"? Will "What I Like" be featured and will any other Raleigh or Triangle based artists/producers appear on the project?
My up and coming album ‘The There Was Me’ represents the mindset that I have of being different and separating myself from the “copy-cat” musical output in my city. My mission with this album is to bring back the feel good music, the ride around in your car music, the cookout music, the party feel. But also respecting the hip-hop culture and bringing a lyrical approach to each track. Almost like a late 90s early 2000s feel.
‘What I Like’ will also be one of the leading singles featured on the album ‘Then There Was Me’! There will be a second single to follow up with ‘What I Like’ and there will also be visuals to both singles, radio play and other marketing promotions to draw people to the album!
Other than K.A.L I will feature 2 or 3 other artists. But currently I’m indecisive on who I’d choose because I’m picky about features and because it’s all about creating an organic vibe! As far as producers, there will be too many to name!
Speaking of Raleigh, which is where we are based as well, what are your thoughts about the local scene? What do you think needs to be done for the city to emerge into prominence on the national stage for Hip-Hop relevance?
I think the local scene is dope in its own way. I respect a lot of artists. I’m a fan of artist such as Ace Henderson, K.A.L, Jianni, Trez Falsetto, Northside Rocky and the list goes on! It’s a lot of talent in the city, and I’m just happy to be recognized in the same field as such.
I think as a whole, North Carolina is now on the radar when it’s comes to the national stage for hip-hop. Because of artists like J Cole, Rhapsody, DaBaby, and producers like 9th Wonder! As far as Raleigh as a whole it needs to be more unity as Atlanta had back in the day. There’s a lack of support between artists and some people get competition and uplifting your fellow artist confused. There’s not enough unity. There’s a lot of talent but we need more “actual events” to showcase more artists in the city because Raleigh has HEAT!
From a creative perspective, what do you look for in the beats that you select to write to, and what's your creative process for song development?
When it comes to my creative approach when I hear a beat I instantly get a vibe off of it! When I listen to a beat I want to hear how it sounds in the car and in the speakers and see what emotions it brings out of me. Whether it’s an upbeat feel, a sad feel, a party feel. I just look for those things when picking my beats!
My creative process when I was younger was all about trap, trap, trap! But as I matured and did more studying into the hip-hop culture, I started learning how to touch on different topics, ideas and melodies. So when I’m creating a song I have 2-3 ideas/topics for each beat! 9 times out of 10, it’s never the first idea, it’s usually the second or third.
My mission in creating music now compared to then is wanting to make people dance and feel good! But I also try to stay true to myself and true to the art by remaining lyrical in my creative process!